PARADISE FALLS


Woodstock, New Hampshire



RATING: 3.5 / 5.0 stars (Great) Paradise Falls, The Lost River, New Hampshire
(see below for larger image and additional photographs)
STATE: New Hampshire
COUNTY: Grafton
TOWN: Woodstock
PARK: Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves
PRIVATE PROPERTY: Yes (but the general public is welcome)
TYPE: Plunges and small cascades
HEIGHT: Tallest plunge is 20 feet
WATER SOURCE: Lost River
WATERSHED SIZE: Medium
TRAIL LENGTH: 0.8 mile loop
TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy side of moderate
HIKING TIME: 60 minute loop (not including stops)
ALTITUDE GAIN: Down 300 feet, up 300 feet for entire loop
WHEN TO VISIT: Early-May to mid-October
SWIMMING: Not Possible and/or Prohibited
DELORME ATLAS: 2005: Page 43, I-9 (the falls are marked as 'Lost River' on the NH atlas)
2015: Page 50, C-3 (the falls are marked as 'Lost River' on the NH/VT atlas)
HANDICAP ACCESS: No
DOGS ALLOWED: Not Allowed (except for service dogs)
COST TO VISIT: Yes (a per-person fee is charged; bring cash or debit/credit card)
LENS TO BRING: Wide-angle (14-35mm) and/or standard (35-70mm)
ALTERNATE NAMES: The Lost River, Lost River Gorge
GPS-TRAILHEAD: Coming soon
GPS-WATERFALL: Coming soon
COMPASS: 105° excluding declination (the falls face northeast)
INCLUDED IN BOOK?: Yes, the falls are included as a full chapter within the guidebook
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THE FALLS

The first question a visitor to the Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves may ask is, where was this place when I was a child? Not only does the park contain two waterfalls, one of which is particularly scenic, it also has about a dozen different small boulder caves open for exploration. While some caves are large enough to walk straight into, others require passing through tight squeezes, where your agility and flexibility will be put to the test.

The prime waterfall within the reservation is Paradise Falls, and it is located near the middle of the 0.8-mile boardwalk loop trail. From the trail, you are provided both a head-on view and a birds-eye vantage point. Although viewing this waterfall is limited to the boardwalk, due to fencing, there are enough spots to encapsulate the beauty of this waterfall.

The Falls of Proserpine is the second falls you can find here. This waterfall is more elusive than its neighbor; you must enter the Judgment Hall of Pluto to obtain any sort of view. Photography will be difficult here due to the small size of the cave and the fact that the falls is for the most part hidden behind a huge boulder.

This waterfall is one of the most visited in New England, simply because it is seen by all who visit the reservation. This is one tourist attraction that is absolutely worth joining the crowds, especially if you (or your children) enjoy caves or waterfalls. An accurate rating system is in place to let you know which caves along the loop are more difficult than others. This information is printed on the trail map provided to each guest upon paying the entrance fee. An entrance fee is required ($20.00 for adults and $16.00 for children ages 4-12 in 2017), but just about everyone leaves having enjoyed this special nature park. Take note that pets are not permitted. One final tip: check the website or call before visiting to inquire if any caves are currently closed due to flooding or unsafe conditions. Most caves typically re-open within 2-3 days after heavy rains.

TRAIL INFORMATION

Trail information and directions for this particular waterfall can be found in the latest edition of the guidebook: New England Waterfalls.

DIRECTIONS

Trail information and directions for this particular waterfall can be found in the latest edition of the guidebook: New England Waterfalls.

UPDATES SINCE THE 2ND EDITION

NONE NOTED.

If you know of any updates to this waterfall, or notice any errors either on this website and/or within the New England Waterfalls guidebook, please send me an email at gparsons66@hotmail.com or leave a Facebook comment at the bottom of this page. Updates to all of the waterfalls in the latest edition of the guidebook can always be found here: book updates

OPTIONAL HIKES

None noted.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Paradise Falls, The Lost River, New Hampshire
Paradise Falls within The Lost River, New Hampshire

Paradise Falls, The Lost River, New Hampshire
Paradise Falls within The Lost River, New Hampshire

Paradise Falls, The Lost River, New Hampshire
Paradise Falls within The Lost River, New Hampshire

Paradise Falls, The Lost River, New Hampshire
Paradise Falls within The Lost River, New Hampshire

Paradise Falls, The Lost River, New Hampshire
The Lost River, New Hampshire

Paradise Falls, The Lost River, New Hampshire
The Lost River, New Hampshire

Paradise Falls, The Lost River, New Hampshire
The Lost River, New Hampshire

Paradise Falls, The Lost River, New Hampshire
small cascades and some of the boardwalk trail within The Lost River, New Hampshire

Paradise Falls, The Lost River, New Hampshire
some of the boardwalk trail within The Lost River, New Hampshire

Paradise Falls, The Lost River, New Hampshire
yours truly exiting one of the boulder caves within The Lost River, New Hampshire

Paradise Falls, The Lost River, New Hampshire
one of the boulder caves within The Lost River, New Hampshire

INTERESTED IN VISITING MORE WATERFALLS IN NEW ENGLAND?

Our 376-page New England Waterfalls: 2nd Edition guidebook contains detailed information on over 400 waterfalls throughout New England. Click on the image below to read reviews and/or purchase the guidebook on Amazon.com.



New England Waterfalls

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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.

HELPFUL LINKS

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

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ASK A QUESTION / LEAVE A COMMENT / PROVIDE AN UPDATE:

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Waterfalls, swimming holes, and hiking can be extremely dangerous. Hundreds of people have been injured or killed in the waterfalls and swimming holes of New England over the years. Never swim in strong water currents. Don't jump into a swimming hole without scouting it first. Do not climb up or along the side of waterfalls. Be weary of slippery rocks. Never swim in pools above waterfalls. Use of this website and all of its information is at your own risk! Newenglandwaterfalls.com and the authors of the New England Waterfalls guidebook will not be held liable for your actions. Be safe out there - and always use common sense!