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The Top 8 Waterfalls to Visit in New Hampshire

With more than 170 examples throughout the state, New Hampshire is the ideal place for anyone who loves exploring nature and basking in the majesty of a powerful waterfall. Any of these beautiful natural wonders make for a lovely day trip, with many of New Hampshire’s waterfalls offering perfect picnic spots and shallow swimming basins at their bases. However, among all of New Hampshire’s magnificent falls, eight stand out as being particularly breathtaking and worthy of a visit.

1. Arethusa Falls in Hart’s Location, White Mountain National Forest

As the tallest single cascade in New England at approximately 160 feet, Arethusa Falls gives viewers the impression of falling right out of the sky. The vantage point from the trail that runs along the fall’s base obscures everything above it, creating a peaceful and serene atmosphere. Arethusa Falls is at its best during the warmer months from May through October. The one-and-a-half mile trail to view the waterfall is moderately difficult, so come prepared with good shoe –-but the effort will be worth the trek!

2. Glen Ellis Falls in Jackson, White Mountain National Forest

Among the most popular waterfalls in New England thanks to its beauty and ease of access, Glen Ellis Falls is a 64-foot cascade that provides visitors with a refreshing spray of water at its base during warmer months. One of Glen Ellis Falls’ most distinctive features is the deep emerald green pool that is formed at the base of the left-leaning plunge of water; unfortunately, however, the river is too dangerous to allow swimming. Still, the easy access along the short .3-mile trail makes this a great waterfall to visit, even for the less outdoorsy types.

3. Nancy Cascades in Livermore, White Mountain National Forest

Up for a challenge? Those who are willing to lace up their hiking boots and embark on the two-and-half-mile trail up 1,700 feet will be amply rewarded. This series of waterfalls runs down approximately 280 feet of rocky ledges, ending in an incredible 80-foot horsetail drop. The rust colored pool formed at the base of Nancy Cascades’ lowest drop marks the perfect place to sit and marvel at this natural wonder.

4. Sabbaday Falls in Waterville Valley, White Mountain National Forest

Sabbaday Falls offers visitors a peak into the Granite State’s natural history; the cascade’s main gorge is thought to have been carved out about 10,000 years ago by the water from the area’s last melting glacier. The result is an incredible circular pool–referred to as a “punchbowl”–at the top of the falls leading to its two peaceful plunges. The crystal clear water of Sabbaday Falls’ lowest pool offers a relaxing place to enjoy the falls. The easy .3-mile trail to the waterfall allows visitors to bask in its stunning beauty without getting out of breath; unique among New Hampshire’s waterfall trails, the path to Sabbaday Falls is even handicap accessible.

5. Silver Cascade in Hart’s Location, White Mountain National Forest

Want to enjoy nature’s majesty without getting out the car? Take a drive to Silver Cascade, a 250-foot waterfall completely visible from U.S. 302. That this waterfall is so easy to see doesn’t diminish its beauty any; the cascade’s slender silvery ribbon of water makes its way gracefully through chasm walls and over ledges, and is particularly gorgeous following the snow melt in spring and during autumn foliage.

6. Crystal Cascade in Pinkhams Grant, White Mountain National Forest

Often overlooked in favor of the impressive Mount Washington, Crystal Cascade is one of New Hampshire’s hidden treasures, and taking the short detour off of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is definitely worth it. Split into two segments with a dark and shallow pool in the middle, Crystal Cascade falls a total of about 100 feet. Visitors who come at the right time of year can enjoy the powerful surge offered by Crystal Cascade’s source, Ellis River.

7. Falls on the Flume-Pool Loop in Lincoln, Franconia Notch State Park

Falls on the Flume-Pool Loop has become one of New Hampshire’s most popular outdoor destinations for good reason; this two-mile trail forms a loop that offers sightseers views of three stunning waterfalls along with glacial boulders, iconic covered bridges, an unusually deep pool at the final waterfall’s base and many other natural beauties. The three waterfalls along this loop–Table Rock, Avalanche Falls and Liberty Cascade–are all very different but equally beautiful, from Table Rock’s large, long slide of water to Liberty Cascade’s clear 70-foot horsetail.

8. Ripley Falls in Hart’s Location, Crawford Notch State Park

The rock wall behind Ripley Falls juts out at approximately 60 degrees, creating a unique waterfall that slides along this rock wall face for most of its 100 feet. The result is a distinctive and beautiful cascade that appears like a sheet of whitewater running smoothly over slippery rocks. After taking the short .6-mile trail to the falls through a serene hardwood forest, be sure to settle in on the smooth rocks at the waterfall’s base for a relaxing picnic lunch.

Enjoy New Hampshire

Taking in the natural beauty of the state is only one of the possibilities for residents of Havenwood Heritage Heights. Within our continuing care retirement community, our goal to promote an active, supportive and fun-loving atmosphere to surround our residents in their golden years. For more information about our services and amenities, please contact us today to speak with a representative and to schedule a tour.