In New Hampshire, water from brooks and creeks cascade along mountain slopes to create numerous gorgeous waterfalls. The White Mountains are the best place to witness them. Ranging from short and easy walks to challenging hikes, a visit to the Granite State would give you unforgettable memories of the cascading wonders. Apart from admiring them, you can also indulge in activities like swimming, rock-hopping, and picnicking.
New Hampshire’s tallest, Arethusa Falls, is a stunning single-drop waterfall cascading from a height of about 150-200 feet within Crawford Notch State Park. You can sit at its base to enjoy an up-close view as it flows down over a rocky face. Its source, Bemis Brook, is pretty small and has lesser flow in summer, resulting in the waterfall reducing to a mere trickle then. Hence, it is best to visit Arethusa Falls in spring to witness it in its gushing state.
Nearest City: About 11 miles from Barlett
Hiking & Other Activities: The hike to the waterfall is moderately challenging. The 2.8 miles trail is uphill with exposed roots and rocks all along the way. Do bring your picnic baskets to enjoy your meals by the scenic wonder. In case you are planning to visit the spot in winter, be cautious of the slippery paths, especially when bringing your furry friends. After the visit, be sure to head to the nearby Bemis Brook Falls and Colesium Falls.
While talking about the tallest waterfalls in New Hampshire, Nancy Cascades should not be missed. Created by Nancy Pond in the White Mountain National Forest area, the serene waterfall dramatically flows down in horsetail, cascades, and drops, with a total height of more than 350 feet. It provides plenty of photo opportunities, while the surrounding rocks are ideal for taking a break and enjoying a picnic.
Nearest City: About 2.8 miles from Hart’s Location
Hiking & Other Activities: The moderately challenging Nancy Pond Trail requires a 5-mile out and back hike, which might be strenuous for novice hikers. Do wear a pair of waterproof shoes to cross the creek a few times. If visiting it in winter, many hikers recommend wearing snowshoes.
If driving along the Kancamagus Highway, you could make a quick stop at Sabbaday Falls. Cascading within a gorge in multiple cascades, the waterfall appears enchanting. Before its source, Sabbaday Brook plunges to form the waterfall, you can see a punchbowl created by it on the top.
Visiting it in the fall season would be perfect for a day trip as besides taking in the waterfall views, you could also enjoy experiencing the stunning fall foliage along the scenic highway. Do keep in mind to pay about $5 per vehicle for parking at the parking area along the route.
Nearest City: About 15 miles from Barlett
Hiking & Other Activities: An easy half-mile trail from the highway will lead you to the waterfall. You can hike up to the waterfalls and continue treading past it to complete the loop hike. The Champney Falls are located nearby and is worth a visit if you have enough time left. The refreshing mist that you will feel standing at its base is truly refreshing.
One of the main attractions of White Mountain National Forest, Glen Ellis Falls, plummets into the pool below from a height of 64 feet. Fed by the Elis River, it flows down through a narrow chute that makes it lean towards the left, giving it a stunning appearance. The surrounding mountains and boulders elevate its beauty and offer a picturesque view of the Pinkham Notch.
Nearest City: About 16 miles from North Conway
Hiking & Other Activities: A 10-minute walk from the parking lot will lead you to the waterfall. Do be prepared to climb some steps and expect the area to be crowded for its popularity and easy access. There is a picnic table with grills where you can enjoy your lunch with your family.
If wishing to see a New Hampshire waterfall without much effort, you shouldn’t miss visiting Silver Cascade in Crawford Notch State Park. Visible from the road, the waterfall looks gorgeous as it drops in a series of cascades flowing along the slopes of Mount Jackson. The ideal time to visit it is after a heavy rainfall to witness it flowing in all vigor along with the surrounding lush scenery. You could also go there during the fall season to admire the spectacular landscape filled with dazzling colors of the leaves.
Nearest City: About 10 miles from Silver Cascade
Hiking & Other Activities: No hiking is required as one can admire the waterfall from Highway 302. Once you have had your fill of it, you can visit the Flume Cascade, a lesser-visited but lovely waterfall located a walking distance west of Silver Cascade.
Crystal Cascade Falls is undoubtedly a sightseer’s paradise, though it is often overlooked. Located in White Mountain National Forest, the waterfall dramatically plunges into two separate parts. Both the segments are captivating, with the upper falls being over 70 feet tall while the lower falls is 25 feet tall. You would get some of the best views from the viewing area right in front of it, so don’t forget to bring your cameras for some stunning pictures.
Nearest City: About 17 miles from Berlin
Hiking & Other Activities: A short and easy hike of less than half a mile along Tuckerman Ravine Trail from Pinkham Notch Visitor Center will lead you to the waterfall. You can bring along your dogs to let them enjoy the hike and scenery.
Ripley Falls is one of the many breathtaking waterfalls in Crawford Notch State Park. Sourced by Avalanche Brook, it tumbles down 100 feet over a rock wall. Admiring it while sitting on one of the boulders and soaking your feet in the chilly water is an excellent way to spend your time here. The best time to see it flowing in a picturesque setting is from May through October.
Nearest City: About 13.5 miles from Barlett
Hiking & Other Activities: The trail to the spot is about half a mile. Though short, it is moderately challenging as you will have to hike up the steep and rocky path to reach it. As it sits adjacent to Arethusa Falls, you can see two waterfalls in a day within three or four hours of hiking.
Located within Franconia Notch State Park, Cloudland Falls comprises multiple cascades that flow down in a step-like formation, making it a sight to behold. It also provides a respite to hikers hiking on their way to the top of Little Haystack. If you’re planning to visit it, do go anytime between June and October to see the 80-foot waterfall in its gushing state. There is an entry fee at the state park of $ 4 per adult and $ 2 per child.
Nearest City: About 8 miles from Lincoln
Hiking & Other Activities: It’s a 1.5-mile hike along the Falling Waters Trail. Though it is a moderately challenging trail, you will be rewarded with two more waterfalls before reaching Cloudland Falls.
Diana’s Baths attract many visitors throughout the year with its beauty and glistening pools. While you can have a relaxing time cooling off in the water and walking along the rocks in summer, you can enjoy the impressive frozen state of the waterfall and the surroundings in winter. However, as the water level rises in the spring, being extra cautious around the slippery rocks is advisable. Besides this, the waterfall appears splendid in its flowing state as it cascades in series across the entire rock face.
Nearest City: About 4 miles from Intervale
Hiking & Other Activities: You could reach the waterfall by hiking a 1.3-mile out-and-back trail. It is relatively flat and easily accessible to hikers of all levels. However, if you’re a hiking enthusiast and have enough time to explore further, you could tread along the trail to its end and enjoy the peaceful and scenic setting. Do remember that a parking fee of about $ 5 per vehicle is required.
This waterfall is a favorite summer spot among many families. Despite having any significant drop, the waterfall captivates visitors with its multiple series of small cascades and plunges that extend across the entire rock face. The pristine pools attract many to enjoy splashing waters with their kids. When hungry, you could open your picnic baskets and have your meals while soaking in the beauty of the spot.
Nearest City: About 14 miles from Conway
Hiking & Other Activities: It’s a roadside waterfall located just off Route 16. The parking lot is in close proximity to the spot requiring a short walk to go near the waterfall.
Avalanche Falls is an awe-inspiring waterfall created by the Flume Brook that rushes down the Flume Gorge in Franconia Notch State Park. There is a boardwalk that allows you to go right in front of it. With the only sound of the roaring water features, you can enjoy a relaxing time here. There is an admission fee of about $ 18 per visitor whose age is 13 or above and $ 16 for children between 6 and 12 years.
Nearest City: About 12 miles from Franconia
Hiking & Other Activities: A 0.7-mile trail from the Flume Gorge Visitor Center will lead you to the waterfall. It is easy to access, and you can extend your hike by exploring the nearby Liberty Gorge. If you’re up for some adventure, don’t miss heading to The Pool, a 40-foot-deep ancient basin in the Pemigewasset River, requiring 2 miles more hiking.
Georgiana Falls is a stunning pair of a waterfalls that slides down a rocky ledge into the pool below. As it’s a lesser-known spot, you can expect to enjoy the beauty on your own. In addition, numerous other waterfalls and cascades in the vicinity make it ideal for further exploration.
Nearest City: About 3.5 miles from Lincoln
Hiking & Other Activities: The 2-mile out-and-back trail has some steep points and is rated moderate on the difficulty level. If you have some time and energy left after spending time by the waterfall, don’t miss hiking the Harvard Falls, also known as Upper Georgiana Falls. It’s an uphill hike and adds about half a mile more to your hike.
The 35-foot-tall Garfield Falls drops into a scenic gorge, often leaving visitors spellbound by its beauty. The swimming holes below are a favorite place for taking a dip. However, do look out for any leeches in the water before plunging into it, especially when the water level is low.
Nearest City: About 23 miles from Pittsburg
Hiking & Other Activities: The hike to Garfield Falls is easy along a 1-mile out-and-back trail. You will also find some other waterfalls and cascades nearby, like Little Hellgate Falls, which is worth visiting.
What attracts visitors to Profile Falls is its easy access and the numerous recreational activities it offers. It’s perfect for families planning a day’s outdoor adventure. You can enjoy swimming in the large pool at its base, fishing in the adjoining Smith River, having a picnic at the shaded area featuring tables and grills, or hopping over the surrounding rocks. Even if you don’t wish to swim, you can enjoy the mist by sitting on one of the nearby rocks. It is a pet-friendly area and requires no entry fee at all.
Nearest City: About 2.2 miles from Bristol
Hiking & Other Activities: Accessing the waterfall requires no effort, as a short walk from the parking lot will lead you to it.
This waterfall within Sandwich Notch Park plunges into a horsetail formation. The crystal-clear pool below is perfect for taking a refreshing dip in summer. On days when the water level is high, you can even see whitewater kayakers passing over it. You will also find lower falls and a small cave at a closer proximity ideal for exploring.
Nearest City: About 5.3 miles from Beede
Hiking & Other Activities: The 1-mile out-and-back trail requires an easy hike. Do be careful of the slippery and steep points.
Best Waterfalls for Hiking: Arethusa Falls, Glen Elis Falls, Nancy Cascades
Best Waterfalls for Swimming: Diana’s Bath, Profile Falls, Beede Falls
Best Hidden Waterfalls: Sabbaday Falls, Silver Cascade, Georgiana Falls
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