Franklin Falls

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↑ 800 ft
↓ 700 ft
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4.73 out of 5
About This Trail
added by _koneco Bunny Hop on April 14, 2010
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Franklin Falls or 'The Dam' is a NEMBA maintained trail which provides little in the way of technical riding, but has a lot of great, fast, winding single track. Here you'll find quick, short, heart pounding climbs, short downhill sections, roots (not too bad), one very small plank crossing a river (on Whaleback), and a few log obstacles (quite small). There are about ten single trails, but you can mix it up however you like.

My favorite route is starting from the parking lot, take the gravel road through the chain link fence, which will meet up with another gravel road, which you'll follow. THAT will merge with another road, but keep on heading forward, turn right on the next small path, and immediately on your right will be the beginning of Whaleback Trail. Whaleback will criss-cross that small path a few times, but keep going.

Eventually, you will come out on a road that doesn't look well used, and up the hill immediately in front of you begins Middle Trail, which is marked in orange. From here, I like to go to Chicken Ravine, and to do that take the first right (marked with orange), and continue on. Pass the entrance to Bee Trail, and the next one on your left is Chicken Ravine. This is by far my most favorite trail. You can fly down the middle, but where's the fun in that? On either side of the ravine, you'll notice paths of other bikers going up and down the walls of the gully. Do it. At the bottom, you'll come out on the beltline road/service road. Take a left, skip the first trail on your right (marked in red) and take the next trail on your right, which is the Lost Wall Trail. That will take you to the yellow-marked Heritage Trail, which will come out back on the service road. Take a right, and a little ways up on the left continues the Heritage Trail. I usually just take heritage back to the middle trail, and from there I hit Moose Gully back to the gravel road, and then back to the parking lot. Takes me about an hour, and my friend is usually done running by then. I am not the best direction-giver, but here is the link to the map.

Franklin Falls is an excellent place to bike. The ground here soaks up water like nothing else, and I've yet to see a puddle (except on the beltline/service road, near the river when stuff likes to flood during the spring), and attendance is really low, yet the trail seems to be very consistently maintained. One warning: if you're like me and want to ride out onto the dam, at the very end, past the gazebo, where the grassy land ends in something of a point next to the fence, there is an underground yellowjacket nest (as of April 12, 2010). Just be careful.

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duckhunter21 on August 3, 2014
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
Review: Very good don't follow this guys direction they are all screwed up just look up franklin falls and you will find where to go. CHICKEN RAVIEN best trail ever very fun there are so many trails but really don't follow this guys directions me and my dad spent the hole morning trying to find out where to go!

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akrantz on July 12, 2014
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
Review: Very cool network of trails. The rocks and roots are tough but the real challenge here is being able to lay off the brakes. These are quick trails and there are some cool drops.

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schwei on June 24, 2014
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
Review: Although there is not a ton of trail here, I did think this place was pretty enjoyable! NEMBA did a great job with the trails and there is enough there to put together a nice hour or so ride. Mighty Chicken was definitely a standout and was worth looping around a couple of times to hit it again! It won't be an endurance ride, but the trails are great and you'll enjoy it!

Similar Trail: Lowell Dracut Tyngsboro Forest

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ediblefrog on October 13, 2013
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
Review: Lots of great trails here. Chicken Ravine was a blast! Lots to do here a little something for everyone.

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JacksPerson on June 28, 2013
2 out of 2 readers found this useful
Review: I took the 45 minute ride north to try this place out on a drizzly wet day after reading about how well this place drains and is open year round even thru mud season. I was not disappointed, the trails were amazingly firm and unaffected by any rain. I did however call shinanigans when I read NO roots or rocks. In New Hampshire that is not possible. The roots are so few and small they seem non existent. This place is fast and wicked flowy, a lot of rolling can be done. There truly isn't anywhere else like this in NH.

I followed the first half of the loop mentioned in the description but took a right up the hill to Rusty Bucket after the most awesome and gnarly Mighty Chicken!! I climbed the hill and rode Rusty Bucket, Snake Pine, Moose Gully, Salmon Trail, Sniper, and a few others. They were all great!

The trails are tight, and twisty with lots of flow and very compact. The trail builders have made very good use of the area and terrain. There are plenty of steep descents followed up with a steep climb making most trails flow evenly in both directions. You could spend a better part of a day and cover all the trails, then spend the rest of the day putting together repeat loops that all incorporate Mighty Chicken!!!

It is mentioned that there is not much in the way of technical stuff here. There are lots of jumps, drops, berms and features to play on scattered thru ought. There is also Salmon Trail. Rocks, roots, tight, steep, switchbacks blanketed in small viney roots and rock gardens galore! This however is like the black sheep of the system as tech is not what this system is about. This trail system is all about speed and flow...

A hardtail would be a very good choice for this place.

Thank you very much NEMBA for this awesome trail system, it's pure artwork!

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justyoureverydayshreder on October 4, 2012
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
Review: Alas the trail maps given on this site do not work here is working one This place is sick, I love riding here!

Similar Trail: Horse Hill

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S.Cruz on August 9, 2012
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
Review: Thee riding was off the hook! You could find a lot of good single track without huge climbs.

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mikemarcotte on June 26, 2012
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
Review: An awsome trail system for everyone wether you like fireroads,flowing single tracks or technical decents. Mighty chicken is a must for people who love flying down hills and slalom brook i a must for people who love rocky trails

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Casey_Anderson on September 2, 2011
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
Review: Beautifully built and maintained trails. These trails drain almost magically, so when nothing else within 50 miles is rideable you can enjoy some really first class singletrack here instead of being stuck on your road bike. As a tourist who visited as an afterthought while on vacation, I want to thank the local mountain bikers and to the Army Corps of Engineers for these fantastic trails.

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DirtMissile on September 23, 2010
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
Review: Mostly buff, fast flowing singletrack. Fun wall ride on Mighty Chicken. For a technical challenge, check out Salmon Brook Trail. The map link listed above is not up to date. For up to date map and info, go to or

* Review edited 9/23/2010

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HoldFst18 on August 4, 2010
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
Review: I live in the area and ride here 2-3 times a week. I feel so lucky to have such a great trail system right down the road from me. I actually start my loop on the same trails described above. This has been a great trail network for me to train every week. Although not to technical, i never get bored of any of the trails. Highly recomend for a good fast ride for a few hours

Similar Trail: Horse Hill Nature Preserve Merrimack NH

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Chris62 on May 5, 2010
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
Review: I love riding here. Its very family friendly with lots of parking and a variety of trails for all levels below expert. A new challenging trail was just added which will please the more advanced rider.

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Franklin Falls MTB Trail 4.73 out of 5 based on 12 ratings. 12 user reviews.
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Trail Features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
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