3 Purgatory Falls Trail

EASY 224 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
288 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.

15 days ago

easy but cool

hiking
22 days 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
1 month 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
2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail.

hiking
2 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.

2 months ago

Nice and easy trails.

3 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.

3 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
4 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
4 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.

4 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
4 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
4 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
5 months ago

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

hiking
5 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
5 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.

hiking
5 months ago

Using Waze, we ended up at the Dow Road entrance instead of the Purgatory falls entrance - there were no other cars but a good trail head, with trail maps. Take a map. The trail is not well marked coming from this entrance. We veered off course early on following what looked like an overgrown dirt road. Make sure you stay close to the creek once you get to the creek - the trail goes right along it. We rejoined the other trail just a few hundred yards from a beautiful farm but then lost the trail again and wound up on the road.
When we finally got back on track, the trail was beautiful - the creek is beautiful. Trail had a lot of grassy areas as well as woods; as another hiker mentioned, while it's listed as easy, we still got a good workout (perhaps because we veered off trail) as some of the hills were steep and a bit muddy (it rained while we were there). Make sure you bring a GPS.

hiking
5 months ago

nice trail, pretty easy but youll get a good sweat in. not too crowded, cool waterfall at the beginning, well marked. the trail follows the stream the whole way.

5 months ago

loved it!! the map brought me right to the trail.

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