Sgt. Heidi Murphy
August 22, 2022

Franconia, NH – On Friday, August 18, at approximately 2:10 p.m., NH Fish and Game was notified of a hiker that had suffered a possible back injury while hiking down the Falling Waters Trail in Franconia. Kayla Masdon, 21, of Melbourne, FL, and her friend had started hiking up the Falling Waters Trail at 11:00 a.m. At 1:15 p.m., they still had not made it to the summit of Little Haystack and decided to turn around. While descending the trail near Cloudland Falls, Masdon slipped and fell about 7 feet onto some hard rock, injuring her lower back and arm. The injury was severe enough to warrant a carryout as Masdon could not walk.

Conservation Officers and members of the Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue and Lakes Region Search and Rescue teams responded to carry Masdon to the Falling Waters trailhead. There were also Good Samaritan hikers that assisted with the carry-out. The rescuers reached Masdon at approximately 3:25 p.m., and she safely arrived at the awaiting ambulance at 5:30 p.m. Masdon was transported by the Linwood Ambulance Service to Littleton Regional Hospital for further evaluation.

In the last few weeks, Cloudland Falls along the Falling Waters trail has been a challenging section for many hikers. This area is steep and wet. For these reasons, when walking the Franconia Ridge Loop it is recommended that hikers ascend this trail and descend Old Bridle Path. It is important to wear proper footwear such as hiking boots when hiking on wet surfaces. Learn more by visiting