Friday, July 24, 2020

Three days hiking in Lincoln, New Hampshire.

Long-time friends and hiking buddies, John, Lennie, and I, drove to LaFayette Campground in Franconia Notch to our registered campsite.
We arrived at 1 pm, set up our three tents, and headed for Georgiana Falls. Through a process of “Where do you want to go,” Lennie had selected Georgina Falls for the first of three hikes. One for each of the three days we stayed at the campground. 

Day 1: Hiking to Georgiana Falls in Franconia Notch, Lincoln, NH

According to 
Section Hiker referenced below, ”The Georgiana Path leads to two waterfalls in Franconia Notch, the lower and the upper Georgiana Falls on Harvard Brook. The 60 ft upper falls are a worthy destination and quite impressive after a rain. It’s located 1.3 miles up from the Georgiana Falls Path Trailhead off Rt 3, just outside of Lincoln, NH. The lower falls are also referred to as Harvard Falls.

You will need a certain amount of perseverance to reach the upper falls, however. The trail up is clear to the lower falls but harder to follow as you hike higher upstream. Look for sporadic red blazes and stay within sight of the brook, and you should be able to follow the many herd paths that lead up to the upper falls. The area is highly eroded and steep in places, but well worth the effort to climb, leading to a viewpoint directly across from the falls. Bushwhacking a bit higher, you can also climb to the point where the falls start their plummet over the drop."

Total Distance: 3.1 miles Round trip, w/ 750 feet of elevation gain. Level of Difficulty, as survived by Steve, was “extremely difficult.” I did not mean this rating in terms of hiking skill, but because of the effort climbing up, over and around boulders, over fallen logs, all the while doing this crawling up and the hillside. Plus it was up, up, and up.

Truthfully, if it were not for the encouragement (politely said) of John and Lennie, I would have readily turned around to return to the trailhead. The Section Hiker said it, “You will need a certain amount of perseverance to reach the upper falls.”

Day 2: Hiking Lincoln Woods Trail to Franconia Falls, Lincoln, NH

On the Kancamagus Highway, just outside of Lincoln, is the Lincoln Woods Trailhead, as announced by a large sign. A ranger station, parking area, and toilet facilities are available. Lennie, John, and I arrived early in the morning, and the parking lot was already beginning to fill up. As advertised, this is a very busy trail. 
We started our 7.1 round trip hike mile by crossing a long suspension bridge over the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River. The river flow and scenic views from the deck are delightful to enjoy. However, our goal, Franconia Falls, was three-plus miles away, so we kept on moving.

The Lincoln Woods Trail follows an old railroad trail, which includes remnants of railroad ties, and kiosks of information on the long-ago railroad and this wilderness area. Once over the bridge, you go left and follow the Lincoln Woods Trail, a straight line trail for 2.8 miles

The East Branch, as well as some tributaries, accompanied the trail for much of the route. A few spur paths lead closer to the river shore. At 2.8 miles, we came to what looked like the end of the trail but was a 4-foot-high rock cement wall. On the other side of the wall was another long bridge, this one crossing Franconia Brook to continue further into the White Mountains National Forest.

We admired the views from the bridge, then turned back to follow a sign on the left showing .4 miles to Franconia Falls.

This Franconia Falls Trail follows Franconia Brook upstream to Franconia Falls.

Reaching the Falls, we dropped our packs and hopped over huge boulders to the middle of the Falls with elegant views of the water dancing over the rocks and finding its way heading downstream.

John and Lennie cooled their feet in the flowing falls. I stripped to my bathing suit and took a waist-high dip in the falls.

Statistics of our hike: Lincoln Woods Information Center to Franconia Falls and return.
  • Lincoln Woods Information Center- Lincoln Wood Trail to Franconia Falls Trails Sign = 2.7miles
  • Franconia Falls Trails Sign to Franconia Falls on Franconia Falls Brook = .4 miles
  • Overall hike: distance 7.2 miles
  • Overall Time 3.5 hours.
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy. Beautiful family hike. BUT remember, this is a 7.2 miles hike. This distance may not be suitable for some in your group. Also, when in the Franconia Falls, this can be a perilous situation, so children, and others not paying attention, can be threatened by the Falls.

Day 3: Serendipity Loop Trail from Kancamagus Highway Lincoln, NH

This was our final day in the White Mountains. Our Georgiana Falls hike on Monday took a physical toll as we needed perseverance to reach the upper fall because of the effort climbing up, over and around boulders, over fallen logs, all the while doing this crawling up the hillside. Our Tuesday hike was not difficult, but did require a 7.1 mile hike. Wednesday’s hike was a one hour cool down with an easy hike before our two plus hours driving home.

Serendipity Loop Trail is a 2.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lincoln, New Hampshire alongside the East Branch of the Pemigewosset River, and is suitable for all skill levels. The path is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching.

We saw some blowdowns in the East Branch of Pemigewasset River as we followed the river in our clockwise trail. We approached the water when we saw animal tracks we could not identify.

We had one decision to make when we reached the sign for our return trail. We were confused because the sign seemed to point us to continue along the river. However, Lennie’s Alltrail app map confirm we keep right on the return trail. During our discussions, Lennie and I compared my MapMyRun app with his Alltrails app. I put together comparing the different apps using the Serendipity Trail.

Enjoy this Serendipity Loop Trail video.

"Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Kindle and hardcopy at Morgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH.

Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email and we can work out the logistics.

Additional sources of Books:
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