3 Purgatory Falls Trail

EASY 204 reviews

3 Purgatory Falls Trail is a 4.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Lyndeborough, New Hampshire that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
396 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

muddy

over grown

rocky

1st Falls is only a 10 minute hike and great for swimming. Next 2 are an hour plus through a very thin overgrown path. Literally was only one on the trail all day and both upper falls are impressive but tough to see as they are largely in a crevasse.

hiking
2 hours ago

2 days ago

Nice and easy trails.

hiking
13 days ago

13 days ago

We took our 4.5 month daughter in the ergo, hoping for a nice, leisurely walk and ended up lost on three or four different occasions.

The trail markings are truly abysmal. There are multiple colors of markings, but since there is no trail map at the trail head (Lower Falls Parking lot), there's no way to discern where you are, or if the markings denote different trails. On the way out, we ended up taking lots of *wrong* turns, and found our way on a path which was completely covered by pine tree branches. I spent the majority of an hour feeling like I was in Harry Potter with the changing labyrinth before the encounter with Voldemort and his hooded followers.

Parking is slim. At the Lower Falls lot, there's enough space for six cars. Go early or park on the road.

As for poochies, I would recommend keeping them leashed or taking some activated charcoal along as there were a lot of vibrantly colored mushrooms along the trail.

As for the falls, they were spectacular and the walk along the river/stream was nice with the changing foliage. We even saw a couple there taking maternity shots.. it really is beautiful and probably best for a picnic (which clearly plenty of people are doing because there was a fair amount of litter strewn about) The biggest problem I encountered with the falls is/were: the falls are so close to the Lower Falls trail head that there's really no incentive to keep trekking along the poorly-marked path.

Last but certainly not least - bring plenty of bug spray as there are lots of mosquito breeding pools along the path.

hiking
16 days ago

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18 days ago

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19 days ago

19 days ago

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23 days ago

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23 days ago

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26 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

1 month ago

only took the short trail (lower)to the right, just to see if I would enjoy the waterfall...I did..its a nice simple walk, less than 10min. The trees and pathway look amazing this time of year. I will be back to try the path to the left (upper) to see the other 2 falls and see what the hike will bring!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Three generations of my family did a portion of this hike over the weekend. I would agree with others that the trail marking could be much clearer. Also, some websites list this as "Easy," but I would call it a solid moderate to get any view of Middle or Upper Falls (no matter from which trail head you start). There are shorter hikes that just cover the Lower Falls and are probably on the easier side. I found the view of the falls to be rewarding and the rest of the hike to be lovely provided that you can handle the rocky, sloped terrain and have your map ready to help.

hiking
1 month ago

This is the most poorly marked trail I’ve been on. Got lost for about a mile. Did not make it to the upper falls because it’s not marked. Just makes you want to give up. The lower falls is where the action is, but it’s only 10 minutes into the hike. No reward. Lots of mushrooms along the way.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Horribly marked, so make sure you bring some breadcrumbs! Unless you have a great smile, leave the camera behind. Mostly just a walk in the woods with some increase in elevation near the upper falls. I enjoyed the quiet and got some exercise, so it was nice. Although I wasn't expecting the Fantasy Island waterfall, I wasn't too impressed by them.

hiking
1 month ago