Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Little Haystack Mountain, Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Truman, Mt. Lafayette, NH
Trails: Bike Path, Falling Waters Trail, Franconia Ridge Trail, Greenleaf Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, October 25, 2014
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: I was surprised when I got to the Old Bridle Path lot to see that the left side was barely half-full at 9:30AM. It looked like the Southbound side overflowed along the entrance road a little bit but I've seen it way worse. No issues at the Tramway lot where the Greenleaf Trail starts. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Ice - Black, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Leaves - Significant/Slippery 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: The water wasn't terribly high on the crossings on Falling Waters Trail, but the rocks were all very wet and slippery so some care was needed. Nothing crazy though. The crossings on the lower Greenleaf Trail are pretty minor and weren't an issue. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: All trails are sufficiently marked and easy enough to follow. No blowdowns or other obstructions. There are the same couple of places on the ridge where people cut off of the actual trail, these spots could use some good blocking off and then they might be able to recover. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Saw a number of them, most all were very well-behaved, just the one that was trampling all over the vegetation and later the owner was yelling at it to come back as it ran 1/4-mile ahead... 
Bugs: Nope. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: It was too nice a day to pass up a hike, and I wanted to visit Franconia Ridge. For something slightly different, I parked at the tramway lot and walked the ~2.5 miles down the bike path to the Old Bridle Path and headed up the Falling Waters Trail, and descended the full route of the Greenleaf Trail to my car. I hadn't been on the Falling Waters Trail in several years, and did not remember there being the additional stream crossings above Cloudland Falls... still, the ascent was far less relentless than it was for me the last time, and was very enjoyable. Most of the trail was damp and/or covered in wet leaves so watching the footing was critical.

Once leaving treeline, it got cold quickly, as there was a strong and gusty Westerly wind all day, gusts were probably in the upper 30s mph at times, and maybe even a bit stronger at times. Enough to be obnoxious, but not enough to dissuade a lot of folks from crossing the ridge on this bluebird day. Views were terrific until around 1:30 or so when the clouds started filling in from the West, but even then the summits were in the clear.

Busy on the ridge, with the usual mix of completely unprepared (seriously, I don't understand the fascination with hiking in jeans?!?! It seems very uncomfortable...) to the over-prepared. Some patches of black ice dotted the descent off of Lafayette's summit cone towards the hut, but it sounded like it was a lot worse in the morning before the sun got on it all. I never even considered putting on the microspikes, but it is that time of the year now where they are permanent residents on the pack. Descent from the hut on the Greenleaf Trail was tedious, but shortly above Eagle Pass I caught up to a nice gentleman from RI and we chatted for the rest of the descent. Simply a terrific day to be out and about.  
Name: madmattd 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2014-10-27 
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