Long-Distance Waterfall Hikes


Screw Auger Falls, Gulf Hagas, Maine Race Brook Falls, Massachusetts Dry River Falls, Massachusetts

Here are some of the best long-distance hikes in New England that leads to or past waterfalls. Most of these waterfalls are highly worthwhile destinations in their own right, but many will find them more enjoyable as part of a longer hike. The ratings reflected below represent the overall experience of the entire hike instead of the scenic value of the falls alone.

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MAINE
WATERFALL / DESTINATION NAME
OVERALL
HIKE RATING
TOTAL
DISTANCE
NOTES & HIGHLIGHTS
Grand Falls, Green Falls & Russell Pond 20 miles
round-trip
both of these falls are located deep within Baxter State Park; use the Russell Pond backpacking site as a base camp to visit both of these waterfalls; it is recommended that you start your hike at the Roaring Brook trailhead in the southern end of the state park; advance reservations are required and they can be very difficult to obtain as competition is heavy
Gulf Hagas 8.6 mile
loop
visiting all the falls within Gulf Hagas makes for an excellent long day hike; many waterfalls and swimming holes are seen along the way; a moderate access fee is charged as this is located on private logging roads; make sure to bring a map (maps are usually available for a few bucks where you pay the access fee); you should also consider hiking to Hay Brook Falls while in the area (this adds 1.6 miles round-trip)
Katahdin Stream Falls & Katahdin 11.0 miles
round-trip
it's 5.5 miles one-way to the awesome summit of Katahdin in Baxter State Park; along the way, you'll pass Katahdin Sream Falls about 1.6 miles from the trailhead; Katahdin is extremely difficult and should be avoided in poor weather; a day-use parking permit is required (non-residents of Maine can reserve online up to two weeks in advance)
Kees Falls & Caribou Mountain 7.0 mile
loop
this hike visits pretty 25-foot Kees Falls and then climbs to excellent views from ledges on Caribou Mountain; ascend via the Caribou Trail and descend via the Mud Brook Trail; access is via Evans Notch in the eastern White Mountains

MASSACHUSETTS
WATERFALL / DESTINATION NAME
OVERALL
HIKE RATING
TOTAL
DISTANCE
NOTES & HIGHLIGHTS
Race Brook Falls & Mt. Race and/or Mt. Everett 7.0 miles
round-trip
this hike includes up to five waterfalls and great reviews from ledges on Mt. Race and Mt. Everett; backcountry camping is available at the nearby Race Brook and Laurel Ridge tentsites

NEW HAMPSHIRE
WATERFALL / DESTINATION NAME
OVERALL
HIKE RATING
TOTAL
DISTANCE
NOTES & HIGHLIGHTS
Ammonoosuc Ravine & Mt. Monroe and/or Mt. Washington 10.2 mile
loop
this loop is the easiest way to climb Mt. Washington, although it is still considered very difficult; you'll see Gem Pool
Appalachia Waterfalls & Mt. Madison coming soon coming soon
Appalachia Waterfalls & Mt. Adams coming soon coming soon
Beaver Brook Cascades & Mt. Moosilauke 7.6 miles
round-trip
mileage includes hike up Mt. Moosilauke; very steep trail; cascades are 1100 feet tall in total; part of the Appalachian Trail; camp at Beaver Brook Shelter
Champney Falls & Mt. Chocorua 7.6 miles
round-trip
coming soon
Crystal Cascade & Mt. Washington 8.4 mile
loop
mileage includes hike up Mt. Washington; extremely difficult; ascends famous Tuckerman Ravine Trail on Mt. Washington and descends the Lions Head Trail, both of which require good weather and proper gear (do not attempt before July unless you have extensive snow & ice experience); overnight accomodations available at the backcountry Hermit Lake shelters
Diana's Baths & North Moat Mountain 10.2 mile
loop
coming soon
Dry River Falls 10.8 miles
round-trip
located within the Dry River Wilderness; several backcountry campsites are available if you want to camp
Emerald Pool & the Baldfaces 9.8 mile
loop
coming soon
Falls on The Falling Waters Trail & Mt. Lincoln & Mt. Lafayette 8.9 mile
loop
mileage includes loop hike up Mt. Lafayette and Mt. Lincoln (the "Franconia Loop"; three waterfalls on this outstanding loop; bring proper clothing and ample food/water on this fantastic hike; lodging available at AMC Greenleaf Hut (advance reservations required)
Great Falls & Flat Mountain Pond 9.5 mile
semi-loop
hike past two sets of small but attractive falls and pools en route to the beautiful backcountry Flat Mountain Pond; overnight shelter and tentsites available near the shores of the pond; hike up via the Bennett Street Trail and return via Flat Mountain Pond Trail
Nancy Cascades & Nancy Pond and/or Norcross Pond 8.6 miles
round-trip
this recently improved trail visits beautiful cascades and two remote ponds; an optional bushwhack can be taken up to the summit of Mt. Nancy; there are some backpacking sites near the ponds
Rattle River Falls & Mt. Moriah 11.6 miles
round-trip
hiking the Rattle River Trail (Appalachian Trail) is a an unorthodox but fun way to climb Mt. Moriah, one of NH's 4000-footers; if you have a second car, or you are willing to hitchhike, you can do a traverse of the mountain instead of hiking up and back down the same trail; there is an overnight shelter near the falls
Thirteen Falls & Franconia Falls 16.8 miles
round-trip
this trip, which can be done as a long day trip or an overnight backpacking, visits two scenic waterfalls; a wonderful tentsite can be found at the AMC-managed 13 Falls Campsite (fee charged); Thirteen Falls is one of the most remote waterfalls in New England; this trip makes for an excellent introduction to backpacking
Weetamoo Falls 11.5 miles
round-trip
Weetamoo Falls is deep in the Great Gulf on Mt. Washington; Sphinx Cascades are also nearby; very wild & remote
Zealand Falls & Zealand Pond & Zeacliff 7.8 miles
round-trip
this hike visits several pretty ponds, a seasonal falls, and excellent views from Zeacliff; you can also hike to nearby Zealand Mountain, one of the 4,000-footers of New Hampshire
Zealand Falls & Thoreau Falls 10.0 miles
round-trip
family-friendly day-hike visits both of these waterfalls; lodging available at nearby AMC Zealand Falls Hut (advance reservations required); Zealand Falls is best seen in high water; scenic views from near the hut and also at Thoreau Falls

VERMONT
WATERFALL / DESTINATION NAME
OVERALL
HIKE RATING
TOTAL
DISTANCE
NOTES & HIGHLIGHTS
Hell Brook Cascades & Mt. Mansfield 4.1 mile
loop
mileage includes hiking up Mt. Mansfield; very difficult trail; short but challenging bushwhack required to view most of cascades, but some good portions are visible along the main trail; descend via the Long Trail; short road walk required at the end of the hike
Lye Brook Falls 4.6 miles
round-trip
a 2.3 mile one-way hike in Manchester brings you to these towering falls, which are best seen in spring or after heavy rains; you cross a 2011 avalanche path en route to the falls

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