Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Bridal Veil Falls

During the winter months hiking changes a bit for me.  The longer, difficult climbs to the great lookouts or mountaintops take a backseat to more moderate inclines and woodsy walks that might not be so bearable in summer months (i.e. mosquitoes, yuck).  Bridal Veil Falls is one of those hikes.  The falls are on the northern end of the Cannon Mt./Kinsman Ridge range just to the west of the Appalachian Trail.

Starting in a small parking area at the beginning of Coppermine Rd. in Franconia, NH (1 mile south of the Franconia Airport on Rt. 116), the trail follows a private road via hiking signs until it veers into
the woods after about a quarter mile walk (no hiker vehicles allowed beyond parking area).  The hike is an easy grade, following an old logging road through the woods behind a new home development, before moving deeper into the old growth forest and then paralleling the Coppermine Brook as you get closer to the falls.  Here the easy grade becomes a bit more difficult, but never too steep.  The landscape change is noticeable with steep walls building up on both sides of the brook, starting perhaps a half mile from the destination.  Since my hike was done in the winter months, micro-spikes were very necessary on the well used trail especially as the ice begins to show up as you approach the brook and at the actual falls.

After crossing a wooden footbridge 0.2m below the falls, the path becomes more rugged and rocky as
you make your way past a small lean-to at the base of the falls area.  A hearty young gentleman was staying the night there even though the temperatures were going to be in the single digits that night.  Why?  I'm not sure.

My first impression of the horseshoe shaped ravine was that of amazement and awe.  The ice flowed over the edges on all sides of the ravine and hung in some spots at 30-40 feet displaying many colors and shapes.  At this point, I'll let my photo's do the talking and see if they encourage all to get out to this wonderful spot in the cheap seats.  Enjoy!

Written by Brian Markee

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