View Full Version : Franconia Falls

09-15-2010, 08:26 AM
I am looking at a hike which would take us by Franconia Falls, I have an older
White Mountain Guide (Addition 26). It mentions that as of 1998 a permit is required. Does anyone have current information regarding this...Questions being is this still the case and is there a requirement for advanced notice and a cost. Thank you

09-16-2010, 10:19 AM
I have made phone calls to the Visitors center at Lincoln Woods and the Northwoodstock location, but have not reached anyone in person. I did read a trip report from hikenewengland.com that references the permits. The author states that after 2009 the free permits that they required were no longer required. So just an unofficial response thus far. Think I will ask when I arrive and if no one is around I will take a dip if its hot. There must be limitted coverage at the visitors centers as I have made several attempts to call without reaching anyone at either location...

09-16-2010, 02:42 PM
They kind of laughed when I asked last year....no permit is required now...I have been through there 3 times since then. I think that may have been my trip report you saw.

09-16-2010, 02:58 PM
Thank you Mahony, I figured someone here would have first hand info on this, maybe that was your report.... Sounds like a dunk in the falls is imminent for me

09-17-2010, 06:35 AM
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the falls.....I will swim just about anywhere and I'll at least get in the water to rinse off as long as the temperature is above freezing. Franconia Falls just never struck me as a good place to swim. In rain or in the spring the current seems pretty dangerous and the walls of the "gorge" at the falls are pretty steep. I don't have a picture of the Falls (I'm not sure why I don't), but the Falls has a large pool that then contracts through a boulder contraction. This setup seems OK, but the chance to get pinned against the boulders seems high. I've never tried to swim in the Falls, so maybe my impression is wrong ...I just don't remember it being particularly swimmer friendly. Now that I recall my wanderings, all of my trips have been in the spring or during or shortly after heavy rains. On the other hand many of the falls just before the big falls seemed much more swimmer friendly.

Like these:



I'd love to hear how your trip turns out and if the main Falls is swimmable and jumpable (if you are into that sort of thing).

09-17-2010, 08:11 AM
Thanks for your input. It has been a while since I have been in there. My recollection of my trip is that the flow was not dangerous and I did go in. I remember the pool you are referring to and a smooth shoot that leads up to it...I will be revisiting the safety issue as I contemplate my swim, of course the water temperature is always a concern. I will post info on it if the plan comes together.

09-28-2010, 10:39 AM
Mahony, As a follow up to your request for more info about the falls, we changed our trip due to group consensus so I am yet to go there. We ended up hiking Garfield instead. It was a busy Sat/Sat night over at the Garfield campsite, on the top of Garfield, and on the Garfield Ridge trail between Lafayette and Garfield. Beautiful hike weekend, no one in our group of 4 had more than a camera phone so a trip report would be sans photos. I do plan to get to the falls at some point.

KD Talbot
09-29-2010, 03:22 PM
The permit is during the swimming season which I think effectively ended with the unofficial ending of summer on Labor Day. During the hot weather the falls can easily get overwhelmed with swimmers, so they try to limit the #. The pictures Mahony shows are right where I have gone swimming and the flume-like chute sends you out about 5' over a deep pool, a neat ride, but be prepared to lose your breath when you submerge. The water is about 33 degrees! 8 ) About 100 yds above that chute there is a deep pool with 25' rock cliffs surrounding it where a deep plunge can be made. Excellent swimming in this area, but ice cold!