Persistence pays…

I decided that yesterday was going to be waterfall day.  That decision meant that the most logical place to go would be the Falling Waters trail in Franconia Notch State Park.  (Actually, there are several good options here for a waterfall day, but the trail is close and I wanted to check it out!)  I hit the trail just before sunrise, and started hiking…me and hundreds of my closest hiking friends.  The traffic on the trail was amazing – literally a constant stream (pun) of people headed up the trail.  Most of them were hiking to the summit of Mt Lincoln and/or Mt Lafayette I suspect.  It was easily the busiest trail I’ve ever seen.  Anyway, I took a few shots early in the trail, and then found the first waterfall.  It was nice, and I spent a bit of time there…..

Stairs Falls

A small waterfall guide I found noted there are 3 waterfalls along the first part of the trail, each getting successively bigger.  Almost immediately after this waterfall, the second waterfall appeared.  It’s an interesting falls in that it’s a little hard to get a good angle on it based on the way it tumbles down the cliff, but I did my best!

Swiftwater Falls

Proceeding up the trail, I was looking for the third waterfall.  The mini-guide I have notes that one of the falls is a cascade, and in about 5 more minutes I came to what seemed to fit that bill – a long cascade that was pretty high overall.  I figured I had found the third falls, which wasn’t quite what I was expecting but it was also fun so I spent a fair amount of time there as well.  Here is a portion of the top of the cascade…..which continues a good 40-50 feet past this portion.

Dry Brook Cascade

(And yes, for you eagle eyes out there this stream is called Dry Brook – which yesterday was an amusing name given the amount of water flowing.)  At this point I figured I had found my 3 waterfalls, and was debating whether or not to head back down, or keep climbing … it’s a fairly steep trail.  Since the light was still good, I figured I’d go a little further and see what I could find.  AFter no more than another minute or two of hiking I stepped off the trail to check out a section of the stream.  Looking upstream, I saw (and heard) what sounded like another waterfall…!  So I kept hiking to see what it was….and found this.

Cloudland Falls

This waterfall is every bit as dramatic and impressive as you might imagine in looking at the photo…maybe more so. (I think the mini-guide must not be counting the long cascade that I thought was the third falls as a true waterfall…)  This is easily one of the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve ever seen.  I just shook my head as I started photographing the falls, thinking that I almost turned around and headed back to the parking lot before I got to this falls.  Thankfully I kept searching and exploring…it would have been really disappointing if I had stopped hiking less than 10 minutes from this gorgeous location.  Persistence pays…..

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