NH §5: Franconia Notch (US-3) to Kinsman Notch (NH-112)

New Hampshire §5 spans 16.3 miles. Parking is available for eight mileposts.

Mp 0.0/16.3: via Recreational Trail from I-93 N at Basin

Locate: {44.11911, -71.68209}

Orient: Trailhead parking at the Basin is available from both the northbound and southbound sides of I-93 between exits 34A and 34B. Two catty-corner lots are connected by the paved Recreational Trail (Franconia Notch Bike Path) passing underneath the highway. These coordinates locate the east lot adjacent to the northbound roadway. From I-93 N, take the Basin exit and bear right into lot.

Park: Large lot.

Connect: Follow Recreational Trail south about 0.7 mi to AT. For AT northbound aka Liberty Springs Trail, go left before bridge over the Pemigewasset River. For AT southbound aka Cascade-Brook Trail, go right after bridge and continue through underpass.

Mp 0.0/16.3: via Recreational Trail from I-93 S at Basin

Locate: {44.12483, -71.68196}

Orient: Trailhead parking at the Basin is available from both the northbound and southbound sides of I-93 between exits 34A and 34B. Two catty-corner lots are connected by the paved Recreational Trail (Franconia Notch Bike Path) passing underneath the highway. These coordinates locate the west lot adjacent to the southbound roadway. From I-93 S, take the Basin exit and bear right into lot.

Park: Large lot.

Connect: Follow Recreational Trail for 0.3 mi southeast through pedestrian underpass to the east Basin lot, serving I-93 N. Continue for 0.7 mi to AT, as above from east lot.

Mp 0.0/16.3: via Whitehouse Trail from US-3 [Daniel Webster Hwy]

Locate: {44.09983, -71.68244}

Orient: The lot is on the east side of US-3, about 0.2 mi north of the Flume lot (offering additional parking and connecting by Recreational Trail). From I-93 N, take exit 34A for US-3 and continue north for 0.8 mi to right into lot; after passing Flume area. From I-93 S, take exit 34A for US-3 and continue south for 0.8 mi to left into lot; before reaching Flume area. Exit 34A from either direction is signed for US-3, "The Flume Gorge", and "Park Information Center". The lot looks to be signed as "Trailhead Parking".

Park: Large lot.

Connect: Follow Whitehouse Trail north for 0.8 miles to the AT at Pemigewasset River, or follow parallel Recreational Trail (Franconia Notch Bike Path) instead. For AT northbound aka Liberty Springs Trail, go right after crossing bridge over river. For AT southbound aka Cascade-Brook Trail, go left before bridge and continue through underpass.

Mp 1.5/14.8: via Basin-Cascade Trail from NW Basin lot

Locate: {44.12462, -71.68201}

Park: Park in Basin lot NW. Alternatively, park in Basin lot SE and walk along Recreational Trail through pedestrian underpass to NW lot. See Mp 0.0/16.3 for Basin parking.

Connect: From the NW Basin lot, follow the Recreational Trail 0.2 mi to the Basin for the Basin-Cascade Trail. Follow the Basin-Cascade Trail 1 mi to the AT (Cascade-Brook Trail).

Mp 2.9/13.4: via Lonesome Lake Trail from Lafayette Place Campground West

Locate: {44.14231, -71.68318}

Orient: From I-93 S, take the exit signed for Lafayette Place Campground and Trailhead Parking; ramp leads directly into lot.

Park: Medium lot. Looks like overflow parking is permitted roadside south of campground ramps, along west shoulder.

Connect: Follow signs to Lonesome Lake Trail through campground. Follow Lonesome Lake Trail for 1.4 mi to Around-Lonesome Lake Trail, then follow Around-Lonesome Lake Trail for 0.3 miles to AT.

Mp 2.8/13.5: via Lonesome Lake Trail from Lafayette Place Campground East

Locate: {44.14228, -71.68174}

Orient: From I-93 N, take exit signed for Trail Head Parking, Bridal Path, and Falling Waters; ramp leads directly into lot.

Park: Large lot. Looks like overflow parking is permitted roadside both north and south of lot's ramps, along east shoulder.

Connect: Follow pedestrian underpass to Lafayette Place Campground on west side of highway. Then follow Lonesome Lake Trail 1.7 mi to AT; see above.

Mp 5.0/11.3: via Mt Kinsman Trail from NH-116 [Easton Road]

Locate: {44.16569, -71.76621}

Orient: The trailhead is 6.5 mi northeast of NH-112 [Lost River Road] and 4.6 mi south of NH-18 [Main Street in Franconia].

Park: Small lot behind trees, apparently announced with a small sign. Look for gravel driveway on east side of road, just south of Tamarack Tennis Camps' courts straddling road.

Connect: Follow Mt Kinsmen Trail for 3.7 mi to AT.

Mp 9.8/6.5: via Reel Brook Trail from Reel Brook Road

Locate: {44.12394, -71.78525}

Orient: Gravel Reel Brook Road branches south from NH-116 [Easton Road] 3.7 mi northeast of NH-112 [Lost River Road] and 7.7 mi south of NH-18 [Main Street in Franconia]. Look for hiker sign or possibly sign for unmaintained road. Follow Reel Brook Road 0.6 mi to second hiker sign. Turn left over rocky roadway into parking area. Apparently, the first 0.4--0.6 mi stretch of Reel Brook Road is passable for low-clearance cars; the remaining portion may be unsuitable for low-clearance cars, particularly the last 50 feet or so into the parking area.

Park: Small grass clearing about 0.6 mi from NH-116 [Easton Road], may be inaccessible for low-clearance car. Limited roadside parking for low-clearance car may be possible along shoulder about 0.4 mi from NH-116 instead.

Connect: Find unsigned trailhead on east side of clearing. Follow Real Brook Trail for 2.9 mi to AT, often along old roadways. May be unblazed. May require several stream crossings.

Mp 15.7/0.6: via Dilly Cliff Trail from NH-112 [Lost River Road]

Locate: {44.03722, -71.78516}

Orient: Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves is on NH-112 5.3 mi southeast of NH-116 [Easton Road] and 3.1 mi northwest of NH-118 [Sawyer Highway].

Park: Ample, paved lot for Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves. Lot and trail are open only during attraction's operating season (May to October) and business hours (9 AM to 4 PM, 5 PM, or 6 PM varying over season). No admission charge for Dilly Cliff Trail.

Connect: Follow Dilly Cliff Trail about 0.5 mi to AT. The Lost River website describes the trail as "the definition of hand-over-foot hiking" as the narrow ledge steeply traverses 700 feet between lot and cliff.

Mp 16.3/0.0: NH-112 [Lost River Road] at Kinsman Notch

Locate: {44.03997, -71.79203}

Orient: The trail crosses NH-112 4.9 mi southeast of NH-116 [Easton Road] and 3.5 mi northwest of NH-118 [Sawyer Highway].

Park: Large lot (White Mountains National Forest) at road crossing, on west side of NH-112; signed for Beaver Brook Trail. This is the WMNF lot south of Beaver Pond. Self-service parking permit required; $3 in 2015. Paved; pit toilets.