3 Purgatory Falls Trail

EASY 275 reviews

3 Purgatory Falls Trail is a 5.6 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
5.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
285 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

bugs

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
7 hours ago

I've been coming here for years . pretty easy hike with beautiful view

hiking
6 days ago

Nice river walk, payoff is nice with a closed in pond and waterfall

7 days ago

What a nice place to hike. I was surprised by the abundance of different mushrooms in that forest. They grow in many colors and different sizes.
Luckily we used bug repellent so the mosquitoes didn't bother us too much.

hiking
20 days ago

great hike, waterfalls where really nice. We had recently got rain so they had a nice amount of water. Varied terrain, ups, downs, rocks and roots.

22 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

awesome. you follow the water the entire way practically. the falls are gorgeous. Trail markers tend to be far apart. I didn't bring my phone to track my route and i definitely regretted it. I got confused a couple times and had to backtrack find the last trail marker and get back on route. I'll definitely be back time and time again. great find.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy hike with some nice views, I absolutely loved how the sun hit the moss-covered rocks, managed to get some nice photos.as for the falls I would say the first one is the best one.
If you don’t bring a map or use the app then I can see some people getting lost on their first time. Overall it was a decent hike with minimal effort required.

2 months ago

Nice scenic hike. I loved the waterfalls! Trail was poorly marked on the way back and we got a bit lost other than that no complaints.

hiking
2 months ago

My wife and I loved this trail. While the 1st falls were an attraction we found that the rocky gurgling brook with abundant moss-covered rocks made for a serene beautiful trek. Eventually, the brook opened up into a large beaver flooded area but the wooded walk was still beautiful. The trail appeared to be recently remarked with yellow plastic strips to follow. There were only a couple places with momentary glitches that the trail was a little tricky to follow. One was where a new house had been built and trees down to the brook were cut to make a vista for the house. Just follow the brook the entire trail stays close to the brook. We enjoyed a lunch repast not far beyond the house on boulders that seemed to be designed by nature for us to comfortably sit above the brook while we dined. A little farther up there was bridge that seemed to go to another trail marked also with yellow. We stayed on the main trail without crossing the bridge. The next tricky part was just before coming to the middle falls when the trail led to a bridge with a clear-cut and no trespassing signs beyond. When you get to the bridge look to the right there are markings there not easily seen. The trail there moves away from the clear-cut and the beaver flooded area. The middle falls are not far beyond hidden in a gorge type area. There is a sign when you arrive. The 3rd falls is a little distance beyond, impressive in a good sized drop and open area at the bottom. We did not linger long as the mosquitoes were aggressive. Interestingly we ran into people coming from a parking are at that end of the hike near the 3rd falls. We actually only met one other group who completed the hike as we did. It was a delightful day and we thoroughly enjoyed this hike.

walking
2 months ago

Very cool spot! My friends and I didn’t walk the whole trail but we walked up by the brook for a bit and found some cool little spots to hang out. I also climbed the main waterfall which was a blast. Also went off the main trail and found a few abandoned camp sites and a super old foundation. Can’t wait to return!

3 months ago

This is a beautiful hike and very easy. There are brook trout above the first falls that can be caught on small spinner baits.

hiking
3 months ago

The first fall was easily reached and beautiful. Not worth trying to go past first fall. We proceeded to the next falls but never made it. After an hour of hiking through very narrow paths that were overgrown and horribly marked we decided to turn back. We must have stopped 6 times to check the map on this app and to try and find any signs of a path marker. And the mosquitoes were just horrible. Will never go past the first fall IF I go back at all.

walking
3 months ago

This trail was awful !!!!!!! It’s literally just all woods , and the trail is poorly marked so be prepared to get LOST ! Nothing much to see besides just the waterfall that’s there but that’s IT! I would never go back and it’s really not worth it at all.

hiking
3 months ago

Perfect for an easy day of hiking. I bring my dog off leash and he loves it. There are some areas that are a little overgrown and you have to guess where the path would be. Nothing that makes it too difficult to follow. Chubby hiker approved.

3 months ago

Trail not marked well. Large section was clear cut and Unpassable due to mud. my two daughters my dog and myself crossed over a small bridge to get on the other side the trail disappeared
very disappointed

backpacking
3 months ago

Love this place it’s beautiful. Very well marked. Was very upset to see that someone seems to be bulldozing in a section which has taken out a bunch of trees and caused that section to flood out and be a muddy mess. So very sad I thought there were rules in place about building and altering land that close to the wetlands

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail. Flat for the most part, good incline towards the end to get to upper falls. Perfect for the doggo, purgatory brook is along the entire trail and is great for a water loving pupp. The falls are beautiful, all 3. I went at the end of April, water flow was heavy, but did not affect the trail itself.

hiking
4 months ago

This hike was beautiful! You walk along a brook most of the path. I took my daughter and grandson here this past weekend and we had a great day....until my grandson and I slipped on a rock crossing the brook and we fell in. I thought it was funny and laughed the whole way back to my car. He didn’t find it so amusing (he is 7 years old). So, with that said, we only made it about 1.5 miles in and had to turn back. I’m looking forward to going back real soon though.

6 months ago

Falls are nice.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful trail, was very icy, but worth the effort with little kids.

8 months ago

easy but cool

hiking
8 months ago

This was an easy trail. My wife and I were the only ones out there today for the two - three hours we spent there. Several people on here commented the trail was not marked well? We had no issues following the trail. There are some deep inclines if you want to get some solid photos. We will definitely go back! It is a beautiful area!

hiking
9 months ago

Markings are confusing, very, even with a map. Water was low this particular week. Nice trail, nice open clearings with some pretty views of mountain ranges, not sure which ones. 2 hour hike. Rocky and wet in areas. I consider it easy, but was rocky and alot of incline areas. I would do it again.

hiking
10 months ago

Great trail. Went on a Sunday afternoon and it wasn’t too crowded.

hiking
10 months ago

Great trail.

hiking
10 months ago

I was the only one out on the trail the day I was there and I only hiked to the upper falls. This is the second time I've been here. 1st time the wife & I gave up as the maps leave a lot to be desired & the trail markings were poor.
This time however, I used the All trails app & brought the topo map I uploaded here & had no problem. The trail markers were better as well. It's tough to get to the areas needed for good photography. Also disappointed to see some jack a** tagged a couple of rocks with blue paint.

10 months ago

Nice and easy trails.

11 months 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.

11 months 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
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

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.

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