It's a large parking lot but if fills up quickly particularly in the summer and fall. You cannot park along the interstate.
Old Bridle Trail begins from the center of the Franconia Notch Parking area. This route will take you all the way up to the Greenleaf
Hut. When combined with several other trail in the area it makes the incredible Franconia Ridge Loop
It's a well worn trail and easy to follow but is only marked occasionally with worn yellow blazes. You'll start through the woods and about 0.2 miles from the trailhead you travel parallel to Walker Brook for a bit before reaching a fork for the Falling Waters Trail
. Continue to the left for Old Bridle or the right and across the bridge for Falling Waters
. You'll continue parallel to Walker Brook for a short distance before curving off to the left.
The trail continues mostly flat until about 0.55 from the trailhead where it makes a sharp tight turn and the real climb begins. You'll continue to climb for the next mile or so as the terrain gets a bit rougher and the rocks get larger. Might reach an occasional viewpoint or two but at least to start they are mostly blocked.
At about 1.35 you begin the final ascent to the ridge that will take you up to Greenleaf
hut. You'll reach the first of a series of viewpoints looking towards Franconia Ridge and back down through Franconia Notch at about 1.55 miles from the trailhead. From about 1.55 to 1.85 you'll have frequent excellent view of the area as you climb along a rocky, narrow trail with lower tree cover.
You'll have one more steep climb from about 2.15 miles through to 2.5 miles. It'll be rocky and challenging but as you get higher, especially around 2.3 miles the views only improve until you can see the ridge you just hiked up, Cannon Mountain across the notch, and tons of other peaks in the area.
Finally the trail will mostly flatten out from 2.45 miles until you reach Greenleaf
hut after approximately 2.75 miles total.