"This up-and-back hike, in the shadows of the Franconia Range, features a series of spectacular waterfalls and frothy cascades. The frozen Falls, reaching 60 to 80 feet, are a sight to see against the surrounding granite backdrop and snowy ridges. Take this trail, even in the coldest of winters, and you’ll walk to the sound of gurgling water moving beneath sheets of ice and snow. It’s one of our favorites in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. The entire trail stretches 3.2 miles (one way) to the top of Franconia Ridge.
However, we don’t recommend that you go much further than Shining Rock, an impressive granite ledge. Most folks, in fact, end their hike at the last of the three major waterfalls, cutting the trip to less than 3 miles round trip and avoiding the steepest sections of the trail. Those who travel up and around the waterfalls, continuing to Shining Rock and farther to Franconia Ridge, will be rewarded with open mountain and valley views. But the trail can be dangerously icy and lung-burstingly steep. In any case, don’t feel guilty about opting for the short trip-it’s a fine one, with plenty of its own rewards."