NW Section Of Lincoln Woods Trail

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DayTrip

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I'm looking at doing a weird loop hike of sorts in the near future and one of the trails I'll be taking is the Lincoln Brook Trail. I've done the section to Owl's Head a few times (but it has been quite awhile) and I have never done the stretch from Owl's Head to 13 Falls Campsite. As I recall, the WMG describes that section as wet and potentially difficult to follow in many sections. I don't imagine that is a popular area so I had few questions:

1) Is it indeed difficult to follow? Curious if this has changed over the years with the increase in hiker traffic. I'm reasonably good with following faint trails but I may be in this area at dusk/night/dawn, which usually makes light treads tricky.
2) If I also recall, trail reports typically make this area sound pretty wet and muddy. Anyone been in there this year? Curious about this section, and the trail in general, with the wet Summer season we've had.
3) Are any of the river crossings near 13 Falls on par with the 2 "big" crossings on the Southern end of this loop? The WMG doesn't describe it as such so I assume they are normal.

If anyone has info on that area, especially if it is from this year, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 
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My friend maintains the Franconia Brook trail and even he doestnt get out to the upper section that often;). That said I did it with him and a hard core hiker filling in her last WMG trails and did an odd hike up and over Garfield, down the upper FBT and then back up Twin Brook trail to Galehead and out to a car we spotted at Gale River parking lot. The upper section of the FBT was wet and on occasion muddy, it basically follows a drainage down from a col on the ridge and it jumps back and forth across the brook. Eventually it breaks away from the brook onto the trace of an old JE Henry logging road. Twin Brook trail on the other hand was a highway running on dugways almost all the way to the top where it goes cross country.

As for the crossings at 13 falls I do not remember them being bad but it was dry summer, usually the Hellgate and the Red Brook crossing seem to be the most difficult crossing.
 
My friend maintains the Franconia Brook trail and even he doestnt get out to the upper section that often;). That said I did it with him and a hard core hiker filling in her last WMG trails and did an odd hike up and over Garfield, down the upper FBT and then back up Twin Brook trail to Galehead and out to a car we spotted at Gale River parking lot. The upper section of the FBT was wet and on occasion muddy, it basically follows a drainage down from a col on the ridge and it jumps back and forth across the brook. Eventually it breaks away from the brook onto the trace of an old JE Henry logging road. Twin Brook trail on the other hand was a highway running on dugways almost all the way to the top where it goes cross country.

As for the crossings at 13 falls I do not remember them being bad but it was dry summer, usually the Hellgate and the Red Brook crossing seem to be the most difficult crossing.
I am actually asking about the Lincoln Brook Trail, the one circling around Owl's Head to the West. I messed up calling it the Lincoln Woods Trail. I edited my original post. I will also be doing Twin Brook Trail but I wasn't worried about the trails up to the ridge. It was the loop around Owl's Head on the SW, W and NW I had questions about.

I did a weird ascent of Garfield one very hot Summer day via the Franconia Brook Trail from Lincoln Woods Lot. One of the longest, most boring out and backs I've ever done but one of the few times I did Garfield and it was crystal clear on top. That summit doesn't like me much....
 
1 and 2) It's been a few years for me, but yeah: there's a section around 3200' after the trail makes its highest crossing of lincoln brook, where the trail has to cross the valley from the west (Franconia ridge) side to the east (owl's head) side. If you look at a topo map the area is rather flat and the trail, after going north along a slight sidehill for a while, crosses the brook and turns east to touch the northwestern foot of Owl's head. (Then there's a short turn north again before dropping east into the valley of Franconia Branch.) It's that flat area after crossing the brook that tends to be muddy, there are some odd little turns that are too small to show on the map, and there's no terrain feature to guide you as to where the trail naturally "wants" to go. This is the only area that's difficult to follow, and it's less than half a mile. Everything else is either on an old railroad or following a stream or on nice dry slopes with obvious logic as to where you want to go next.
(Offer not valid if the old railroad grade falls into the river, but that's more of a below-the-owl's-head-spur-trail kind of problem.)

3) No, nothing like the crossings that the Black Pond Bushwhack was invented to avoid. Just look how much smaller the watershed is at that point.
 
We did it last November with some snow on the ground and there were several wet sections. I did it one other time in warmer months by myself - it wasn't too difficulty to follow but I recall having to pay attention at a few spots. Definitely a few muddy, wet sections to contend with. A few stream crossings but only one larger water crossing if I recall.
 
I looped around Owl's head a couple of years ago, and was curious about those "difficult to follow" comments, because it seemed straightforward and obvious to me.
 
I just did this section from Owl's head slide to 13 falls via Lincoln Brook Trail on 20 SEP 2023 if you're still looking for information. If I remember right there were three brook crossings. They were fairly small and were crossed easily. I didn't find the trail difficult to follow at all and if it helps a lot of I did at dusk/dark with a headlamp, including two of the brook crossings.
 
I just did this section from Owl's head slide to 13 falls via Lincoln Brook Trail on 20 SEP 2023 if you're still looking for information. If I remember right there were three brook crossings. They were fairly small and were crossed easily. I didn't find the trail difficult to follow at all and if it helps a lot of I did at dusk/dark with a headlamp, including two of the brook crossings.
Thanks for that update.
 
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