Franklin Falls isn't an epic, death-defying trip. It's been done before and even twice in winter. However, it fit the bill perfectly given all the kids would need to walk themselves, it was close to home, and had some snow even in this lousy winter.
In previous years we'd have been forced to walk from the end of the plowed road. Lack of snow turns out to be good for something, though. We were able to drive to the summer trailhead. There was nobody else there, but we pulled off as far as I dared lest some yahoo run into us while getting stuck in the snow.
Everybody started on foot, but that was clearly not going to last. The trail was icy in places, but never bare ground. I hadn't even brought snowshoes and they wouldn't have been useful. Microspikes, though... Someday.
It was a pretty standard hike with the kids. Clara was ready to rumble from the moment we got out of the car. Lilly was hot and cold, up and down. She wanted to eat a ton of snow and chocolate bars and wasn't thrilled when I tried to convince her not too. (After she herself went potty and turned the snow yellow she at least believed me that if the snow wasn't white she'd best steer clear.) Henry wanted to keep up with the girls, but it was more challenging for him. Instead, he rode much of the trip on my shoulders. (I guess it was too early to throw away the backpack.)
The only part that really concerned me was the last descent to the base of the waterfall. When there's no snow it's a dicey walk for the uninitiated and with ice it'd be... well... death defying! I wound up helping each of the kids down the first icy step and then had Clara sit with Henry while I took Lilly and Tokul down as close as I dared. Even after gathering below I didn't want to risk getting any closer so we sat for lunch and hot chocolate.
(Of course, I snuck down for at least a picture or two, but with the prospect of a mile walk back I didn't push it.)
On the way back there was more snow eaten, more detours, and more slipping and sliding. Thankfully, there were some tasty treats and some held in reserve All around a good day. Especially for #100.
Total distance was about two miles and a couple hundred feet of gain.