I took my daughter Ezri (11 years old) on her first backpacking trip up to Franconia a few weeks ago. She wanted to climb a couple 4000 footers and I wanted something relatively easy to access so I decided on the Liberty Springs campsite. This would let us go up Liberty and Flume unencumbered and in the back of my mind I thought that we could continue along the ridge on Day 2 towards Lafayette.

Beautiful conditions on the trail and we got to the campsite around 12:30. A couple platforms were already being used by people from the previous night but most were empty and we scored a good one. After setting up camp and resting a bit, we hiked up to Liberty. Very windy up there but luckily warm enough to not require heavy layers. The trip to Flume and back wasn't bad but we were both ready for dinner by the time we returned to Liberty.

The campsite was packed when we returned and I'm glad we got up there early. Despite being midweek it was totally full and the caretaker put a couple hammock campers next to us. Pretty windy at night even amongst the trees but we were cozy in our tent.

Ezri was game for the ridge on Day 2 so we packed up and made our way. The entirety of the ridge took longer than I anticipated (I'm used to going light, fast and solo on my NH trips so I didn't judge correctly how long it would take for the two of us). There was the threat of rain in the afternoon and I was giving the clouds beyond the Kinsmans the stink eye. She was pretty well beat by the time we reached Lafayette so we didn't linger long up there and instead made the slog down to the Greenleaf Hut. Our food stores were low at this point and was happy that I could by us a veggie burrito from the caretaker. Ezri is a picky eater but at least she got a little rice in her.

The rest of the hike down Old Bridle Path was slow and quiet but she perked up once we finally reached the bottom (happy to be done!) But the car was over by the Basin so I left her with our stuff and ran the two miles of bike path to grab the car. Twenty minutes later were we heading to our hotel with a stop for some well deserved ice cream. Very proud of how she did on this tough hike. She's now up to 15 4ks. Hopefully she will now be game for more backpacking trips up north with her Old Man.

I put together a video of our travels for those who'd like to watch. Appreciate anyone who wants to like and subscribe!