Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

Location: Franconia, NH
Stream  : Coppermine Brook
Height  : About 80 feet in two sections.
Finding : Tricky. The turn off from route 116 is easy to miss.
Access  : Moderate. Requires hiking. About two miles one way.

Wednesday, May 22, 1996

I went out today prepared for bugs. I heard that the black flies were out and about in the White Mountains last week so I assumed that they would be approaching swarm proportions today. I wore a long sleeved shirt, long pants, and a hat. I used plenty of bug repellent ("Skin so Soft" by Avon; it's the best thing there is against black flies). Yet, as luck would have it, there were almost no bugs in the mountains today! I didn't see one black fly. Something must be wrong.

The weather was nice today. Mostly sunny but not too hot. It was fairly humid but the relatively cool air prevented that from being a major problem. The weather report was calling for rain in the afternoon, but I didn't see it. Of course what the weather report says and what actually happens in the White Mountains are often two different things.

The trail to Bridal Veil Falls is the Coppermine Trail. The trailhead is located along route 116 in Franconia about a mile north of its border with Easton. Turn down a dirt road at the small sign saying "Coppermine Village."

You can't drive very far down the dirt road. Almost immediately you will come to a sign that says "No parking beyond this point." Park before the sign. Continue walking down the dirt road, taking the right fork when you come to a much newer looking dirt road on the left. Soon you come to a hiker sign and the trailhead proper. There are lots of "No parking" signs around the area.

The trail is roughly marked with yellow blazes but it is easy enough to follow. It ascends gradually but steadily. After a distance Coppermine Brook is visible to the right. The trail follows the brook, more or less, from that point on. After about two miles, the trail crosses the brook on a bridge and then very shortly after that comes to a shelter and the falls.

Bridal Veil Falls is quite lovely. It consists of two parts. The lower part is a large, flat rock over which the water flows in a broad sheet and then into a pool. The upper part is an almost vertical drop of about 50 feet into an upper pool. The upper pool is not visible at all from the bottom. To see the upper part of the falls well, you have to scramble up to the edge of the upper pool. That was tricky today because most of the rocks were covered with wet, slimy moss.

The upper falls were outstanding! They poured over a large, imposing cliff into the upper pool in two steps. The water first drops maybe 25 feet and then slams into a large rock. There it changes direction and jumps the remaining distance into the upper pool, sending out a great spray in the process. I could easily feel the droplets of water blowing against my face from the other side of the pool. It was wonderful.

Highly recommended.

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© Copyright 1996 by Peter Chapin.
Last Revised: May 23, 1996