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Thread: Old Bridle Path parking lot on a weekend in August?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Yury's Avatar
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    Old Bridle Path parking lot on a weekend in August?

    According to https://urbanoutdoors.com/hiking-fra...new-hampshire/:
    There’s a designated parking lot for the trail – the Old Bridle Path parking lot – that fills up quickly on weekends. If that lot is full when you arrive, there is additional overflow parking further north on Highway 93 that requires an extra 2 mile hike each way.

    What does it mean "fills up quickly"?
    How early should I arrive on Saturday in August to make sure I can park there?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yury View Post
    According to https://urbanoutdoors.com/hiking-fra...new-hampshire/:
    There’s a designated parking lot for the trail – the Old Bridle Path parking lot – that fills up quickly on weekends. If that lot is full when you arrive, there is additional overflow parking further north on Highway 93 that requires an extra 2 mile hike each way.

    What does it mean "fills up quickly"?
    How early should I arrive on Saturday in August to make sure I can park there?
    I'd get there at 12:01 AM SAT morning and you'll have a shot... . Seriously, it fills extremely fast. I'd think on a SAT it could be full as early as 5-6AM, especially if the weather forecast is good.

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    Junior Member Yury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    I'd get there at 12:01 AM SAT morning and you'll have a shot...
    OMG!
    And what about week days?
    When should I come to guarantee that I can park there?
    Last edited by Yury; 08-04-2022 at 08:21 PM.

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    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yury View Post
    When should I come to guarantee that I can park there?
    There's no way to guarantee that there will be spots open. Know your alternatives (Cannon ski area, Skookumchuck, the Flume) and alternative routes to the peaks you want to hike.
    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

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    Generally arriving before sunrise will get you a spot. Due to the orientation of the notch the sun takes a while to work into the woods so it will be quite dark. Many folks do sunrise or sunset hikes to work around the parking issues.

    BTW unless things have changed the tram lot was posted no hiker parking, hikers are supposed to park at a dirt lot at the back of the main lot to the left. Technically and from a safety standpoint walking along the parkway is bad idea, far better to walk the bike path. Alternatively bring a few bikes, park at the Basin or Tram lots and ride down to Lafayette Place.

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Unless you don't mind hiking with 1000 people, go on a weekday. I am not joking, that's the kind of head counts they are getting on a weekend in the summer. You would have to really be desperate to hike that, to want to hike with that many people.

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    Honestly, Franconia Ridge from that trailhead is not the best option for summer weekends due to the aforementioned crowds and parking issues. Weekdays are somewhat better and winter is best. Unless you like hiking in a mob scene, it's really not enjoyable on summer weekends.

    That said, Greenleaf Trail and Skookumchuck Trails are lesser-used routes to the ridge.

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    Junior Member Yury's Avatar
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    What is "Tram lot"?

    Is it this one?
    https://www.cannonmt.com/things-to-do/attractions/tram

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    Yes it is, Its very obviously signed.

    If you are going on weekend why not just take the shuttle? https://www.nhstateparks.org/activit...0%93%208%20p.m.)
    Scroll down a bit

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    You can guarantee a spot midweek if you camp at Lafayette Place. Seeing no availability on weekends, but some openings mid-week.
    https://www.nhstateparks.org/visit/s...tch-state-park

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yury View Post
    According to https://urbanoutdoors.com/hiking-fra...new-hampshire/:
    There’s a designated parking lot for the trail – the Old Bridle Path parking lot – that fills up quickly on weekends. If that lot is full when you arrive, there is additional overflow parking further north on Highway 93 that requires an extra 2 mile hike each way.
    Note that the Greenleaf Trail leaves from the Tram parking lot and intersects the Old Bridle Path at Greenleaf Hut. Using that option instead of the Old Bridle Path eliminates one of the two-mile hikes between the two trailheads.

    https://www.alltrails.com/explore/re...-trail-f63f65b
    Last edited by jfb; 08-05-2022 at 08:15 AM.

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    Junior Member Yury's Avatar
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    My fear was not warranted.
    On Monday August 22nd, 2022 at 6:15 AM this parking lot was about 5% full.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    So did you have an enjoyable hike ahead of the crowds?

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    Junior Member Yury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    So did you have an enjoyable hike ahead of the crowds?
    I liked hiking Mt. Lafayette.
    At the same time I would not characterize my experience as solitude and tranquility.

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    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    You likely wouldn't want to be there in weather conditions that might bring solitude. Since it does get a fair (whatever that means) amount of full moon hiking even good weather nights, even that might not bring solitude.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

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