Just north of the two famous waterfalls of Crawford Notch State Park—Ripley Falls and Arethusa Falls—lays a relatively unknown third waterfall, Kedron Flume. Here, the mountain waters of Kedron Brook surge through a narrow flume, slide for a long distance through a narrow shoot, and eventually begin their steep descent towards the highway below.
Exploring the flume is a dangerous business. The rocks on the trail and around the falls are deceptively slippery. Although most of the time the water volume is quite low, perhaps only a few inches deep, enough mist and condensation makes exploring the terrain hazardous. If you take extra caution, walk 20 feet downstream from the trail crossing and you can stand atop a waterfall ledge, with views of Mount Webster to the north opening up.
The waters of Kedron Brook can run throughout summer, but we expect you will enjoy the flume more during times of rushing waters. Beginning at the end of the snow-melt season—usually early-May to the middle of June—you are pretty much guaranteed a good show. In mid-summer, the waterfall becomes progressively more difficult to see due to ever-growing leaves and tree coverage. We urge you to visit this place soon; over time, this waterfall has the potential to become lost to the woods as the underbrush continues to thicken.
From the southernmost parking lot at the Willey House Picnic Area (the first parking lot reached if coming from Glen), start climbing up the Kedron Flume Trail to the falls. There is a small sign for the trail above the “Picnic Area” roadside sign at the end of the parking lot, just before the Willey House historic building.
This blue-marked trail is a continuous uphill hike. After about 15 minutes of hiking, you will cross a set of railroad tracks, just before the halfway mark. From the parking area to this set of tracks, the trail gradually weaves its way towards the flume via switchbacks. From the railroad tracks to the flume, the trail transforms to a rather steep, slippery and muddy trail. About a half-mile beyond the tracks, the trail will level out and the narrow flume will appear on the right and continue underneath your feet before dropping again in a horsetail formation. Only about 150 feet of the falls is visible along the trail. The total drop of the falls is probably hundreds more, but there is no safe access to witness other sections not seen from the trail.
Directions for this particular waterfall are not posted online. Please see directions in our published guidebook, New England Waterfalls: A Guide to More Than 400 Cascades And Waterfalls, or you can email us and we will happily provide them to you. When requesting directions via email, please remember to specify which particular waterfall(s) you are looking for directions to.
SPECIAL NOTES / UPDATES SINCE THE 2ND EDITION: