The Lure of Scenic Waterfalls
By Mary Emma Allen
Waterfalls, wherever they are in the world, seem to capture
the attention of travelers. They go out of their way to travel
to these cascading tumbles of water, whether the falls are long
narrow streams or a wide expanse like Niagara Falls. Some falls
may simply be a tumble of water over a dam, while others are
famed and draw visitors from far and near.
|Niagara Falls from the Candian
side Photo Credit Kathleen Walls
We take photos of them (often with ourselves or family
included), purchase postcards picturing them or simply enjoy
them from memory. I have a photo of my parents, newlyweds in
the 1930s, standing before a waterfall in NYS. We had a small
waterfall in the woods on the farm where I grew up, that was a
pleasant place to hike and picnic. My husband and I have gone
out of our way to hike around waterfalls, or simply see them
from the road, in our travels. There often are legends
associated with waterfalls.
New Hampshire's Scenic Waterfalls
Throughout the mountains of central New Hampshire, a number
of waterfalls lure visitors to picturesque sites where one can
enjoy the water gushing over the rocks and tumbling into a
stream below. Some can be seen from the highway, while to view
others you must hike awhile along a trail. Take a
picnic lunch and enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the
woodland near such natural delights. Some waterfalls will have
created natural pools for swimming, too.
Sabbaday Falls, off the scenic Kancamagus Highway in the
White Mountains, is described as an easy 0.4 mile walk from the
road, taking about 20 minutes to one hour, round trip. It has
been mentioned in a White Mountain National Forest service
brochure as "a picturesque series of cascades in a narrow
flume." Signs pint out various rock formations. Also there is
a picnic area at the entrance to the trail.
Champney Falls , named for White Mountain artist Benjamin
Champney, is another easy walk of 1.5 miles, requiring one to
three hours for the round trip. This attraction, also off the
Kancamagus Highway, usually has plenty of water in spring, as
well as after heavy rains. The falls can be minimal during dry
A path around 200 feet long leads from the bottom of Champney
Falls toPitcher Falls. This latter waterfall has water running
the major portion of the year.
Franconia Falls , in the Pemigewasset Wilderness area, is
described as "an easy goal for a short day-hike." These falls
consist of a massive granite ledge with a water chute. Follow
the Wilderness Trail along the East Branch of the Pemigewasset
River from the trail head on the Kancamagus Highway, about five
miles east of Interstate 93.
Trail parallels Cascade Brook in Franconia Notch State Park
and affords a view of numerous scenic cascades along the way.
It's a 2.6 mile, moderate trail that's a great family one with
lovely views of waterfalls.
The Flume is a natural gorge extending 800 feet along Flume
Brook at the base of Mt Liberty in Franconia State Park. Lovely
falls throughout the gorge, particularly Avalanche Falls at the
upper end, attract numerous visitors each year,causing this
natural area to be considered one of the most visited in the
state. There is an admission charge to visit The Flume and
traverse the trail which takes you over a board walkway along
the stream and falls.
Falls, considered one the tallest falls in the state, is off
the beaten path in Crawford Notch. Located on Bemis
Brook, these falls are more than 200 feet high.
Below this,on Avalanche Brook, you'll find Ripley
Falls, which rises about 100 feet. These are two
spectacular spots in Crawford Notch and connected by a trail.
They are on the "must see" list of many hikers.
On and on goes a list of waterfalls in the Granite State. as
well as throughout the country. You may have a favorite you
return to repeatedly. Or you may enjoy discovering new falls.
(c)2016 Mary Emma Allen (Mary Emma Allen writes
for children and adults from her NH woodland home. She also
writes the Potluck column for American Roads. E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org)