Greenleaf Trail, Mount Lafayette

Rock steps along Greenleaf Trail in the White Mountains of New Hampshire USA during the summer months. A path has formed on the right hand side to avoid the stone steps.
Greenleaf Trail – White Mountains, New Hampshire
 

Greenleaf Trail, Mount Lafayette – Greenleaf Trail is located in Franconia Notch in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I am lead to believe that the Greenleaf Trail is named after Colonel Charles Henry Greenleaf, once owner of the Profile House in Franconia Notch. The Greenleaf Hut, along Greenleaf Trail, is named in his honor so there appears to be a connection.

The Greenleaf Trail travels through an interesting forest, passes by Greenleaf Hut, and eventually ends on the summit of Mount Lafayette where a summit house once stood. And though the trail is located in a busy hiking area of the White Mountains it is lightly maintained. Hikers will actually feel like they are traversing a hiking trail.

Scenic view of Cannon Mountain from Eagle Pass, along Greenleaf Trail, in Franconia Notch of the White Mountains New Hampshire.
Eagle Pass – Greenleaf Trail, New Hampshire
 

One of the interesting features along the Greenleaf Trail is Eagle Pass. The scenic view of Cannon Cliff from Eagle Pass is impressive! Once in the Pass, a photographer can scale a trailside boulder to see the above and below scenes, and yes you can setup a tripod on the boulder.

Franconia Notch State Park - Cannon Cliffs , which is on the side of Cannon Mountain, from Greenleaf Trail in the White Mountain National Forest of New Hampshire.
Eagle Pass – Greenleaf Trail, New Hampshire
 

During the months of winter, the snow covered forest above Eagle Pass is picture perfect. The drawback is that the trail is not used a lot during the winter, and some times it needs to be broken out all the way to Greenleaf Hut. Something to keep in mind if you are carrying lots of heavy camera gear.

Cannon Mountain during the winter from Greenleaf Trail near the summit of Mount Lafayette in the White Mountains, New Hampshire USA. Greenleaf Hut is in the foreground.
Greenleaf Hut – Greenleaf Trail, New Hampshire
 

If you don’t like forest scenes don’t worry, because when the Greenleaf Trail breaks out into the alpine zone it is view overload. Landscape photographers will have a field day shooting the endless mountain scenes. I do have to admit, even after all these years, I still am in awe of the beautiful landscape along this trail. For the history buffs, if you know where to look along the trail will you find some interesting history.

Pemigewasset Wilderness from Mount Lafayette during the winter months in the White Mountains, New Hampshire USA. Mount Garfield in above the cliffs and the northern end of Owls Head Mountain is on the right out of view. The foreground was logged during the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad era, which as was a logging railroad in operation from 1893 - 1948.
View from Mount Lafayette – White Mountains, New Hampshire
 

Greenleaf Trails ends on the summit of Mount Lafayette, which offers 360 degrees of spectacular views. The view into the Pemigewasset Wilderness (above) leaves most speechless. On a personal note, I have yet to find an area in the White Mountains that has more blowdowns than the area below Garfield Cliff (above, on left). It is beautiful backcountry below Mount Garfield, in the Pemi, but very rugged.

All of the above images can be licensed for publications by clicking on the image you are interested in. And you can see more images from Greenleaf Trail here.

Happy image making..


 

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Erin Paul is a professional photographer who specializes in environmental conservation and historic preservation photography in the New Hampshire White Mountains. His work is published worldwide, and credits include; Backpacker Magazine, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and The Wilderness Society.

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