3 Purgatory Falls Trail

EASY 259 reviews

3 Purgatory Falls Trail is a 4.7 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
4.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
295 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.

14 days 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
15 days 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
24 days 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!

1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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.

1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
2 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.

4 months ago

Falls are nice.

hiking
4 months ago

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

6 months ago

easy but cool

hiking
6 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
7 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
8 months ago

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

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail.

hiking
8 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.

9 months ago

Nice and easy trails.

9 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.

10 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
10 months 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
10 months 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.

10 months 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
10 months ago

Great hike without a lot of elevation. Don't expect to swim in the waterfalls though, pretty shallow. Lots of great photo opportunities.

hiking
10 months ago

Good walk. Longer then we expected. We started at the upper falls and walked down. Pretty but the big negative was all the trash left behind at the upper falls, beer bottles, water bottles, chip bags. The roll of toilet paper floating in the water does not make you want to go in the water! We picked up bottles on our way back and put them in the trash can at the parking area! Wish the people who brought them in could have done that!

hiking
11 months ago

Beautiful Trail. Great Little Swimming Hole. My Dogs Loved It.

hiking
11 months ago

Parking felt awkward, it's on the right near the entrance path. There is a sign! The trail was very pleasant with nice views. First waterfall is within 10 minutes. Enjoy!

hiking
11 months ago

Beautiful trail along the water way! Very calm and simple. I loved the trail espcially because the sounds of the flowing water is so soothing. The trails is also marked on trees with yellow signs all over the forest. I liked the beautiful waterfall at the beginning of the trail, you can simply feel relaxed dipping you feet in 2 feet cold waters. Please be sure to eat and then go on this trail, carry water and some dry snacks as there is nothing close by the trail. Download a map, you may or may not get any range. Cap is essential, although mostly the tree shades along the trail are sure to cover you up.

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