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 today’s Pemigewasset Wilderness. The first trestle built serviced the Franconia Brook and Lincoln Brook Valleys. And the second trestle, built just below the first one, serviced the area surrounding the East and North Fork branches of the Pemigewasset River.
Trestle 7 is different than most trestles along the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad because part of it is still in use today. No log trains pass over it anymore, but hikers use it on a regular basis.
The abutments (above) from the second trestle 7 support the footbridge that crosses Franconia Brook. At the far end of this footbridge, hikers leave the popular Lincoln Woods Trail and enter into the backcountry of the Pemigewasset Wilderness. At 45,000 acres, the Pemigewasset Wilderness is the largest designated wilderness area in the White Mountain National Forest.
The above image 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 continued into the Franconia Brook Valley. This trestle was much longer than what the old pictures of it would lead us to believe. Not much remains of it except abutment holes on the south side of the brook and a few timbers on the north side that were possibly part of the trestle. This is the trestle shown on the cover of Bill Gove’s J.E. Henry's Logging Railroads.
We hear a lot about how negative the logging era was. And there is no denying the destruction from 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.
All of the above images can be licensed for publications by clicking on the image you are interested in. And you can view more photos of trestle 7 here.
Happy image making..