Upper Ammonoosuc Falls
Crawfords Purchase, NH

RATING: 3.0/5.0

Upper Ammonoosuc Falls
(click for larger image)

STATE: New Hampshire
COUNTY: Coos County
TOWN: Crawfords Purchase
PARK: White Mountain National Forest
TYPE: Plunge and cascades
HEIGHT: Tallest drop is 8 feet
WATER SOURCE: Ammonoosuc River
TRAIL LENGTH: Less than 0.1 mile
TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy
HIKING TIME: Negligible
ALTITUDE GAIN: None
WHEN TO VISIT: Year Round
SWIMMING: Excellent
DELORME ATLAS: Page 44, B-3 (marked)
HANDICAP ACCESS: No
INCLUDED IN BOOK: Yes (Included in 2nd Edition of book as a full chapter)
DOGS ALLOWED: Yes
COST TO VISIT: Free
ALTERNATE NAMES: Upper Falls



THE FALLS:

Hundreds of documented fatal tragedies have occurred in New England's swimming holes. After Huntington Gorge of Vermont, the region's deadliest swimming hole, Upper Ammonoosuc Falls is likely to be the second in line. We have nearly seen it first-hand; on one visit, we witnessed a gentleman struggling dearly to find the strength to exit a circular pothole found below the main 8-foot falls. He made it out alive that day, but others have not been so fortune. Swimming is only really possible here in the lowest of currents and it is never safe to swim in the potholes near the main plunge?that is where the accidents have almost always occurred.
         The highlight of this place is certainly the pools and gorge, and not the falls themselves. The tallest drop here, the 8-foot plunge, is roaring in power but a bit lacking in character. It is also tough to photograph well since the sun shines directly on it for most of the day. The best photographs here would likely be taken early in the morning or very late in the afternoon.
         Summer brings swarms of thrill seekers, photographers, fishermen and tourists to these falls daily. Known for years as a place that tolerated the consumption of alcohol along with cliff jumping (an absolutely horrible combination, we should add), the U.S. Forest Service recently decided, after several recent fatal and near-fatal accidents, to place a permanent ban on alcohol consumption at this waterfall. As a result, this place is slowly becoming more family-friendly. Children should also be watched carefully here; the best and safest place for them to wade in the river is at least 50 feet downstream of the falls.
         As the name of this waterfall might suggest, there exists a Lower Ammonoosuc Falls. It is located a few miles downstream and is accessible via a short and easy 0.2 mile trail that begins at the end of nearby Lower Falls Rd. The lower falls were not significant enough to earn a chapter in this guide, but there is another good (and much safer) swimming hole there. If the currents are too strong at Upper Ammonoosuc Falls, you may still have a chance to enjoy the water at Lower Ammonoosuc Falls as the pool there is extremely large.


TRAIL INFORMATION:

Please see trail information in our published guidebook, New England Waterfalls: A Guide to More Than 400 Cascades And Waterfalls, or you can email us (gparsons66@hotmail.com) and we will happily provide them to you. When requesting information via email, please remember to specify which particular waterfall(s) you are interested in.


DIRECTIONS:

Please see directions in our published guidebook, New England Waterfalls: A Guide to More Than 400 Cascades And Waterfalls, or you can email us (gparsons66@hotmail.com) 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:

None.




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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 last 50 years. Never swim when the water currents seem like they are too high or strong. Use of this website and all of its information is at your own risk! Be safe out there - and always use common sense!