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Absolutely awesome trail! We took Bemis Trail and rejoined the Arethusa Falls trail, but came back down Arethusa and I highly recommend this route. After seeing the two smaller waterfalls on Bemis and heading up, it is a very steep climb, but we successfully completed it with a 4, 8, and 9 year old. It was challenging for someone a tad out of shape, but well worth it. As others have stated, I think coming down Bemis would need to be slow going.

short and sweet. steep in areas but its a short hike so its not bad and view of echo lake is nice. for those who like hiking sticks this is a good trail for one. my son was only 4 and daughter 8. They did it and loved it.

walking
2 days ago

That was a great little family hike. Lots of cold water pools to lay around in and 4 leaves up or so there was a hole that was about 2 ½ feet wide by 3 ½ feet long and about 10 feet deep. Jumped in with my arms by my side. What a rush. The hike is easy. Parking was a problem so get there early.

Very cute, very short, tons of people

Great hike overall. My girlfriend and I messed up and accidentally ended up on the Garfield trail and had to turn around and go all the way back up the mountain. This turned our hike into a 16.4 mile hike that lasted over 10.5 hours. Luckily we were able to get water at the Greenleaf hut on the old bridle path. The wind at the top was intense and the sky would clear up and then cloud over repeatedly. When the clouds cleared, the views were stunning. Just be careful that if you plan on going down the old bridle trail that you don’t make the same mistake we did (the ranger said it’s quite common and was very miserable and painful)

Try and go on a day you'll be likely to have views from the ridge. I went out to do the whole Franconia Ridge loop, but there was zero visibility up top, so I decided to go back down the way I came. It was tough both ways. I'd recommend hiking poles. Use caution going down, it's easy to slip on the wet rocks.

walking
5 days ago

Very easy with stunning falls and impeccably maintained paths and bridges. Short but worthwhile.

This is a great hike for a family. The walk through the gorge is really beautiful. The way back around you get a couple nice views of mountains and the cliffs/pool. It wasnt busy when I was there. If you have little ones, do not bring a stroller. It is def not friendly up the gorge. The walkways add adventure to the hike itself.

great short hike with the pup, lots of beautiful views

Very good small hike. Has it all!

hiking
7 days ago

Really worth it!

hiking
11 days ago

We went Bald Mountain first, then Artist's Bluff with three adults (one novice) and a 7-year-old. It was challenging enough to keep my daughter happy (she loved the scramble to Bald Mountain) but not too tough for my wife, who rarely hikes. I would strongly recommend poles for this one, and it's definitely a fair weather hike. Varied topography throughout, some excellent views, and interesting scenery, including a lot of relics from long-gone loggers.

A Favor if you go: My 7-year-old lost a classmate and friend recently, and she built a little memorial to him at the top of Bald Mountain. If you pass that way, please add a stone and send a picture to swordsmith at gmail so she can pass it on to his twin sister.

hiking
11 days ago

More an amble than a hike (lots of kids in flipflops on the trail), the falls are beautiful both above and below, but at least on the weekend day that we went were VERY crowded.

Breathtaking!

So romantic to do with your boo ;)

The most beautiful piece of the world I’ve yet visited! Absolutely worth it. :)

Short hike to falls- first part of the trail could even be accessed by wheelchair or with a stroller. Climb up higher on the path to get up to the top of the group of falls. Small waterfalls and natural rock slides - good for all ages but can be very slippery so watch the little ones.
Gets very busy on nice days, go early or go when it’s raining to avoid the crowds.

Beautiful. Calming. You must experience the powerful spray at the base of the waterfall.

Quick climb, good for beginners. The view is worth it!!!

Great views nice hike

Great trail for a quick hike! Three females in our late 20s - we found the moderate rating accurate considering some parts of this trail are very steep but very manageable for us three. We are all in decent shape and had to stop twice to sip some water and catch our breath after the steep sections. There is the Bemis trail that rejoins the Arethusa Falls trail - Bemis was much steeper than Arethusa and it also included a section where you have to climb up tree roots about ~15 feet. I would NOT recommend going DOWN Bemis. (We hiked up Bemis and down Arethusa). It took 1 hour to get to Arethusa Falls including our stops. We also stopped for a minute or so at two different smaller falls that were just as beautiful as the large waterfall. We ate lunch by the large falls and spent about 20 minutes there. It was fairly crowded at Arethusa Falls with all the hikers basking in this natural beauty. This was on a Wednesday the first week of August. About 40 minutes back down to the trail head, so about 2 hours total including lunch. Will be hiking here again!

hiking
17 days ago

Super easy and absolutely beautiful! Definitely my favorite, it was such a quick easy walk to the falls and it was such an amazing view!

Beautiful view! Parts of the trail were very steep may be difficult for some people, but other than that it was great. The view was beautiful but very busy with people driving up to the parking lot right near the ledge.

on Artist Bluff Trail

hiking
18 days ago

Went clockwise. Took the spur out to bald mountain which had a scramble that was challenging for the little ones but worth the view at the top. Fairly steep at points. Could be marked a little better at spots and path from bottom (across from echo lake parking lot) to the trailhead parking lot was through a field (next time will probably walk along the road instead). View from artists bluff was also very nice. Took about 2 hours

18 days ago

Nice early morning hike to the top and some great views.

hiking
19 days ago

Took my wife to get her out in the fresh air, just a little 3 hour drive from home. She is by no means a hiker but she did OK with this. It's amazing to see people who you think would be in good shape who are out of breath just getting to the start of the gorge area. This is not a hike really but a nature walk (as their signs say) so if having trouble doing this, you should consider getting a little more exercise into your life. Arrived just around noon on Saturday and ticket line was not even a line but upon returning an hour or so later, the line was out the door. There is a shuttle to the start of the gorge if you want to take it but you'll need to actually walk uphill to see this once dropped off. The hike to the beginning is really not far, don't take the shuttle. It's funny because there are signs in the visitor area letting you know this as if some people may have actually asked why they built it so far away from the road. One could only let their imagination wonder why these signs are actually needed. It is a beautiful place and though you have to pay to see it, I guess it's worth it for many. ($16 per person) I see the reason they need to charge as it's a tourist destination and they need to maintain the paths they've built (you can fit golf karts through them) and everything else associated with it. Glad I went but don't expect to be back in the near future. The cost is really why I only rated this 4 stars instead of 5. And yes, my wife got her wind and made the couple miles.

Fantastic short hike you can squeeze into any busy day. The falls is one of the most beautiful serene settings with its blue-green waters and ethereal ledges above it. Truly one of my favorite hikes!

Great hike with my 7 year old. Just enough challenge and beautiful views from the top.

Very crowded, couldn’t park. Turned around. Disappointing, as we have hiked here a few years back and enjoyed it thoroughly.

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