Arethusa Falls, New Hampshire

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Arethusa Falls in September 2010

Looking back at a waterfall I visited nearly 10 years ago, feelings sometimes change. I wasn’t particularly impressed with Arethusa Falls, which can be found in Crawford Notch State Park along with Bemis Brook Falls and Coliseum Falls. There wasn’t much water flowing over the falls, so I don’t think they had the full effect I was expecting, considering Arethusa Falls gets a lot of fanfare. But looking back, I realize the beauty of the falls now.

Looking through old pictures, one of the other things I realize is that I visited the area over Labor Day, and it was very busy. Arethusa Falls isn’t difficult to get to, though a 3 mile round-trip hike is involved. Even then, there were so many people. It was difficult to get a full shot of the falls where 15 people weren’t in the picture. So this waterfall might take on a different feeling when there’s more water flowing and it isn’t as crowded.

Directions:

  1. The parking area for the falls is found off of route 302 in Crawford Notch State Park, which is an impressive place to find waterfalls.
  2. About 1.5 miles south of Willey House, you’ll find the parking area for the falls. Heading south, the turn will be on your right. If I remember correctly, during the busy times of the year, there is a parking lot right off the road that looks very full, but you do not have to park there. Driving further down that road leads to a parking area that is much less busy, and much closer to the trail head.
  3. At the parking area, you’ll see a private house. Head to the left, and begin to follow the trail. You’ll cross railroad tracks, and then you’ll continue on the trail for a short distance.
  4. You can follow the trail directly to Arethusa Falls, or veer off to the left on the Bemis Brook Trail to see Bemis Brook Falls and Coliseum Falls. It may be easier to do on the return hike.

Accessibility: 6/10 (moderate)
Height: 160′
Length of Hike: 3 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Arethusa Falls?

Bemis Brook Falls, New Hampshire

Crawford Notch State Park contains a number of waterfalls in its boundaries. One of the main attractions is Arethusa Falls, a 160′ falls. Along the way to the main attraction, though, you can veer off and see two other smaller falls. I think it’s worth it, though depending on what path you take, there may be some regret, physically that is.

Taking the Bemis Brook Trail leads you to Bemis Brook Falls. This portion of the trail is very easy to hike, and it’s rather enjoyable. While Bemis Brook Falls is not particularly tall, it is beautiful nonetheless. The exposed layers of rock form stairs of sorts that the falls cascade down in two separate portions. Continuing upstream, you will come along Coliseum Falls, which is equally as interesting. If you do this part of the hike first, realize you will have to climb a surprisingly steep hill to connect back onto the main path. It’s by no means impossible, it just might leave you winded for a bit. If you head to Arethusa Falls first, and then connect to the Bemis Brook Trail, that might be less strenuous as you’ll be going downhill.

Directions:

  1. The parking area for the falls is found off of route 302 in Crawford Notch State Park, which is an impressive place to find waterfalls.
  2. About 1.5 miles south of Willey House, you’ll find the parking area for the falls. Heading south, the turn will be on your right. If I remember correctly, during the busy times of the year, there is a parking lot right off the road that looks very full, but you do not have to park there. Driving further down that road leads to a parking area that is much less busy, and much closer to the trail head.
  3. At the parking area, you’ll see a private house. Head to the left, and begin to follow the trail. You’ll cross railroad tracks, and then you’ll continue on the trail for a short distance.
  4. After a ways, veer to the left to follow the Bemis Brook Trail. This is where you’ll encounter Bemis Brook Falls and Coliseum Falls. This path is actually very easy.

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 30′
Length of Hike: 3 miles round-trip (to see all three falls)

Bemis Brook Falls in September 2010

Where in the World is Bemis Brook Falls?

Coliseum Falls, New Hampshire

Coliseum Falls in September 2010

I thought that Coliseum Falls was a fun little (but “long”) waterfall in Crawford Notch State Park. And if you choose the right trail, you can see this waterfall pretty easily, along with Bemis Brook Falls. Further along the trail, and with some difficulty, you can find Arethusa Falls, which is the main attraction.

The test here is to see how many of Coliseum Falls’ drops you can photograph all at once. The waterfall drops a number of times, though each of those drops are small. Adding all of those drops together, though, makes for a more impressive waterfall. I also found the rock along the river to be very beautiful. The colors are verging on reddish-orange, especially when the water runs over it.

Directions:

  1. The parking area for the falls is found off of route 302 in Crawford Notch State Park, which is an impressive place to find waterfalls.
  2. About 1.5 miles south of Willey House, you’ll find the parking area for the falls. Heading south, the turn will be on your right. If I remember correctly, during the busy times of the year, there is a parking lot right off the road that looks very full, but you do not have to park there. Driving further down that road leads to a parking area that is much less busy, and much closer to the trail head.
  3. At the parking area, you’ll see a private house. Head to the left, and begin to follow the trail. You’ll cross railroad tracks, and then you’ll continue on the trail for a short distance.
  4. After a ways, veer to the left to follow the Bemis Brook Trail. This is where you’ll encounter Bemis Brook Falls and Coliseum Falls. This path is actually very easy. If you wish to continue on to Arethusa Falls from this route, be aware that there is a steep hill that you must climb up to get to the other trail. It is not a simple feat, and you should be in good physical shape. It might actually be easier to go on the Bemis Brook Trail on the way back. You’ll be climbing down the steep hill, but it might less problematic?

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 20′
Length of Hike: 3 miles round-trip (to see all three falls)

Where in the World is Coliseum Falls?