I opted for a longer ridge traverse that included two other mountains versus the traditional Franconia Ridge Traverse.
On Wednesday my plan was to park in the hiker parking lot just north of the Flume Visitor Parking. I would hike to Liberty then to Flume, back to Liberty and follow the Franconia Ridge trail to Lincoln and then Lafayette. I would go down Old Bridle Path and run the Pemi Trail paved bike trail back to my car.
I love it when a plan comes together. I did exactly what I planned – 7 hours 40 minutes and 16.4 miles.
The trails were in perfect condition. Going up Liberty Springs was tough, alright all the trails on this day were tough. It was nice to meet two southbound AT hikers from Mississippi who stayed at the Liberty Springs tent site. They were excited to finish the White Mountain section of their thru hike knowing the Kinsmans were going to be tough.
I got to Liberty and then over to Flume. There was very little wind and clouds but perfect views of the notch and mountains in all directions. As I headed back over Liberty a large group of kids were whooping and high fiving at the top. They were pretty thrilled to make the summit.
I love ridge running and it was nice to run a bit once I was on my way to Lincoln. A little mud was left behind on the trail from the rains but manageable. I forgot how tough it was to hike to Lincoln but being above treeline makes it all better.
Lafayette was amazing, as always, and still very little breeze, and warm. I wore a tshirt and running shorts the entire time.
I filled up my water bottles at Greenleaf Hut and started down. There were much more spots to run and I made good time back to Lafayette Place where I picked up the Pemi Trail. A few miles to run on the paved path back to the hiker parking at Flume Visitor Center.
Since it was mid-week I didn’t see a ton of people at the parking lots or on the trails. It was a good day to bag these peaks for the August grid.