Mount Lafayette & Franconia Ridge Trail
Hiking this trail was definitely a experience I recommend to everyone looking for a little bit of a challenge and beautiful views. The day I happened to trek up was absolutely beautiful which was a miracle because the majority of my hikes this year have been in the rain. I couldn't have picked a more gorgeous day!
I started up the Falling Waters Trail which was impressive. It had a little bit of rock scrambling and river hoping but nothing unmanageable. The first peak i summited was Little Haystack Mountain from there I trekked over across Franconia Ridge to the first 4,000 footer and my 5th one this year, Mount Lincoln. The views from the ridge are stunning on a clear day.
"All of life is peaks and valleys. Don't let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low." -John Wooden
Mt. Lincoln was formerly named Mt. Pleasant, but was renamed later honoring President Abraham Lincoln
Moving forward I continued across the ridge reaching the second 4,000 footer, Mount Lafayette. There was melting snow/ice flying through the air coming off the rock faces as I summited the mountain. Ice was still formed on trees and rocks along the way making some pretty interesting and really cool formations.
There were a few different trail junctions on the top of Lafayette and also a peculiar foundation where a building once stood. The building that once stood here was built in 1855 and the exact date of its ruin is unclear. From here you can see the AMC Greenleaf Hut and soak in a 360 degree view for miles and miles.
Mt. Lafayette was previously known as Great Haystack but was later renamed after American Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette.
After summiting Lafayette I made my way down the Old Bridal Trail to the Greenleaf Hut where I took a break and grabbed a bite to eat. Also, available at the hut was fresh baked goods, coffee and tea for a small price. Sovereigns, maps and books are available here as well.
After resting at the hut for a while I made my way back down the trail and finally reaching the end at Lafayette Place parking where I had started my day.
Overall this was a amazing trek and I plan on doing it again for a sunrise hike.
Mount Lafayette & Franconia Ridge Trail:
Location: Lincoln to Franconia, N.H.
Off from I-93 to Lafayette Place parking. Parking on both sides of highway
Distance: 8.7 mile loop (7.8 miles according to All Trails)
Elevation Gain: 3,776 Ft.
Time Frame: 6-7 hours
Elevation: 5,089 ft.
Elevation: 5,260 ft.
"Coming back to where you started is not the same as not leaving." -Terry Pratchett
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