East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, Trestle 7

Foot bridge along the Lincoln Woods Trail which crosses Franconia Brook in Lincoln, New Hampshire. Hikers enter into the Pemigewasset Wilderness on the righthand side of this bridge. Old abutments from Trestle 7 of the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad (1893-1948) are used to support this foot bridge.
The First Trestle 7 – Courtesy of the Upper Pemigewasset Historical Society
 

East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, Trestle 7 – During the days of the East Branch & Lincoln (EB&L) Railroad, there were two trestles built at this crossing of Franconia Brook (above). And each trestle serviced different areas of the railroad in today’s Pemigewasset Wilderness. The first trestle 7, known as the original trestle 7, seen above, was unique because horses used the lower deck to cross the brook.

The first trestle was built in the early 1900s, probably 1902, and it serviced the Franconia Brook and Lincoln Brook Branches of the railroad. It was used until 1911. The second trestle was built, probably in 1905, just below the first one and it was abandoned in 1947. And it serviced the Upper East Branch of the railroad (the area surrounding the East and North Fork branches of the Pemigewasset River).

East Branch & Lincoln Railroad bed near Franconia Brook. This section of railroad crossed the Franconia Brook by means of an wooden trestle and continued into the Franconia Brook Valley of Franconia, New Hampshire USA. This was a logging railroad which operated from 1893 - 1948 .
East Branch & Lincoln Railroad – Site of the First Trestle 7
 

The above photo shows the location of where the first trestle 7 crossed Franconia Brook. In the foreground, the trestle rejoined the railroad bed. And from here the railroad traveled into the Franconia Brook valley. The trestle was much longer and taller than what the old pictures of it would lead us to believe.

Remnants of timber trestle No. 7 along the old East Branch & Lincoln Railroad in Lincoln, New Hampshire. This was a logging railroad in operation from 1893-1948. This trestle crossed Franconia Brook and was used to access the Franconia Brook valley of the Pemigewasset Wilderness. At a later date a new trestle was built just below this one to service the East Branch of the Pemi River drainage.
East Branch & Lincoln Railroad – Cribbing From the First Trestle 7
 

Little remains of the first trestle 7 – In the woods on the westside of the Lincoln Woods Trail, just before the trail reaches the Franconia Brook crossing, holes for the trestle footings are still visible. And a few timbers (above) on the northside riverbank were likely part of the trestle.

Foot bridge along the Lincoln Woods Trail which crosses Franconia Brook in Lincoln, New Hampshire. Hikers enter into the Pemigewasset Wilderness on the righthand side of this bridge. Old abutments from Trestle 7 of the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad (1893-1948) are used to support this foot bridge.
East Branch & Lincoln Railroad – Trestle 7
 

Trestle 7 is different than other trestles along the EB&L Railroad because part of it is still in use. No log trains pass over it anymore, but hikers use it on a regular basis. The abutments (above) from the second trestle 7, which serviced the Upper East Branch, support the footbridge that crosses Franconia Brook.

A hiker crosses over Franconia Brook on a foot bridge. At the end of this bridge hikers enter into the Pemigewasset Wilderness. Old abutments from Trestle 7 along the old the East Branch & Lincoln Logging Railroad bed are used to support this foot bridge. Located in Lincoln, New Hampshire USA. The East Branch & Lincoln Railroad operated from 1893-1948.
East Branch & Lincoln Railroad – Second Trestle 7 Abutments
 

At the far end of the bridge, hikers leave the popular Lincoln Woods Trail and enter into the backcountry of the Pemigewasset Wilderness. The 45,000 acre Pemigewasset Wilderness is the largest designated wilderness area in the White Mountain National Forest.

Franconia Brook foot bridge in Lincoln, New Hampshire. Abutments from Trestle 7 of the old the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad (1893 - 1948) are used to support this foot bridge.
East Branch & Lincoln Railroad – Second Trestle 7 Abutment
 

We read about all the negative impact from the late 19th and early 20th-century logging practices, and there is no denying the destruction done during this era. But we take for granted what the railroads left behind. And trestle 7 is a good example of this. Instead of letting the abutments from the second trestle waste away Forest Service has made good use of them. And the ending result is a unique piece of history incorporated into today’s trail system.

To license any of the color photos in this blog article for publications, click on the photo. And to learn more about the railroad see our EB&L Railroad book.

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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