Hiking: Franconia Ridge Loop

Mari cruising along the ridge portion of the trail…

 Two weekends ago Mari and I met up with some friends in Franconia Notch for a weekend of hiking and hanging out around the fire. We left Burlington around 4:00pm and arrived in Franconia at the Lafayette Place Campground around 6:00pm. Later that night Eric, Sam, Steve and Jen showed up from Maine. We helped them set up their tents and then hung out around the fire for a bit before heading to bed. The next day the plan was to hike the standard Franconia Ridge loop which meant taking the Falling Water’s trail from the parking lot across from the campground up to the Franconia Ridge, and then following the ridge to the summit of Mt Lafayette and then taking the Old Bridal Path back down. Total mileage for this hike is ~9 miles with ~5965 ft of elevation gain based on my gps. It took us just over 7 hours to complete the hike with breaks and an engagement thrown in there. Below you can see our route based on my gps before the battery died on our way down. 

 

Our Route… before my watch died

 

 

Jen, Sam and Eric approaching the top of Little Haystack Mountain just before starting out on the ridge… 

 

  

Taking a break to refuel and warm up out of the wind…

 In some ways we could have had better weather for our hike, but I personally enjoyed the conditions. Clear, bluebird skies would have been nice, but the clouds and the fog made for some great light and interesting scenes along the ridge. I could have done without the rain and the 20-30 mph winds out on the ridge, but it made it feel like that much more of an adventure and helped to keep the crowds at bay. 

 

Mari, Eric and Sam making their way to the top of Mt Lafayette… 

 

 

Sam and Eric at the summit of Mt. Lafayette shortly after Eric took the opportunity, between bouts of rain and gusts of wind, to propose… Sam accepted just in case you were wondering.  

 

 

Making our way down the Old Bridal Path… getting close to the finish line 

 

 

A little fire wizardry courtesy of a small packet of chemicals purchased at the camp store…

That night we had dinner in town and then made our way back to the campground for a fire and smores. It was good to catch up with everyone and totally awesome to be a part of Sam and Eric’s engagement. We’re super happy for them and have no doubt they’re going to have an awesome life together. Hopefully, we will get to see everyone again soon, but until then enjoy the pics and don’t forget to check out a more complete gallery below. 

Later. 

 

 

 

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