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Mt Lafayette, Mt Lincoln
August 4, 2004

Route: Falling Waters Trail, Franconia Ridge
Trail, Greenleaf Trail, Old Bridle Path
Map:
 
Elevation: Little Haystack Mtn 4780 ft
Mt Lincoln 5089 ft
Mt Lafayette 5260 ft
Greenleaf Hut 4220 ft
Vertical Climb: 4154 ft
Distance: 8.8 miles
Who Went: Paul, Muffin

After driving up from Massachusetts early that morning, I parked the car at the Falling Waters/Old Bridle Path trailhead, and Muffin and I started up the trail around 7:15. Across the Parkway, the fog hung low around the Cannon Cliffs, but the weather forecast was calling for clearing skies, so I was hoping for a day of good views, or at least a day free from rain. 

I remembered that there used to be a trail register just past the bridge where the Falling Waters Trail turns right to cross Walker Brook, so I passed up the bridge, hoping to sign in, but the register didn't appear to be there anymore. Of course, as always, I had left my complete day's itinerary at home with my wife and daughter so the register was more of a formality.

About 20 minutes into the hike, we stopped briefly to look at Stairs Falls, a series of small but picturesque cascades in Dry Brook, which are the first of three falls along the Falling Waters Trail. Just up the path from there, I stopped again to check out a spot where our family camped in October 1998. It hadn't changed much, and looked recently used. We then continued past Swiftwater Falls where the trail crossed the shallow end of a pool at the base of the falls on stepping stones.

Still down in the thick woods, I couldn't really see off into the distance, so I couldn't tell whether the fog was beginning to lift yet, but the air in the ravine was still damp, and drops of moisture still clung to the tree branches. My pants were beginning to get damp from the brush, and my cap was already thoroughly soaked from a combination of sweat and the low-hanging boughs.

Cannon Cliffs in the fog. When I arrived at the parking lot, Cannon Mtn was still enshrouded in early morning fog.

cannon cliffs.jpg (76088 bytes)

Trailhead. Both the Falling Waters Trail and Old Bridle Path begin and end here, making a loop hike easy.

trailhead.jpg (107496 bytes)

Stairs Falls. The first of 3 falls along the Falling Waters Trail, Stairs Falls is a series of small but pretty cascades in Dry Brook. 

stairs falls.jpg (91549 bytes)

Campsite near Swiftwater Falls. Our family camped here for one night in the fall of 1998.

old campsite.jpg (143003 bytes)

Swiftwater Falls. This waterfall tumbles into a small pool in the brook. The trail crosses the shallow end of this pool on stepping stones.

swiftwater falls.jpg (97126 bytes)

Dewdrops. It had rained the day before, the air was still damp, and drops of moisture still clung to tree branches.

dew.jpg (64575 bytes)

Map

  Lafayette-Lincoln page: 

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