A waterpark. Franconia Falls is an expanse of smooth, polished granite with so many dips, lips, chutes, slides and sinkers that, were it not for the fact the water flows downhill, you could get lost for days. Sources say that under optimal conditions you can ride as far as 120 feet before a splash landing in runoff from the Pemigiwasset Wilderness.
The most popular tube is no more than 18 inches wide at the bottom. Apparently the water flows over such a broad expanse of rock that it can’t concentrate on hogging out really big holes or wide slides. Nobody can attest to this better than Tom Hyland of Lincoln, NH.
“Granite doesn’t have lots of elasticity,” he explained. “It’s a good size for kids, but if you’re an adult you have to turn sideways. I went from a 34 waist to a 32 waist just like that.”
It’s far from the dumbest thing that’s happened at Franconia Falls. The place is such an attraction that the White Mountain National Forest limits the number of visitors. Regulars say that the trail, an abandoned rail grade, can look a sidewalk filled with people. Some of the result is damaged vegetation, fecal coliforms and the general condition of a place too much loved and too little cared for by users.