Hart’s Location, New Hampshire

Nestled within the heart of the beautiful Crawford Notch State Park, Arethusa Falls reigns as one of New Hampshire's tallest and most popular waterfalls.

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About This Location

Nestled within the heart of Crawford Notch State Park, in the pristine wilderness of the White Mountain National Forest, Arethusa Falls reigns as one of New Hampshire's most iconic waterfalls. Renowned for its majestic beauty, Arethusa Falls is particularly celebrated for hosting the tallest continuous drop in the state, solidifying its status as a natural treasure. While the exact height of this spectacular horsetail waterfall remains a subject of some debate, most estimates place it within the impressive range of 160 to 200 feet. Should it indeed reach the upper end of this spectrum, Arethusa Falls would earn the distinction of being the third tallest waterfall in New Hampshire, eclipsed only by Silver Cascade and Flume Cascade.

Arethusa Falls owes its breathtaking grandeur to Bemis Brook, the life-giving watercourse that nourishes its cascading beauty. This vibrant brook reaches the zenith of its strength during the spring, fueled by the melting snow and enhanced by heavy rainstorms. Although springtime provides the most impressive display of water's raw power, Arethusa Falls beckons adventurers and nature enthusiasts year-round, promising awe-inspiring vistas and timeless moments of serenity. Among the seasons, autumn stands out as a favorite among visitors, as the waterfall is enveloped by a tapestry of vibrant foliage, casting a spell of enchantment over all who behold it.

The unique beauty of Arethusa Falls unveils itself in its multi-tiered plunge. This captivating natural wonder has, at times, gone by the name Tuckerman Falls, adding a layer of history to its allure. Observers are struck by the sensation that the falls seem to cascade from the heavens themselves, as the falls' upper reaches remain concealed from view, save for a few hardy trees adorning the brook's banks. From both the trail and the lower viewing points, Arethusa Falls captivates with its ethereal grace. The waterfall's character can vary from a powerful torrent during peak water runoff to a delicate interplay of hundreds of rivulets during extended dry spells. It is precisely this inherent gracefulness, experienced throughout much of the summer, that elevates Arethusa Falls to "must-visit" status among waterfall enthusiasts. Notably, this captivating waterfall is also a beloved destination for winter ice-climbers, offering an entirely different, but equally mesmerizing, perspective.

For those seeking an extra dimension of natural wonder, Arethusa Falls offers two additional gems further downstream closer to the trail and about a mile from the main attraction. A spur trail provides access to Fawn Pool, a 100-foot-long, gently sloping waterslide that empties into an inviting pool, creating an idyllic swimming spot. A mere 200 feet upstream, the trail reveals Coliseum Falls, a 10-foot-high cascade that transforms into a delicate horsetail as it gracefully descends over a series of small ledges into a shallow pool. Together, these enchanting features enrich the Arethusa Falls experience, tempting visitors to explore further and discover even more of nature's secrets.

To embark on this extraordinary journey to Arethusa Falls, visitors can follow the Arethusa Falls Trail, accessible from Route 302 in the town of Harts Location. This trail unfolds over a manageable 2.8-mile round trip, guiding hikers directly to the waterfall's magnificent embrace while passing by Coliseum Falls along the way. Meticulously marked and thoughtfully maintained, this trail is rated as moderate, offering an adventure suitable for families with children. Furthermore, Arethusa Falls extends a warm welcome to four-legged adventurers, with dogs allowed to join the hiking excursion, provided they remain leashed throughout the journey.

For the convenience of visitors, a small parking lot is available at the trailhead, with space for approximately a dozen vehicles. Additionally, an alternate parking area can be found just a short distance away, conveniently located off Crawford Notch Road. This secondary lot is notably more capacious, accommodating up to 50 vehicles. However, it is essential to bear in mind that Arethusa Falls ranks among the most sought-after hikes in all of New Hampshire, consistently drawing a crowd of enthusiasts. Consequently, the parking areas tend to fill up quickly, particularly on weekends and sunny days throughout the year. Adventurers embarking on this remarkable journey should consider an early start to secure a prime spot and savor the falls' serene beauty amid the tranquility of nature.

As a cherished part of Crawford Notch State Park, Arethusa Falls proudly reveals its splendor to all who seek its embrace. Offering a realm of natural beauty that enchants visitors throughout the seasons, this captivating waterfall stands as a testament to the timeless allure of the great outdoors.

Location Features

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Crawford Notch Road, Hart’s Location, New Hampshire

GPS Coordinates:
44.146778, -71.392194
Directions to location:
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Directions to parking area:
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Parking Notes:
There is a small parking lot at the trailhead which can hold about a dozen cars. Additional parking can be found a few hundred yards away, just off Crawford Notch Road. This parking lot is far larger. It can hold about 50 cars.


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