There are many great hikes in Franconia Notch, but this is my favorite family-friendly/short on time hike. I've hiked this several times sans kid (including snow-shoeing - incredible!), most recently this 4th of July weekend. This time it was a family hike - 5 years old to 70 years old. It is a typical NH trail - tons of rocks and roots, wet and steep in sections. We just took our time - lots of breaks and snacks. The Lonesome Lake trail ends at the edge of the lake. There is a trail that circles the lake and takes you to the AMC hut, which you must visit (restrooms available). Roundtrip to hut - 3.2 miles.
Tip: When you first arrive at Lonesome Lake, take the trail to the left (clockwise) so that when you leave the hut, you keep the view of Lonesome Lake and Franconia Ridge in front of you. On a clear day the view is stunning. If you like to swim, bring a suit and towel.
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