Franconia Falls

This hike is all about the destination, and the it's a good one. Three plus miles of hiking on an flat railroad bed along the East Branch Pemigewasset River brings you to nature’s best water park.

My partner and I started our hike from our campsite at Hancock Campground, my favorite. We walked a few hundred yards along the Kancamagus Highway before entering Lincoln Woods Trail. The trail runs along the river and alternates between its shores and the immediate woods beside it. Bring your mountain bike for a much quicker way of reaching the falls. You will need to abandon it before turning off Lincoln Woods Trail.

After 3 miles we turned left onto Franconia Falls trail. After another third of a mile we reached the main attraction. My previous few visits to the falls were during times of heavy water and the power of the falls were impressive. Luckily it had not rained much before this hike and we could have some fun in the water.

The main plunge is a semicircle the size of a waterslide and my partner and I sat on the flowing water and slid our way off a ledge about 7 feet into the pool. I recommend anyone who partakes to wear full shorts as it has the potential to be abrasive on one’s hips. Water Shoes are also recommended.

We found a flat rock and loved watching others take a plunge as we enjoyed our snack. We then climbed a bit further to a big deep pool of water with some cool places to jump from. There is a big boulder about ten feet above the water to jump into a spot that is roughly 8 feet deep. For those more adventurous another jump of closer to twenty or twenty-five feet leads into a much deeper portion of the pool which must be over ten feet deep, possibly even fifteen. For myself, I eagerly jumped off the smaller boulder into the enticing pool. I visited this spot over fifteen years ago as a young buck and was not interested in taking the big jump. This time around I knew I could do it. After a bit of hesitation at the top I proved to my fifteen year old self that I could do it by jumping into the awaiting water.

Here is a video of the first hike I ever did with my partner. It was during high water so we stayed out of the roaring falls and just enjoyed the scenery