|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Flume, Mt. Liberty, Little Haystack Mountain, Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Truman, Mt. Lafayette, Mt. Garfield, NH|
||Lincoln Woods Trail, Osseo Trail, Franconia Ridge Trail, Garfield Ridge Trail, Franconia Brook Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Monday, May 15, 2023|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Parked at Lincoln Woods trailhead lot of NH 112. This large lot is paved, plowed after winter storms. Fee lot ($5 or a WMNF pass). Bathrooms finally in working order. Kiosk and Ranger Station (though manned on weekends). |
||Dry Trail, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Unstable), Snow - Spring Snow, Snow/Ice - Postholes |
||Light Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||The crossings of Twin Brook, Redrock Brook, and Helgate Brook on the Lincoln Brook trail (new game: how many brooks can be on a trail named after a brook?!) will take a bit longer than usual. I was able to find a dry route over all three, but I had to search up and down the brooks for the best spot. If you don’t mind getting feet wet, just ford the shin deep waters. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Garfield Ridge and Lincoln Brook have many new blow downs. Thank you, Mother Nature, for trying to “compost in place!” You’ll have to crawl under, over, through or find a route around these guys. |
||I assume dogs would be fine, for the most part. If they can deal with postholing then they will be fine. Alpine areas ask that dogs be leashed. No reliable water sources from Liberty Springs tentsite to Garfield Pond, though this trek found lots of running water on trail, off trail, beside the trail… |
||Dow low the black fly has emerged… Moving fast kept them away. |
|Lost and Found:
Lincoln Woods > Osseo > Franconia Ridge > Garfield Ridge > Franconia Brook > Lincoln Woods > end.
Two day, one night trip over my “Semi Pemi.”
Lincoln Woods: flat, fast, popular route. Leash dogs. Little mud.
Osseo: blazed in yellow. No snow until just before the summit, just past the Flume Slide jct. But snow levels are low and very intermittent. No additional footwear needed.
Franconia Ridge Trail: blazed in blue to the Liberty Spring Trail jct where it morphs into the Appalachian Trail (AT) and is blazed from that point in white with supplemental carins on ledges. Ok, so here goes…
Flume summit is snow free. Once over the summit, a nice and rapidly disintegrating monorail is present. I used spikes over to Liberty summit. Was able to stay atop the 12 inch wide rail. Barely.
The 0.3 after Liberty’s summit required spikes to stay atop of whatever kind of snow you call that. I hiked the 0.3 down to the actual Liberty Spring to obtain delicious, but durn cold, water from the open spring. Of note, the bear boxes and eating area at Liberty Springs tentsite are snow free. No additional footwear needed to get down to the spring.
Liberty Spring jct to Little Haystack Mtn: you choose the trail condition, it will appear. There is intermittent snow through here. It is sometimes deep, sometimes a trivial depth. Then the snow goes missing for large stretches. Blow downs present. I donned no additional footwear, the sections were just too short and they were completely negotiable in regular hiking footwear. The ledges up Little Haystack are free from snow. There is some annoying deep snow just before the summit, but I just tromped through that nonsense as I had bigger problems to worry about (the wind…).
Little Haystack to Lafayette summit: bare rock, thank goodness, as I was being blown around by the wind. The downfall of carrying a full pack in wind? There’s a convenient sail on your back to help catch wind and knock you down!
Lafayette to Garfield: dude. I want a do over. This was a spring suck fest, for sure. Ok. So I’m assuming this segment of Garfield Ridge sees little, if any, snowshoe use. Thus no monorail present. Luckily people have been postholing! I just walked in their holes (bare boots, spikes can be used), though some were hip deep. Could you use snowshoes? Maybe. But I’d fear for the integrity of one’s ankle bones. Snow was deepest coming off Lafayette ledges, continuing unfettered until about 3300 feet. Then the trail clears nicely. Just in time for mud and running water on trail all the way to Garfield Pond! Oh, yay! Past the pond, all the ledge scrambles were completely clear of snow. But I seriously postholed in the sections of snow between the ledges and just shy of the summit cone. The summit was snow free.
Garfield summit to tentsite: snow. And snow. Did I mention snow? I was able to bareboot as plenty of strategically placed semi-postholes permitted me to descend, slowly, without sliding. Traction would be appropriate here, though. One small icy section, negotiable with thought. At the tentsite the spring is flowing nicely. I had planned on camping here but the wind proved absolutely impossible.
Tentsite to Franconia Brook jct: the chimney/rock scramble after the Tentsite that I dub “The Garfield Waterfall/The Garfield Breakfast Boulder Scramble” is a full on waterfall this afternoon. No snow, no ice. I’ll take wet feet over all that jazz, thank you. Was able to get down the obstacle without issue. Snow eventually dissipates after this making running water on trail. Rock scrambles snow free. I just barebooted this whole section. Everything was negotiable using protruding rocks.
Franconia Brook Trail: blessed be! Snow is gone on this trail! Fantastic egress to 13 Falls Campsite to escape the wind. There is running water and mud, but nothing more than normal. See water crossing notes above. This trail is not blazed, simple to follow. Tentsite has two new bear boxes, 6 new bear canisters, a composting privy, and one tent platform that I could find. Lots of alternate sites present. But I was pretty bushed and didn’t explore much. In season it is a fee site and a Caretaker is in residence. New lumber sits at the site, anxiously awaiting… dunno. Something good, though! I was the only one at the site. Falls are glorious right now!
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.