Franconia Brook Trail (old railroad bed) – Pemi Wilderness, New Hampshire
Trails of the Pemigewasset Wilderness – At 45,000-acres, the Pemigewasset Wilderness (the Pemi) is one of six designated wilderness areas in the White Mountain National Forest. Wilderness areas are governed under the National Wilderness Preservation System and the Wilderness Act of 1964. And they are managed much differently than other parts of the National Forest.
Permanent improvements are not allowed, trail work is minimal, and there are strict guidelines when it comes to man-made structures in designated wilderness areas. Bridges are a convenience in wilderness areas, not mandatory. And bicycles are not allowed in these areas, and trail work can only be done with non-motorized hand tools. Preserving the natural character of a wilderness area is the objective.
Greenleaf Trail – White Mountains, New Hampshire
Greenleaf Trail, Mount Lafayette – Located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Greenleaf Trail is named for Colonel Charles Henry Greenleaf, once owner of the Profile House in Franconia Notch. And the Greenleaf Hut, along the Greenleaf Trail, is also named in his honor.
The Greenleaf Trail begins in Franconia Notch at the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway parking lot; it 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.
Crawford Path Sign – White Mountains, New Hampshire
Crawford Path, White Mountains – Crawford Path, located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, is the oldest continuously-used mountain trail in America. And for a period of time, it was used as a horse trail to Mt Washington. This eight and half mile historic path came to be in 1819 when Abel Crawford and his son, Ethan Allen, began building a trail to the summit of Mt Pierce, formerly Mt Clinton. Once north of Mt Pierce, the Crawford Path follows the famed Appalachian Trail corridor to the summit of Mt Washington.
The entire eight and a half miles of Crawford Path is a photographer's delight. Landscape photographers will love the bold mountain scenes, while macro photographers will enjoy the variety of alpine flowers along the trail. If a photographer plans accordingly, he or she can spend a full day shooting along this historic path.
Bemis Bridge – Crawford Notch, New Hampshire
Davis Path, White Mountains – Davis Path, completed in 1845 by Nathaniel Davis, son-in-law of Abel and Hannah Crawford, was the third and longest bridle path built to the summit of Mount Washington. The path was in use until about 1853-1854, and then it was neglected and became unusable. In 1910 it was reopened as a footpath. Today, the path is just over 14 miles long with most of it being within the Presidential Range – Dry River Wilderness.
The Davis Path begins in Crawford Notch, near the Notchland Inn, and crosses the Saco River by use of the 168 foot long Bemis Bridge (above). The Bemis Bridge, named after Samuel A. Bemis, is considered to be an asymmetrical cable stay bridge, and is also the start of the 165 mile long Cohos Trail.
Tuckerman Ravine – Boott Spur Trail, New Hampshire
Boott Spur Trail, White Mountains – Boott Spur Trail begins off the Tuckerman Ravine Trail and ends at Davis Path, near the summit of Boott Spur Mountain. At 5500 feet, Boott Spur is named for Francis Boott, a botanist who took part in scientific expeditions to the Presidential Range during the early 1800s. The original route of the trail was opened by the Appalachian Mountain Club in 1900.
If I had to pick my top ten favorite trails in the White Mountains, Boott Spur Trail would be on the list. Much of trail is above treeline, and the views are breathtaking! First-timers hiking this trail could suffer from view overload and will be taking many more breaks than expected to enjoy the mountain landscape.
East Branch & Lincoln Railroad – Redrock Brook, New Hampshire
An Evolving Landscape, White Mountains – It amazes me how much the landscape of the White Mountains changes over time. Many visitors to the White Mountains think of the area as being "stuck in time" because of its national forest designation. The reality is lots of change occurs naturally and by man. I thought it would be interesting to show scenes that no longer exist in the White Mountains. These scenes all disappeared over the last ten years.
Mittersill Mountain – Franconia, New Hampshire
Mittersill-Cannon Trail, Cannon Mountain – I apologize for the politics, but it will help in understanding how this trail came to be. In 2012, Senate Bill 217 was introduced to the New Hampshire legislature. The main focus of the bill was the leasing of the Cannon Mountain Ski Area. It also proposed renaming Franconia Notch State Park to Franconia Notch Veterans' Memorial State Park, the building of a veterans memorial and the development of a hiking corridor on Mittersill Mountain.