Spring hiking can be frustrating and messy due to varying trail conditions and weather. As the spring skiing season nears its end and the John Sherburne ski trail is no longer completely ski-able to the parking lot, many hikers wonder what to do while waiting for the trails to dry out and for sunny summer days to return to the Whites.
As we anxiously await the onset of summer hiking and the opening of our 8 full-service high-mountain huts, and it seems like springtime outdoor recreation is at a minimum, think again: Waterfalls!
Spring is an excellent time for viewing waterfalls, since the melting snow makes for some serious water volume. There are several excellent waterfalls to view in the White Mountains, and many books and online resources to reference regarding directions, history, and details of the region’s most beautiful falls.
I was recently able to visit some waterfalls in the area, and set out hoping to see some raging, exciting waters cascading over the rocks. I visited Glen Ellis, Arethusa, Flume, and Silver falls, each a bit different, but all spectacular. These beautiful natural landforms did not disappoint.
Yesterday’s adventure included a walk down to the Glen Boulder Trail parking area in search of Glen Ellis Falls. The parking area and signs are easy to navigate, and just a short distance south from the AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center and Joe Dodge Lodge. On the west side of Route 16, the sign in the parking area directs you into a hiker tunnel that travels underneath the road, coming out on the other side safely next to the Ellis River. The trail leads downward and to the right (south), heading toward the falls.
Glen Ellis Falls is located along the Ellis River, which is a South-running river that originates from the convergence of the New River and the Cutler River, both running off of the Eastern side of the Presidential Range. Glen Ellis Falls was formerly named “The Pitcher” because of the way the water looks like it is being poured from the top of the falls into the basin below. The view from the bottom of the falls is a glorious, powerful sight. The falls is debated to be one of the best in the state.
In search of the highest single-drop falls in New Hampshire, I headed over to Crawford Notch today to see the famous Arethusa falls. I started out along the Bemis Brook Trail with a friend, and we quickly got into the woods and discovered Bemis Brook, a beautiful river that flows down off the western wall of Crawford Notch. This brook contains many beautiful smaller waterfalls that should not be missed the next time you hike out to Arethusa Falls. The smaller water features include Fawn Pool, and Coliseum Falls. The 1.4 mile hike into Arethusa is relatively easy. The trail follows Bemis Brook for about .4 miles and rejoins the Arethusa Falls trail after parting from the Brook. The round trip hike is 2.8 miles. In spring, the trail is icy in some parts, so Micro spikes may be helpful.
After visiting Arethusa Falls, We drove another few miles north and visited the Highland Center for a delicious hot lunch.
Whether you are visiting waterfalls, skiing Tuckerman Ravine, or battling the spring hiking conditions and post-holing, don’t hesitate to contact us for trail reports and conditions!
For any general questions, conditions information, or trail advice
Please feel free to contact us here at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center front desk., We are available by phone at (603)466-2721 every day from 6:30 AM to 10:00 PM or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make reservations at AMC Lodges and Huts
Please call (603)466-2727 available Monday through Saturday 9am-5pm.
AMC Backcountry Information Specialist