Living Life in and around Lyme: Franconia Ridge Loop Hike
This is the first post in a new occasional blog by longtime Lyme resident, Nancy Copeland.
About an hour’s drive north of Lyme NH are the beautiful and majestic White Mountains of NH. Franconia State Park offers an abundance of outdoor summer fun including hiking, biking, kayaking, rock climbing, and scenic nature walks and drives. This past Saturday, a group of Lymies gathered at 6am in town and caravanned north to Franconia State Park and the 9-mile Franconia Ridge Loop hike. This is one of the most scenic above-treeline hikes in New England. It does require some physical stamina and proper hiking gear. We headed up the Bridal Path in the early morning, as the mist was beginning to rise and the summit ridge began to expose itself. Spirits were high as our group of 13 headed up the mountain. About 2-1/2 miles up you will come to the Greenleaf hut and a great place to rest and eat a snack and use the rest room. Then you head the final 1.1 rugged mile to the summit of Mt. Lafayette. There you will be rewarded with 360-degree views of the White Mountains and distance views into Maine and Vermont. Lunch and a nap are a must on top of summer summits. When feeling re-energized you continue South along the Franconia Ridge over the summits of Little Haystack and Lincoln and eventually down The Falling Waters Trail. Be sure to stop along the way and take your hiking boots off and put your weary feet in the sparkling and cold waterfall pools. With a mix of hiking speeds, about 8-9 hours later you will arrive back at the parking lot and partake in your happy hour feast with friends while consuming margaritas and sangria and guacamole and chips. Lots of laughter and tales of the day abound.
Returning back to Lyme one reminds oneself again and again how lucky we are to live in this beautiful town and all of the outdoors adventures that await us. So grab a friend or family member and your AMC guide book and head up to the White Mountains for the day