Ripley Falls, New Hampshire

People often Ripley Falls as one of their favorite falls in the New England area. I guess I just wasn’t nearly as impressed… I actually wasn’t impressed with Ripley or Arethusa Falls, which is very close by. That may be partially due to the rather low flow at the falls when I visited. I’ve seen pictures at higher flow that look pretty, but at low flow, the water seems to get lost.

I visited over Labor Day weekend, so Crawford Notch State Park and the White Mountain National Forest were jumping with people. The roadside falls and Arethusa Falls seemed to be the busiest, while Ripley Falls was less hopping. That was a good thing. It was more peaceful at Ripley Falls, and there weren’t a number of people standing right in my view. Still, my top waterfall goes to Glen Ellis Falls.

Directions:

  1. Ripley Falls is found off of US-302 in Crawford Notch State Park. If you enter the park from the northern “entrance”, you’ll find these falls a little more than 3 miles after entering park.
  2. You’ll see a sign for Ripley Falls, and that’s your indication to turn. At first, you will see a parking lot, which was very full. Do not park here. Head further down the road to the parking for Ripley Falls, which actually had spots and lead much more quickly to the trail for the falls.

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 100′
Length of Hike: 1.2 miles round-trip

Ripley Falls in September 2010

Where in the World is Ripley Falls?

Glen Ellis Falls, New Hampshire

Glen Ellis Falls in September 2010

Glen Ellis Falls is a perfect example of how people can view waterfalls differently. There were a number of waterfalls in New Hampshire in the White Mountains area that I had visited before Glen Ellis Falls, and many of those falls were rated more highly. While many of those falls, like Ripley and Arethusa Falls, were pretty, I just wasn’t overwhelmingly impressed. I hadn’t really seen any waterfall that stood out to me. I hadn’t necessarily even planned on visiting Glen Ellis Falls, it just so happened to be on the route I was taking heading in to Maine.

So I was VERY pleasantly surprised when I got my first glimpse of Glen Ellis Falls from the base. The waterfall is about 60+’ tall, but wow, is it a powerful waterfall.  There may be the same amount of water at other falls nearby, but here all of the water is forced through a crest that is not that wide. I instantly knew, though, that this was going to be one my favorite waterfalls from my trip through Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Glen Ellis Falls was so inviting.

Not to mention that it’s also a VERY easy waterfall to visit. To visit Arethusa and Ripley Falls, I had to take longer walks, not that they were too bad. The short hike to Glen Ellis Falls is an added benefit. You can add on the falls by exploring further downstream, where there are a number of other interesting drops.

Directions:

  1. I arrived at the falls from US-302. At the junction of US-302 and NH-16, head north (really the only option).
  2. After heading north on NH-16/Pinkham Notch Road for a ways, you’ll come to the parking area for the falls. If you’re heading north, it will be on the left side of the road, clearly marked with a sign for Glen Ellis Falls.
  3. The parking area had openings, which was surprising since it was Labor Day weekend, so you’ll probably be able to find spots most anytime. From there, head toward the trail to Glen Ellis Falls.
  4. You’ll pass under NH-16 through a tunnel, and then from there, follow the stairs down to the falls. There are a number of stairs.

Accessibility: 9/10 (without further exploration)
Height: 64′
Length of Hike: 0.6 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Glen Ellis Falls?