On the weekend before last, we headed over to the Notch-Way Cross Country Ski Trail in Franconia, NH. The northern trailhead is just off Route 141, while the southern trailhead can be found at Cannon Mountain. With such a warm winter and little snowfall, we knew that we would be able to walk along the trail with little problem.
The parking lot had two other cars and from the footprints in the snow, this looks to be a very popular walking spot, especially for families with dogs (nearly every family we saw had at least 1 dog in tow). The footing was a little icy, but nothing that couldn’t be handled with care.
Just up a few yards, Andrew pointed out a beaver swamp and what appeared to be an abandoned roadway intersection. Andrew thought it must be where Route 3 and Route 141 had intersected before the parkway was put through Franconia Notch, as the trail north out of Cannon is the remnant of the old Route 3.
Andrew had followed this trail just one time previously, starting from the Echo Lake Beach parking area and following north to Route 141 and back. It is an extension of the popular paved bike path which runs the entire length through Franconia Notch from north to south. On the northern end the bike path swings east near the Governor Gallen Memorial site and continues as a snowmachine trail towards Twin Mountain, our Notchway Ski Trail starts at this intersection and soon descends steeply towards the starting point of our journey.
At the kiosk we veered left and took a less beaten path that looped back to the main trail.
Back on the main trail, we crossed several bridges and spied the ski slopes on Cannon Mountain.
Just beyond the Jordan Brook bridge crossing, we reached the Scarface Ski Trail junction and we turned down it to look for a good picnic spot.
This place looks like a great spot to cross-country ski (as long as there is snow!). Hopefully we will be back next year to do just that.