Explore the most popular walking trails in Crawford Notch State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

We started the trail via Frankenstein Cliffs which was a pretty steep incline but happy we got the hardest part over with in the beginning of the trail. There were very few people on the Cliff trail but once we got closer to the falls, there were many more- a little too busy to my taste. But all in all, a very beautiful 5 mike hike from start to finish and a great workout. It took us 4 hours but we stopped and picnicked by the smaller falls.

Nice, quick hike with tons of roots and mud along the way. The waterfall was beautiful! This trail is between easy/moderate, mostly for the quick elevation gain and small parts with climbing. Not bad, but watch your kids on the narrow parts.

hiking
3 days ago

Fun family trip with just the right mix of fun and challenge. Some steep and rocky parts but nothing too tough. I saw people of all ages - from young families with parents carrying babies in packs, to teens and seniors. Nice brook running up the side of the trail at some parts. Nice view st the summit. Can be a bit busy - not the trail you want if you prefer solitude. Well marked. Done with a 10 and 12 yr old, and 4 month old puppy. Nice canopy of trees to shine away the elements.

was a nice hike up today. under the canopy of the trees, air temp/humidity not bad for our group of 5 to make it in about an hour. the kids did fine, though one thought it was more steep than she expected. a great day

Great 3 hour hike. Recommend heading towards Frankenstein cliffs first. Steep climb through shaded area that pops you out onto gorgeous outlooks. It had just rained a day prior to this climb so Arethusa falls was going strong. There are a lot of side paths to other falls and small pools, so if you have time to explore, you could easily make this into a full half day hike.

hiking
7 days ago

Took the trail behind the visitor center to the left. Hiked up 1.6 miles expecting to reach the top. At the end of the 1.6 miles there was another Mt Williard sign for .5 or .6 miles. With sunset coming I did not have the time for the extra leg. This website either needs better directions to the trailhead or to update the hike the 4.4 miles.

We went to Frankenstein Cliffs first. I felt it was better to do it this way because of the steep incline. Great view from the cliff and excellent water falls!

This trait is not easy to follow. We went up the cliff side, but got lost around the railroad track. There was a fallen bushy tree on the trail, so we didn't realize that was the way to go. We also realized on our way up, we had strayed from the actual trail. Besides it not being marked well, it's a great moderate hike- there are a couple strenuous parts on the way up the cliff, but after the cliff it's pretty easy. Great view and beautiful waterfall (which can be quite crowded). We also accidentally left a tomahawk on the cliff trail before it gets really steep if anyone wants to try to find it.

hiking
12 days ago

Definitely a family friendly hike on a well marked, gently sloping trail. Easy for even young children or seniors to climb. Beautiful views of the notch from the top.

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
13 days ago

Love this! Amazing views make for a perfect spot for lunch.

Hiked Arethusa Falls to Frankenstein cliffs on July 28, 2018. 4.9 miles. Busy trail with lots of kids up to the falls. Falls were packed. Once we kept going past the falls it was a quiet trail. Lots of fallen trees on the trail but you can get around them. When you are 2.8 miles in there is a huge rock with an awesome view. Nice spot for lunch. Frankenstein cliffs were huge and beautiful. You hike on the side of them (towards the bottom), which was a little wet because of the water streaming down. Great hike with a lot of variety. Tons of mushrooms on the trail and pretty trail beneath the trees.

hiking
14 days ago

So much fun and the view is to die for !

Went up Arethusa Falls and came down Frankenstein Cliff. Despite the rainy afternoon there was plenty of tree cover and we stayed mostly dry. The falls were beautiful and well worth the mile or so effort. I especially enjoyed Frankenstein Cliff; as you walk the trail you can get a glimpse of the view every now and then until it opens up at the overlook. The descent from Frankenstein was a bit tricky; but otherwise a great moderate/difficult hike, in my opinion. Pay attention to the signage at the end of the Frankenstein Cliff trail to make sure you exit at the correct lot on Rt 302.

on Mount Willard Trail

15 days ago

Great hike and view at top. 2 streams at beginning to cross and ledges at top that need to be careful with little ones.

Hiked this in the reverse as posted. Up Frankenstein and then down Arethusa Falls. I think hiking in the way it is here, clockwise, would be anticlimactic at the end. And then took the Bermis Brook trail at the very end. The fall was absolutely beautiful. And Bermis Brook has some awesome mini cascading Falls. For an avid hiker, this is moderate, not hard.

Went for the first time today and will definitely do it again! The falls are absolutely breathtaking. What a reward.

We took the Bremis trail going up and we totally enjoyed the 3 smaller Falls on the way. But we were unprepared for the steep hike up to join the Arethusa Falls trail and the long way still to go to get to the Falls. As older hikers and photographers, we took our time and were rewarded with the most awesome of waterfalls. Well worth the aches and pains. FYI- Sat morning- to afternoon, the Falls / trail were extremely crowded with kids dogs etc., maybe because it was the first sunny day in a long time.

Beautiful hike and well worth the workout :)

hiking
18 days ago

Great, reasonably easy hike, fairly short but challenging enough to feel as if you still accomplished something, and you got a great view at the top! Took us about and hour each way taking our time. Quick warning, however, we went after two days of somewhat raining weather. These are very wet and muddy trails after rain. A couple of places we had to walk through shallow, moving creeks. We had our waterproof hiking shoes so the mud and water didn’t bother us, but saw many people with sneakers struggling to get through the creeks and mud on slippery rocks. This is not a sneaker trail!

hiking
18 days ago

Enjoyed the trail and the top has beautiful views. We are intermediate hikers and this is a moderate hike. Myself, my husband and daughter who is 17 did the hike and it took about 2 hours including breaks. Sharper incline at the bottom of the trail but levels off near the top. It’s great that there is a bathroom at the start of the trail!

Short hike but the view is excellent for the amount of work you put in. We squeezed this in as we were headed back home to MA, and it was perfect for the time crunch. We’re relatively fast hikers, and it took us about 40, 45 minutes up and a half hour down. Once we got to the top, the view was beautiful.

Beautiful view at the end!

Great hike, but definitely a moderate rating. Very busy at mid-day Saturday. I took the Bemis Brook "Yellow" trail going in, and the folks behind me were similarly mistaken: we both thought it was easiest for dogs. There is a decent rock-scramble that will kick your butt. I would say I'm on the slower side and took us round trip about 3-4 hours that's with stopping once on the way up to feed a baby, and a good rest at the falls. Well worth it, absolutely stunning falls. I cant wait to go back in the fall. I did see small children doing this trail, and they were doing a lot better than me!

hiking
23 days ago

Hiked with my 6 and 10 year old. I did not find this trail difficult and neither did either of my children. I personally would not rate it as moderate.
I think the differences of level of difficulty in the reviews is all perspective. The trail was extremely busy and I'm willing to bet most of the people we encountered are not regular hikers. I could see how this trail would be harder for someone who does not hike on a regular basis. If you find yourself on the trails weekly this is an easy and short hike.

Regardless of your experience level, age, or shape this is a completely doable hike with a great payoff at the top. The views are worth the time and effort.

Trailhead begins behind the AMC store/ train station across the tracks in Crawford Notch. There are several other trailheads near by so the whole area is extremely busy and parking spills out on to 302.

Don't pass by the waterfall about half mile up on the right.

hiking
23 days ago

Beautiful view at the top!

Highly recommend this hike! Between the great view on the cliff, the trestle, and the cool guy wearing sweet cut-off sweatpants at the waterfall, this hike has all the scenery you need!

hiking
23 days ago

Great hike....not as easy as some make it sound. But I will tell you this, it was worth all the pain and suffering when I walked out and saw that view. Absolutely amazing

Won't ever drop a star due to a trail kicking my butt. But I did read that this trail was 'family friendly'. Again, maybe but if you are even remotely out of shape, take your time. It isn't the length of this trail that kicked my butt, it was the acute elevation rise, some 900 feet I think over 1.7 miles?

It's mostly uphill on the way there and then it gets to a point where it levels off some, then drops down to the falls which are beautiful. After all that effort, take some time dipping your feet in the pools (if it's summer) and bring a camera.

In my estimation, a solid pair of hiking boots are mandatory due to the numerous rocks and roots all over the trail. Your hip adductors will probably be sore the next day from all the side to side dodging.

Did anyone else have no signal on their cell up here? That always bothers me hiking because if something happens to you, you're out of luck.

Took the blue trail up to the falls and the yellow trail back. The waterfalls were wonderful. However this is not an easy to do trail. Very steep in areas and the trails go up the whole time. Great trail if you really take your time and bring water, some people did not have water. The yellow trail was like climbing down a cliff. Water was very cold but felt so good on sore muscles. This one totally kicked my butt.

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