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Crawfords Purchase, New Hampshire

RATING: 2.0 / 5.0 stars (Good) Middle Ammonoosuc Falls, New Hampshire
(see below for larger image and additional photographs)
STATE: New Hampshire
TOWN: Crawfords Purchase
PARK: White Mountain National Forest
TYPE: Plunge
HEIGHT: Two drops of 5 feet each
WATER SOURCE: Ammonoosuc River
TRAIL LENGTH: 0.1 mile one-way
TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy side of moderate
HIKING TIME: 5 minutes one-way
WHEN TO VISIT: May to October
SWIMMING: Excellent
DELORME ATLAS: 2005: Page 44, B-3 (the falls are not marked on the NH atlas)
2015: Page 51, A-6 (the falls are not marked on the NH/VT atlas)
COST TO VISIT: Free (as of 2016)
LENS TO BRING: Wide-angle (14-35mm), standard (35-70mm), and/or short-telephoto (70-105mm)
ALTERNATE NAMES: Middle Falls of the Ammonoosuc River, Middle Falls
GPS-TRAILHEAD: 44.264667, -71.421167
GPS-WATERFALL: 44.264500, -71.418833
COMPASS: 300° excluding declination (the falls face southwest)
INCLUDED IN BOOK?: No (the falls were discovered after the 2nd edition was published)
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The Ammonoosuc River packs a punch with scenic waterfalls. There are some towering waterfalls a few miles below the summit of Mt. Washington, and there are many more smaller falls to be found over the next several miles of river. Of all the major falls on this river, Middle Ammonoosuc Falls is the least visited. There are no official trails to the falls, and the parking area is not marked with any sort of sign. If you don't know exactly where to look, you may really struggle finding these falls.

You'll find only small falls here - and none higher than 5 feet tall. There are a few pools too, and they are extremely tempting because they are far less crowded than other swimming holes along the river. While my preference is always going to be swimming at the Upper Falls and Lower Falls, the pools here are still quite wonderful. If beautiful swimming holes with some solitude is your thing, head to the Middle Falls.


Enter the woods on the obvious trail that starts in front of the parking area. After about 50 feet of hiking, take a rough trail on the right, heading towards the river. When you get within a few feet of the river, start walking upstream, even though there is no clearly defined trail. After hiking directly upstream for about 50 feet, the lower swimming pool will become visible. There are no falls here, so continue pushing your way upstream, periodically scooting over to the stream to check for more interesting pools, falls, potholes and cliffs. It may take you a few minutes to find the exact spot that is Middle Ammonoosuc Falls, but as long as you are determined, you shouldn't have a problem finding them. The falls are only about 300-400 feet from the parking area.


From the junction of US-302 and US-3 in the section of Carroll known as Twin Mountain, take US-302 east for 4.5 miles and take a left onto Base Rd, which is marked by a sign for the “Cog Railway”. Follow Base Rd. for 1.9 miles and park in the first dirt parking area on the right side of the road (there is another parking area that can also be used 0.1 mile further up the road). There is no official sign to mark the parking area, but you will have found the correct spot when see a trail that climbs over a small hump and then enters the woods.

To get to Twin Mountain, take I-93 north from Lincoln to US-3 north or take US-302 west from North Conway.



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 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


None noted.

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Middle Ammonoosuc Falls, New Hampshire
Middle Ammonoosuc Falls, New Hampshire

Middle Ammonoosuc Falls, New Hampshire
Middle Ammonoosuc Falls, New Hampshire

a great swimming pool a short distance downstream of Middle Ammonoosuc Falls, New Hampshire
a great swimming pool a short distance downstream of Middle Ammonoosuc Falls, New Hampshire

a great swimming pool a short distance downstream of Middle Ammonoosuc Falls, New Hampshire
a great swimming pool a short distance downstream of Middle Ammonoosuc Falls, New Hampshire

Middle Ammonoosuc Falls, New Hampshire
the pothole and pool directly below Middle Ammonoosuc Falls, New Hampshire

Middle Ammonoosuc Falls, New Hampshire
Middle Ammonoosuc Falls, New Hampshire

the trailhead of Middle Ammonoosuc Falls, New Hampshire
the trailhead of Middle Ammonoosuc Falls, New Hampshire

Middle Ammonoosuc Falls, New Hampshire
a view of Mt. Washington from the trailhead at Middle Ammonoosuc Falls, New Hampshire

Middle Ammonoosuc Falls, New Hampshire
the main falls at Middle Ammonoosuc Falls, New Hampshire

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The 3rd edition of the New England Waterfalls guidebook contains 552-pages of detailed information on hundreds of waterfalls throughout all corners of New England. This 3rd edition has been completely updated and it is the first to be printed in FULL COLOR! Click on the image below to explore some sample pages of the guidebook on

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New England Waterfalls guidebook

Over 30,000 copies sold!

also available on...

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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


In addition to the New England Waterfalls guidebook, there are several other guidebooks that can help you find waterfalls and swimming holes in this region:
  • Connecticut Waterfalls (1st Edition: 2014) = link
  • Hiking Waterfalls in New England: A Guide to the Region's Best Waterfall Hikes (2nd Edition: 2022) = link
  • Hiking Waterfalls Maine: A Guide to the State's Best Waterfall Hikes (1st Edition: 2020) = link
  • Vermont Waterfalls (1st Edition: 2015) = link
  • Waterfalls of the White Mountains: 30 Hikes to 100 Waterfalls (3rd Edition: 2019) = link


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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And if you'd like to follow the New England Waterfalls page on Facebook, click here.


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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 wary of slippery rocks. Never swim in pools above waterfalls. Use of this website and all of its information is at your own risk! will not be held liable for your actions. Be safe out there - and always use common sense!

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