Diana's Bath - White Mountain National Forest img
 Diana's Bath - White Mountain National Forest

Best Waterfalls in New Hampshire

February 23,2022 - By: D. Chandler -

Are you a waterfalls explorer?  New Hampshire waterfalls are some of the best in New Hampshire.  There are numerous waterfalls in the region with short hikes, great for a picnic, swimming spots and an abundance of natural beauty.  These waterfalls exhibit various displays of beautiful scenery including rushing waters, dropping whitewater, swirling pools and many picturesque landscapes that are soothing to the soul. 

I have created a list of these waterfalls with many of them a short jaunt from the road or just off the road including Sabbaday Falls and Aresthusa Falls (New Hampshire’s Tallest).  Experience the beautiful forest around the splashing waters, smooth rocks and stones, cliffs and potholes within these popular attraction. 

Arethusa Falls - Crawford Notch State Park img
 Arethusa Falls - Crawford Notch State Park


1.  Sabbaday Falls

Sabbaday is located off the Kancamagus Highway and is a short walk from the parking lot.  The trail is a well-maintained trail which is about three tenths of a mile into this scenic waterfall.  The falls includes a 10 foot flume with mossy covered rocks and many swirling pools of water.  T

There are wooden catwalks around the flume and pools so visitors can gain a good vantage point around the falls.  Admire the rushing waters and impressive ledges as you can see how the waters have eroded the ledge and rocks over time.

This is a great spot for a lunch picnic either at the falls or at the parking trailhead area.  Don’t forget to get your White Mountain National Park Recreation Pass or buy a day pass at the parking lot.  Bring cash as you will need to pay via a metal lock box.

Location:  Sabbaday Falls is located on the Kancamagus Highway (NH Route 112) about 15.4 miles from the beginning of the highway in Conway.  Or, 19.8 miles from the center of Lincoln on the Kancamagus Highway.  The falls is located on the south side of the Kancamagus Highway so look for signs along this scenic byway.

Glen Ellis Waterfalls - Pinkham Notch img
 Glen Ellis Waterfalls - Pinkham Notch

2.  Arethusa Falls

Arethusa Falls is one of the most glorious and rewarding waterfalls in the state of New Hampshire.  This water falls boast to be the tallest in New Hampshire with an overall height of 160 ft.  The trail to this waterfall starts at a large parking lot off Route 302 in Hart’s Location within Crawford Notch State Park. 

The trail is a heavily trafficked trail about 1.3 miles via the Bemis Brook Trail.  Along the trail you will find numerous smaller falls and swimming holes where the brook traverses the forest.  Trailside you will see the Coliseum Falls and Bemis Brook Falls.  These are great places to wade and cool off during the warmer months. 

During high water periods, Arethusa Falls is very impressive with large amounts of water cascading over the falls.  A good time to visit would be during spring run-off or after a heavy rain storm. 

The falls incorporates a number of cascades, crevices and granite pathways as the water makes its way to the base of the falls.  The falls is very tall and the top of the falls disappears into the sky giving the illusion that the water is coming from the sky as it moves down the face.

Also, during the winter months, this is a popular spot for ice climbers so a winter hike can be a rewarding experience as well.

Location:  Arethusa Falls is located just off Route 302 in Harts Location about 20.2 miles from North Conway or 15.5 miles from Twin Mountain New Hampshire.  The trailhead parking area is located on the west side of Route 302 and is well marked.

Jackson Falls - Jackson, New Hampshire img
 Jackson Falls - Jackson, New Hampshire

3.  The Flume Gorge

The Flume Gorge is located in Franconia Notch State Park just north of Lincoln.  This 800 foot flume is a dramatic spot and arguably the most unique in New Hampshire.  There is an entrance fee and it is a great place for a family outing, picnic or afternoon excursion. 

The Flume includes a large gorge with vertical granite walls up to 90 feet tall, a series of water falls, cascades and swirling pools.  Much of the area is graced by a mossy landscape and pristine wooded forests.  The trail network, which loops the forest and the gorge, is a scenic landscape unmatched anywhere else in New Hampshire.  The Flume is one of the most visited attractions in the state with its unique beauty and monumental wonder.

See smooth rock ledges where the water of Flume Brook have be eating away at the rocks for millennia.  Explore the Liberty Gorge Cascades, The Flume Falls, huge granite boulders and the covered footbridge within the Flume Gorge region. 

Location:  Located just off US93 on Exit 34A, Flume Gorge is approximately 1.3 miles north of Lincoln, 52.3 miles from North Conway and 18.3 miles from Littleton.


4.  Rocky Gorge Scenic Area

The Rocky Gorge Scenic Area is another main attraction on the Kancamagus Highway.  As part of the Swift River, Rocky Gorge is a large gorge carved out of the bedrock making a large tunnel of water.  The gorge does not have a large plunging drop of water but a unique cascade of water flowing through the gorge.  There is a large bridge crossing over the gorge to give passersby a overlooking vantage point.
This scenic area also includes several easy hiking trails, falls pond (just beyond the gorge) and a well maintained picnic area.

Visitors can climb out onto the rocks of the Swift River and get a closer look at the flowing waters and scenic river banks.  This scenic turn off is park of the White Mountain National Forest and has a pristine natural atmosphere along the Swift River.

A recreation parking pass is required at this location and is available onsite via a self-serve lock box.  Bring $5 cash to pay the fee.

5.  Glen Ellis Falls

Located in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest, Glen Ellis Falls is one of the prettiest in New Hampshire.  Only a .5 level hike from the parking lot, Glen Ellis Falls exhibits beauty views of the Ellis River above the falls, a stone vantage point at the top of the falls and an observation area at the base of the falls with a 64-foot plunge drop into the pool below.

The parking area requires a recreation pass for parking which is $5 and can be paid onsite via a self-serve lock box. 

This waterfalls is one of the most popular in the White Mountains as the trail is well maintained, wide with steps along the water fall and easily accessible just off Route 16 in Pinkham Notch.

Location:  Glen Ellis Water Fall is located just off Route 16 in Pinkham Notch about 8.4 miles from Jackson, NH, 16.3 miles from North Conway and 11.5 miles from Gorham.


6.  Crystal Cascade

This roadside water fall is located at the top of Crawford Notch State Park.  There are two parking lots where visitors can park and cross the roadway to view the falls.  This falls has a main drop of about 60 feet and a lower 20 foot plunge into a large pool.

This falls is a roaming ramble of water during highwater or after a good rain storm showcasing a pristine landscape with water fall scenery abound.

There are several good vantage points around this waterfall and only a 15-minute walk from the Pinkham Notch AMC Visitor Center.

Location:  Just up the road from Glen Ellis Falls, this waterfall is just off Route 16 in Pinkham Notch about 10.4 miles from Gorham and 20.9 miles from North Conway.


7.  Beaver Brook Falls

This falls is one of the prettiest water falls in New Hampshire.  This spot is located in The Great North Woods outside of Colebrook.  The parking area is just off the road and an idea wide open area for a picnic or a great vantage point of the falls. 

This falls is a massive cascade is a 35-foot sheet of water showering over a wide rock formation which creates a wall of water.  There is a small pool at the base of the falls and a meandering stream which continues through the forest to the right.

This area is sparsely populated and there is an abundant wildlife community so you may see moose, deer or other wild animals especially around sunset.

Location:  This spot is located off Route 145 between Colebrook and Pittsburg New Hampshire.


8.  Giant Falls

Giant Falls is located in Shelburne New Hampshire off North Road.  This 80 foot falls creates a fan type cascade of water over the rock ledges.  During the spring and large run off periods, this water fall is very dramatic.  From Route 2 at Reflection Pond in Shelburne, you can gaze across the river….look to the mountains and see the whitewater of Giant Falls.  This is a good point to see how the falls water flow is and whether its worth the hike.

It is a 1.2-mile hike through the forest to the falls.  Along the way, you will travel through the Peabody Forest and, during certain times of the year, see abundant wild flowers, wild berries and lush woods.

Location:  This falls is located off North Road in Shelburne and is accessible via the Peabody Brook Trail.  This heavily traveled trail take you to the base of the falls.  It is 33 miles from North Conway and 5.2 miles from Gorham.

9.  Diana’s Bath

This unique water fall is located in Bartlett New Hampshire within the White Mountain National Forest.  The area is a wide portion of the Lucy Brook.  Diana’s Bath includes dozens of smaller waterfalls, large cascades sloping along the bedrock, small water troughs, potholes with water flowing in several directions

The trail from the Diana’s Bath parking is six tenths of a mile on a relatively flat slope.  The trail is well maintained with a gravel path. 

This is a great place for photography or family photos.  The landscape is great during the summer and superb during fall foliage.  This is a popular swimming and splashing spot during the warmer months.

Parking requires a recreational parking pass which is available at the parking lot area.  Get here early where it fills up fast and often you will see a line of cars waiting to enter.

Location:  Diana’s Bath is located off River Road in Bartlett and less than 2 miles from the center of North Conway village. 


10.  Jackson Falls

This is one of the prettiest waterfalls with a broad falls with a 6 foot drop and a series of large rocks and bedrock.  There are many crystal-clear pools with an amber color and small rapids.  The general area is large with many spots to set up a family picnic or just to sit and observe the flowing waters.  There are picnic tables available and often you will see people reading or enjoying the sounds of the rushing water.

This falls is located just off the road and has a modest parking lot.  This is a popular spot during the summer months and it may difficult finding a parking spot. 

Location:  Jackson Falls is located just off the Carter Notch Road in Jackson.  From the village, turn on to Carter Notch Road…. climb a small hill and you will find Jackson Falls on the right.  The falls is 8.4 miles from North Conway.

There are over 100 water falls in New Hampshire but the most picturesque falls are located in the steeper elevations in and around the White Mountains.  These falls are some of the best with relatively easy access and a decent payoff. 

Hope you have a great time exploring the beautiful waterfalls around New Hampshire.


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