Lonesome Lake Trail

Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire

Distance2.1mi
Elevation Gain1,802ft
Trailhead Elevation1,755ft
Top3,431ft
Elevation Min/Max1743/3431ft
Elevation Start/End1755/1755ft

Lonesome Lake Trail

Lonesome Lake Trail is a hiking trail in Lincoln, New Hampshire. It is within White Mountain National Forest and Franconia Notch State Park. It is 2.1 miles long and begins at 1,755 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,802 feet. The Lonesome Lake (elevation 1,739 feet) parking is near the trailhead. The Lafayette Campground camp site can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Cascade Brook Trail, Franconia Notch Bike Path, Around Lonesome Lake Trail, Kinsman Ridge Trail, Dodge Cut-off and Hi-Cannon Trail.

Lonesome Lake Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Snowshoe Routes: New England (The Mountaineers Books)
Diane Bair & Pamela Wright
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"Who can resist its name? In fact, the Lonesome Lake Trail leads to an isolated low mountain pond that attracts a fair amount of traffic year-round. The lake sits at 2740 feet, tucked in a valley, just south of the high ridge of the Cannon- Kinsman Range. You'll have nice views of surrounding mountains, including the Franconia and Cannon mountain ranges. It’s a pretty walk in the woods, a steady but gentle climb that’s perfect for a short day’s outing. Or, pack your sleeping bag and stay overnight at the Lonesome Lake Hut, operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club. The facility sits on the southwest shore of the lake and sleeps forty-eight people in two bunkhouses. You'll have access to kitchen facilities, mattresses, and pillows. The Lonesome Lake Hut is the most easily accessible hut in the White Mountains, making it a great choice for families and less-experienced hikers. If you’ve ever wanted to spend the night in the winter woods, awakening to fresh snow and pristine landscape, this is a nice option. For those hikers looking for a more extended trip, the Lonesome Lake Trail connects with a network of trails crisscrossing the Cannon-Kinsman Range."
AMC's Best Day Hikes in the White Mountains (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)
Robert N. Buchsbaum
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"Lonesome Lake is a beautiful lake reached by a short but somewhat steep climb. You can swim in the lake while enjoying the spectacular view across Franconia Notch to Mount Lafayette. AMC’s Lonesome Lake Hut provides overnight accommodations."
Best of the Appalachian Trail Day Hikes (Menasha Ridge Press)
Leonard M. Adkins & Victoria and Frank Logue
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"You will cross over two beautiful brooks—Whitehouse and Cascade—on this hike to Lonesome Lake. Set against the backdrop of Profile Mountain, the lake is a tarn that sits high on the side of Cannon Mountain. The elevation change from the trailhead to the lake is more than 1,000 feet, but the Trail is well graded and the climb is moderate. Lonesome Lake can make for a good hike with children old enough for a trail that offers some challenges along the way."

Lonesome Lake Trail Trip Reports

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8/25/2018
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6/26/2011
Great trail for beginners and families or a good workout for us out of shape folk. Starts with a gentle incline and then can be steep as you climb 950ft to get over the ridge with one switchback. The AMC Hut is in great condition and provides some great views back across the pond/lake.
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7/19/2010
Hike to the falls is extremely easy, it's a generally flat walk, with and un-noticeable uphill. You will reach the split in the trail that will take you farther into Lincoln woods or to the falls, if you take the one to the falls you will start hiking more of an uphill for a short distance until you reach the falls. Other than that short uphill distance to the falls it is hard to believe you are hiking such and easy trail in the White Mountains. The falls are beautiful. We went on a Monday which may be why the crowd was limited to a few people. My boyfriend went swimming in the frigid waters I did not. For the thin hipped visitors the falls provide their own water-slide for a more exciting swimming experience. It is a long walk to the falls but well worth it for the lack of uphill climbing.
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9/26/2009
We did this trip exactly as described in the guide. It is a great hike. Lonesome Lake is beautiful and a nice place to rest after the first few miles of the hike. South Kinsman has beautiful 360 degree views. Make sure to take the very short side trip to Kinsman pond. A great place to take a break. Loved this hike!
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8/6/2008
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5/15/2008
Easy going until headed up to Kinsman Pond. Ran into soft-snow, made it more difficult. Sheltered Thursday night at Kinsman Pond shelter, which was newly rebuilt in 2007, and gorgeous!! The pond was beautiful and I think we were the only ones around that night. Friday we left basecamp & headed for North Kinsman, decided to take it easy and ate lunch & napped on one of the rocks off the sidetrail of the peak. Unbelievably clear & gorgeous view. The night brought a few other groups up to the Shelter campsite, some of whom were ill prepared for the snow found in areas which weren't exposed to constant sunlight. Headed back down on Saturday morning, ran into handfuls of groups of boyscouts; glad we were headed out, because boy were they loud & destructive. No wildlife sightings, but plenty of moose droppings along the trail. Instead of heading in/out from Lafayette Campground, we headed in/out from Cascade Trail & had parked down at exit 34A at the Flume parking lot to extend the trip mileage. Great weather, worn and well marked trails. Glad there was snow otherwise i think it would've been more of a muddy mess around lonesome lake with all the traffic, because it's so accessible.
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Lonesome Lake Trail Photos

Trail Information

Franconia Notch State Park
Nearby City
Franconia Notch State Park
Parks
Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate
Skill Level
Views, Waterfalls
Features
White Mountain National Forest
Local Contacts
AMC White Mountain Map #2, USGS Franconia
Local Maps

Trail Log