ElevationAscent: 671' 205 m
Descent: -71' -22 m
High: 1,773' 540 m
Low: 1,173' 357 m
GradeAvg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 17% (10°)
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The first 2.5 miles of the trail, reaching the Franconia Brook Tentsite, is fairly wide open and smooth with only short sections of basketball-sized rock. It is mostly under canopy. It is also offset from the East Branch Pemigewasset River with trees blocking views of the river for the first half mile or so before the trail creeps back towards the river. There are several points to stop and look out over the river bed with the mountain tops poking out from behind the trees across the river.
At the Franconia Brook Tentsite, recognizable by a large wooden notice board, the trail approaches a gate (at a compostable toilet) and appears to turn hard left toward the river. The gate has a sign alerting users to the closure of the Thoreau Falls Bridge, which crosses the East Branch Pemigewasset River connecting the Wilderness Trail to the Cedar Brook Trail (and essentially the East Side Trail). Behind the gate, the trail narrows and looks less used and maintained than the previous 2.5 miles of trail. Hikers should cross the gate to continue on the East Side Trail; the left turn goes to the river where hikers can cross the river to access the Lincoln Woods Trail.
The next 2.5 miles of trail are along singletrack. The trail also follows more tightly along the river and eventually pops out into the river at a large boulder. Hikers will come to a gap in the land where a bridge once stood and will have to navigate an alternate path; this is not the Thoreau Falls Bridge. The trail begins to climb 100 feet in the last half mile. At the very top of the climb, the trail ends at the Cedar Brook Trail. Left will take hikers to the Wilderness Trail and river. Right will take hikers partially up Hancock mountain and towards Kancamagus Highway.
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We need help with the following missing trail information:
Summary, Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Features, Flora & Fauna
Land Manager: USFS - White Mountain National Forest Office