Jericho Falls is located within Jericho Mountain State Park, which is perhaps the premier ATV-ing area of the Northeast. The state park has a network of ATV trails and also connects to a staggering 1000-plus miles of trails outside of the park that are part of the 'Ride the Wilds' trail system. While you can't use an ATV to reach Jericho Falls, you can follow a series of ATV trails that ultimately visits the Alpine Cascades a few miles south of downtown Berlin. The state park also offers a campground with lean-to's, campsites, and several rustic cabins.
You have to hike to reach the falls, and the state park has presumably been so busy managing its ATV program and trails that it hasn't focused so much on publicizing the pretty 22-foot waterfall it contains. In fact, the falls aren't even on the park map currently. There's a dirt road and trail to the falls, but you have to know exactly where to look. If you try to just show up and walk some of the state park trails, you'll have a heck of a time finding the falls.
The falls are two-tiered and are fed by a dam upstream that is out of view. The 14-foot upper section drops into a beautiful pothole, but it's extremely difficult to get a solid perspective of it. The lower section drops 8 feet as a horsetail into a murky pool. Birch trees are one of the prominent trees lining the brook here, and so odds are good that these falls would look fantastic in peak fall foliage (typically early October in this region).
From the parking area at the state park headquarters, cross the main park road and walk down the EXIT road of the campground. Within the campground, fork right twice and look for site #9. Pass between sites #8 and #9 and walk along a dirt road that heads across an open area towards a reservoir and some distant windmills. Walk along this dirt road for 200 feet and you will reach a fork. Fork left and heads towards the windmills and the forest in front of you (a right would have led to the dam and reservoir). When you reach the woods, fork left and continue walking along the dirt road as it skims the edge of the woods. When you are about 0.4 mile from the parking area, enter the woods on your right when you see a narrow path. An orange trail sign currently marks the spot but it was extremely faded in 2017 and is thus likely to be replaced at some point. Follow this moderate trail for 0.2 mile, which is marked with orange flagging tape currently, as it descends to the falls. Portions of the trail are muddy and moderately steep. About 0.6 mile from the trailhead, you will reach the base of the falls.
From the junction of NH 110 and NH 16 in Berlin, follow NH 110 west for 3.6 miles and turn left onto the main entrance road of Jericho Mountain State Park. If you are driving along NH 110 east from Groveton, the state park road will be on your right 7.3 miles past the junction of NH 110 and NH 110A in the section of Milan known as West Milan. Drive 1.3 miles west along the state park road and park in front of the state park headquarters. The campground for the state park is across the road from the parking area.
To get to Berlin, take NH 16 north from North Conway, Jackson, or Gorham.
UPDATES SINCE THE 2ND EDITION
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Jericho Falls, New Hampshire
Jericho Falls, New Hampshire
views along the trail to Jericho Falls
INTERESTED IN VISITING MORE WATERFALLS IN NEW ENGLAND?
TIPS FOR VISITING WATERFALLS & SWIMMING HOLES
Here are some tips to help ensure that your trip to New England's waterfalls and swimming holes will be a safe and enjoyable one:
- DON'T FORGET THE ESSENTIALS - When you visit waterfalls, you should consider bringing all of the following: (a) bug spray; (b) food/snacks; (c) water/sports drinks; (d) camera/smart-phone; (e) guidebook/trail map; (f) daypack/backpack; and (g) hiking shoes, hiking boots or watershoes. A full day hiking packing list can be found here.
- CONSIDER BUYING WATER SHOES - You won't see too many people using them, but watershoes are fantastic pieces of equipment that can make your trip to waterfalls and swimming holes safer and more enjoyable. Merrill and Keen make some fantastic watershoes (here are some great ones from Merrill: womens / mens).
- LEAVE NO TRACE - When you visit waterfalls and swimming holes, you'll often see some trash and sometimes you'll even find clothing left behind by others. It's really, really sad, and it irks the heck out of us. Won't you consider carrying out some of trash and clothing left by others when you leave? That would leave the spot more beautiful for the next person. Bring a trash bag and be a hero!
- PRIVATE PROPERTY - Many waterfalls and swimming holes are located on private property and so we are truly fortunate that many landowners allow us to enjoy them. If you want to ensure that they stay open to the public, please do your best to leave no trace. If you see a sign that says 'Private Property', turn around and find another waterfall to visit or a different place to swim.
- BRING A DSLR CAMERA AND TRIPOD WITH YOU - If you want to take high-quality photographs of waterfalls, your smart-phone just won't cut it. Get a DSLR camera, a tripod, and learn to master the art of waterfall photography.
- SCOUT FIRST, SWIM SECOND - Never enter a swimming hole without first scouting it, even if you see somebody else swimming in it. Stop and access the risks based upon the depth of water, the power of the current, evidence of slippery rocks, and other safety factors.
- CLIFF JUMPING - Cliff jumping is dangerous. Like, seriously dangerous. Understand the risks before you partake in this activity. Many have died from doing this in New England. Here is a list of all known deaths at waterfalls and swimming holes in New England.
- PLEASE DON'T BUILD ROCK CAIRNS - Please do not build new rock cairns at waterfalls or swimming holes. Cairns are a strong reminder of human presence, and don't we all want to see waterfalls in their natural state and glory? Photographers get particularly annoyed at seeing cairns, so please resist the urge to build them.
- DON'T RELY ON YOUR GPS TO GET YOU TO THE TRAILHEAD - Waterfalls don't have addresses, so relying on your GPS to get you to a trailhead is great way to get yourself lost. You need a guidebook, a road atlas, and/or a hiking map to visit the vast majority of waterfalls in New England. Also keep in mind that waterfalls are often located in wild areas, where smart-phone map apps and car GPS units may not work at all.
- WATERFALLS IN SPRING - The best time to visit waterfalls is generally in the spring during the annual snowmelt (which is April to June). However, most waterfalls will often look great for several days after a significant rain storm.
- HELP KEEP THE ULTRA-SECRET SWIMMING HOLES A SECRET (FOREVER) - If you find some ultra-secret swimming holes, please do your best to keep them a secret. Do not post their locations online or wildly share directions or photos with others. All of the swimming holes that are included in the guidebook and online through this website are the well-known swimming spots. There are many more holes that are much further off the beaten path, but they deserve a chance to stay wild and pristine.
- DON'T SCRAMBLE UP WATERFALLS - So many people been seriously injured and killed in the waterfalls of New England. Many of these folks got too close to a waterfall and slipped and fell. Don't become a statistic: stay far back from the edge.
- WEAR TRACTION IF YOU VISIT WATERFALLS IN WINTER - Visiting waterfalls in winter can be rewarding, but there is often a higher element of danger. You may need crampons, snowshoes, and/or some other form of traction (like Microspikes) in order to safely hike to waterfalls in winter.
- SUPPORT NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS THAT CONSERVE WATERFALLS & SWIMMING HOLES - There are some organizations in New England that work diligently to conserve and maintain waterfalls and swimming holes. Please consider supporting these organizations, either with their trail maintenance projects or with monetary donations. Here are three excellent organizations engaged in this extremely important mission: the Trustees of Reservations, the Vermont River Conservancy and the Nature Conservancy.
Here are some helpful links to help you explore and enjoy more waterfalls and hikes throughout New England:
- Waterfalls of Connecticut = link
- Waterfalls of Maine = link
- Waterfalls of Massachusetts = link
- Waterfalls of New Hampshire = link
- Waterfalls of Rhode Island = link
- Waterfalls of Vermont = link
- Best Waterfalls in New England = link
- Best Swimming Holes in New England = link
- Top 25 Day Hikes in New England = link
- Top 25 Family-Friendly Day Hikes in New England = link
- Waterfalls Near Boston, Massachusetts = link
- Waterfalls Near Lincoln, New Hampshire = link
- Waterfalls Near North Conway, New Hampshire = link
- Waterfalls Near Stowe, Vermont = link
- Waterfall Photography Tips = link
OTHER WATERFALL GUIDEBOOKS
In addition to the New England Waterfalls guidebook, there are several other guidebooks that can help you find waterfalls and swimming holes:
- Vermont Waterfalls (1st Edition: 2015) = link
- Hiking Waterfalls in New England: A Guide to the Region's Best Waterfall Hikes (1st Edition: 2015) = link
- Waterfalls of the White Mountains: 30 Hikes to 100 Waterfalls (2nd Edition: 1999) = link
- Connecticut Waterfalls (1st Edition: 2014) = link
- Rodrick's Guide to Vermont Waterfalls, Cascades & Gorges (1st Edition: 2014) = link
WATERFALLS ON FACEBOOK
Join the growing communities of waterfall aficionados on Facebook! You can share your photographs, follow the adventures of other waterfall hunters, and find new places to explore:
- Request to join the "New England Waterfalls" community > link
- Request to join the "New Hampshire Waterfalls" community > link
- Request to join the "Northeastern Waterfalls" community > link
- Request to join the "Vermont Waterfalls" community > link
- Request to join the "Waterfalls of the United States" community > link
And if you'd like to follow the New England Waterfalls page on Facebook, click here.
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