Bridal Veil Falls

Trail:Bridal Veil Falls trail

Date: Saturday/Sunday May 3 & 4 2003

Attending: Shawn, Gabe, Simone and I

Miles: 2.5miles to the shelter Time: under 2 hours.

AMC huts, / shelters / camping site: Bridal Veil Falls shelter.

Weather: Sunny, 30 at night, 50 during the days.

What a nice way to spend a relaxing night in the Whites. We weren't out for a mega trek but we did want to get some down time on the trail. This trip was all about being stress free. No high peaks, no big miles, just a nice hike on a beautiful trail to a spectacular spring location. From what I've been hearing, these falls tend to be quite a bit less spectacular during summer and fall. We didn't leave Gardner until 1:00PM; We figured we'd hit the trail between 4 and 5 and have more than enough time to enjoy the falls that evening. The next day we planned on a light day and to be back at home by noon'ish. Driving on the way to the trailhead we passed a barricaded "Old Man in the Mountain" parking space with a channel 5 news truck in it. Across the street there were more news trucks from other channels. We were curious about what was going on, (We figured maybe a lost hiker, or some event) Gabe said, "I think the Old Man is down", We couldn't / didn't want to believe it. We continued to the trailhead. (The next morning we couldn't resist. We backtracked up Rt. 93 to see if the "Old Man" had indeed fallen. We were totally blown away. Gabe was right, he had fallen. We pulled into the view spot and stared in awe, there was nothing there.)

The trailhead is a bit difficult to find. From Franconia head south on Rt. 116, past the glider/airport, (on your left). The trail is off of a dirt road, Bridal Falls rd. (there is a private house farm on the corner of Rt. 116 and Bridal Falls Rd. The only legal parking for the trail is just a hundred feet down Bridal Falls Rd. on the left, (room for 6 or 7 cars), but the trail head doesn't start for another 2 tenths of a mile. Bridal Falls Rd turns 90 degrees left, and the trail continues straight. This trail is wide and well traveled. The entire hike to the falls is a steady 5-degree incline for 2.5 miles to the shelter and base of the falls. The shelter is your typical three-sided shelter but it is a bit small, 6 people would be quite cozy. The trail has a very nice campsite just over a mile from the trailhead. There is a small tent site (2 tents) just about 1 tenth of a mile before you get to the shelter and just after the shelter (50 Ft from the base of the falls) there is a site that will accommodate 4 tents.

This was one of the very rare hikes we spotted an official Trail Jerk. In this case he had landed in the small shelter before anyone else had a chance to settle in and he managed to keep all hikers from utilizing the hut space. When we reached the shelter we were greeted by the aggressive approach of a very large St. Bernard on a long heavy rope. When I asked the owner of this beast about the sleeping arrangements in the shelter, he said that we were welcome to try to spend the night in the shelter with him, his wife, and the dog. The dog lunged aggressively at anything that moved within 50 Ft. of the front of the shelter. Of all the people that came to spend the night, there were no takers. We were able to squeeze our small tents into some space in the already occupied tent site at the base of the falls. Several others hikers tented down by the bridge and still more trekked all the way back to the riverside site about a mile from the trailhead, (This is a very nice site).

Other than the Trail Jerk incident, we did manage to have a great time unwinding next to the falls. We lounged about on our sleeping pads trying to fend off the cold until we decided we just needed to turn in and warm up in the sleeping bags. The next morning after a bit of rock scrambling to get some better views of the falls we packed up camp and headed out.

This trail would make a very do-able cross-country skiing trail from the trailhead to the falls.