Cascade Brook Trail

Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire

Distance2.9mi
Elevation Gain1,420ft
Trailhead Elevation2,732ft
Top2,754ft
Elevation Min/Max1407/2754ft
Elevation Start/End2732/2732ft

Cascade Brook Trail

Cascade Brook Trail is a hiking trail in Lincoln, New Hampshire. It is within White Mountain National Forest and Franconia Notch State Park. It is 2.9 miles long and begins at 2,732 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 5.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,420 feet. This trail connects with the following: Pemi Trail, Basin Cascades Trail, Franconia Notch Bike Path, Lonesome Lake Trail, Fishin' Jimmy Trail, Kinsman Pond Trail and Dodge Cut-off.

Cascade Brook Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Cascade Brook Trail is spectacularly scenic, crossing over the brook, looking east toward the White Mountains, and finally arriving at the placid Lonesome Lake."

"This hike in Franconia Notch is a great family hike, as it follows Cascade Brook for nearly 1.0 mile, visiting two waterfalls and numerous cascades along the way. Excellent views can also be seen from spots where the brook cuts a wide swath through the forest.

The elevation gain is easy to tackle for enthusiastic kids who love exploring the mountains, although the footing can be rough at times due to exposed tree roots. The falls are most spectacular in the spring, but, in very high water, the crossing of the brook at Kinsman Falls can be too much for smaller children. Since both Lonesome Lake and Kinsman Pond feed Cascade Brook, it has plenty of water throughout most of the year."

"This hike in Franconia Notch is a great family hike, as it follows Cascade Brook for nearly 1.0 mile, visiting two waterfalls and numerous cascades along the way. Excellent views can also be seen from spots where the brook cuts a wide swath through the forest.

The elevation gain is easy to tackle for enthusiastic kids who love exploring the mountains, although the footing can be rough at times due to exposed tree roots. The falls are most spectacular in the spring, but, in very high water, the crossing of the brook at Kinsman Falls can be too much for smaller children. Since both Lonesome Lake and Kinsman Pond feed Cascade Brook, it has plenty of water throughout most of the year."

Cascade Brook Trail Reviews

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7/14/2018
This is a very beautiful trail with some lovely waterfalls and lake views. It's a great hike in the summer if you want to hit the swimming holes to cool off or swim in Lonesome Lake. The hut at the top has bathrooms which is especially nice after a long hike! The hike itself is tough - steep in some areas, water crossings and there's a lot of roots so wear some good hiking shoes and watch where you walk.
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7/3/2010
This is a wonderful hike along a series of cascades and waterfalls. In some sections you can hike up the rocky ledges alongside the water, and in other sections you hike up tree root filled paths alongside the river. I did this hike with my college age daughters - this used to be their favorite hike when they were little because you can stop at any point and play in the water. The second half of the hike up Cascade Trail to Lonesome Lake is less scenic, but the lake is beautiful, surrounded by mountains, and it is fun to visit the AMC hut. We like making this a loop hike, descending on the trail to the Lafayette campground and then walking the Pemi trail back to the Basin parking lot. This alternate route, however, has more highway noise. The trails in this area are crowded because they are so accessible and so beautiful, but almost everyone is clearly having fun and the people you pass are cheerful and happy.
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5/31/2009
We hiked The Roost Trail in the rain and fog so we did not see much from the ledges. It is an easy trail and does not take much time. Hastings, Maine is an abandoned lumbering town and the site of a 1930s CCC camp that built the Evans Notch Road. Very interesting history in this part of the White Mountain National Forest.
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12/27/2006
The Cascade Brook Trail in the winter is wonderful. I hiked it on a snowy day in Dec, 2006. The half frozen waterfalls were wild. It has to be one of the most beautiful trails I've been on yet. (I've been hiking the Whites for 5 years now) Plus it's easy. Just make sure you have YakTrax, 32 North Inc. Stabilicers, or something like that to put on your boots if your not wearing snow shoes. Go as far as you can on the trail. You won't be sorry. Just make sure it's snowing! :)
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12/19/2004
I snowshoed into the Roost during the winter of 1984. Neither New Hampshire nor the Forest Service maintain Route 113 in winter so I walked down the road with a score of other snowshoers and skiers. I was the only one going into the Roost, however. The trail had two feet of powder, but was level enough that shedding some layers made it a joy to travel. The trail led to a spot that offered great views of Mt Moriah (4049') to the west. Further along, I could look southeast to Caribou Mtn (2850') and a large portion of the Caribou - Speckled Mountain Wilderness. Hares had been out on their own snowshoes, so I had the opportunity to go off trail and see if I could find Alice's hole. I never heard another voice or saw a person until I returned to Rte. 116 at dusk and made my way back to the car with the rest of the exodus from Evans Notch.
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9/7/2002
The Basin is a nice introduction to the glacial cirques of the notch. The first difficulty one may encounter with this destination is parking. The Basin is clearly marked as an exit off Route 93 North, just south of Cannon Mountain and the equally popular Bridle Path trailhead. Once you nab a spot for the car, relax and enjoy. Families may enjoy a picnic lunch (tables are near the parking area) before exploring hiking or mountain bike trails which start on the opposite side of the highway, accessed by an underpass from the parking lot. Initially the trail can be a bit confusing with many side trails to interesting spots on the river (the basin, mini flume..). Enjoy the small loop around the basin before hitting the Cascade trail which will be clearly marked with blue blazes. It is an easy trail to follow and my 4 year-old had no problem as our "guide" until Kinsman falls where the footing became a bit tougher, requiring a brook crossing and a bit more parental oversight. Overall, a fairly easy trail to follow with lots of places to stop and splash. This trail also affords a nice opportunity to teach children about trail ecology, geology and respect for natural resouces. Of note, the Basin is accessible to people with disabilities - to a limited degree. The Cascade Brook trail, though generally an easy grade, may be challenging for people with visual impairment or gait disturbances who are unaccustomed to navigating tree roots.
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9/2/2002
This trail follows a stream which parallels the interstate or rather the 4-lane highway and so is not the best candidate for an aural secluded hike. The sound of vehicles cruising along is almost but not quite drowned out by the rushing waters of the stream which the trail follows. If you are looking for a leisurely hike, this is it.
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Cascade Brook Trail Photos

Trail Information

Franconia Notch State Park
Nearby City
Franconia Notch State Park
Parks
White Mountain National Forest: www.fs.usda.gov/whitemountain
Local Contacts
Appalachian Trail Conservancy NH–VT Map 3 and DeLorme NH Atlas & Gazetteer Map 43
Local Maps