View Full Version : Franconia Brook Trail

05-23-2004, 02:39 PM
Can anybody tell me what the water crossings to 13 falls is like on the franconia brook trail?

05-23-2004, 02:49 PM
Are you asking in general, or specifically the current conditions? I'm certainly curious as to what the crossings are like in general (wide/narrow, deep/shallow, stepping stones or sloshing).

05-23-2004, 03:12 PM
both in general and now I will have a newbie with me next weekend.

John S
05-23-2004, 05:44 PM
I met a couple last Thursday just below Garfield who had had come up to the ridge on the Franconia Brook Trail. They said the water was high and the crossings were difficult. Keep in mind, however, that it rained very hard on Tuesday night, hard enough to awaken me more than once from a warm bunk at Galehead. With a bit of luck, someone will offer more current info later next week.

The crossings I recall as capable presenting problems are Hellgate and Redrock Brooks. They are about 20í-30í across and, whether deep or shallow or stepping stone vs. sloshing depends on the flow at the time. I made two trips to 13 Falls last year in mid May and late June. On one occasion, I easily crossed where the trail met the brooks, mostly stepping, partly sloshing. On the other, higher waters made me search for something a bit upstream that suited me better. Excepting extreme conditions, I would be surprised if dry-boot options were not available either upstream or down. There is much room in either direction before the diversion becomes a bushwhack. On both occasions, Twin Brook was an inconsequential step-over.

The only crossing that bothered me was early on between the start of the trail and Hellgate Brook. Itís either one of what the AMC Guide calls a Camp 9 Brook crossing or an unmentioned outlet to a beaver pond. Wherever it is, the crossing was on fat log bridge just above the surface, with a higher-set, smaller log for a handhold. Sounds easy until you have to maneuver around a stump in the middle, something I found challenging with a full pack.

If the destination is 13 Falls, don't fret the crossings unless next week is a washout. It's worth a wet foot and, at this time of year, maybe even a swim.

05-23-2004, 07:05 PM
I went thru this area on the Franconia Brook Trail 4 weeks ago, during the spring melt, and I was able to get across all 3 crossings with not much of a problem (and they had ice covered rocks). Water crossings in the Pemi right now are about their average for this time of year, so I would not worry too much. These are shallow brooks, but if the water is too high to rock hop (which is quite unlikely), just take off your boots and wade thru. Feels good! Have fun!