Arethusa Falls and Frankenstein Cliff Trail is a 4.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Bartlett, New Hampshire that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,538 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

snow

Directions from Bartlett, NH: Travel north approximately 12 miles on US 302 to the park entrance. Soon after entering the park, you will see a parking lot on your left specifically for this waterfall trail.

5 days ago

The approach sets the stage for the end result....strenuous approach that invites a period of quiet reflection while you rest your legs.

hiking
6 days ago

We started on the falls side, including Bemis which is beautiful. After the big falls we met the Frankenstein, on to Falcon Cliff and then the overlook on the way down. The colors were amazing and the trail was practically empty. Some steep parts, but also some flat sections.

trail running
7 days ago

Definitely a must if you live in NH. The waterfall is beautiful.

hiking
7 days ago

Went up Arethusa trailhead and took the Bemis brook route (much more scenic and recommend) The falls were great for photos and a nice snack. Then continued to Frankstein Cliff. You will reach a fork, left will lead to Ripley falls right will bring you to Frankstein Cliff. Continue .8 miles to the cliff view point. Great views of Crawford notch and Mnt Bemis! Continue down some somewhat steep terrian till the terrace crossing of the railroad (great place for photos if you venture to the railway bridge). After that point it's a short .3 miles back to the parking lot! Great waterfalls, decent views, great photos opportunities for an easy hike.

Visit instagram.com/gregszymbor
for photos and other hikes!

hiking
12 days ago

From the upper parking lot the Arethusa Falls Trail (blue blazes) starts to the left after the train tracks. Shortly up the trail the Bemis Brook Trail (yellow blazes) splits off and rejoins further up the hill. From the split the Bemis Brook Trail looks like the easier/flatter trail but this is misconceiving as the altitude gain at the end of the trail is very steep to regain the Arethusa Falls Trail which is more of a steady incline. Reaching the falls is one of the more spectacular waterfalls in New Hampshire and well worth the hike. It takes a little over an hour to get up and about 45 minutes to come straight back down (non-loop).

The trail itself has a bit of wash out and wear. So I would recommend a walking stick. It can also be narrow in places making two-way traffic crowded so be sure to be courteous to your fellow hikers.

hiking
24 days ago

Hiked up the Cliff Trail and returned via the Falls Trail. The Cliff Trail turns right shortly before the tracks and follows yellow blazes. It is easy to miss that turn and to keep going uphill to the railroad tracks, cross and continue up a little used, unmapped trail that continues up the hill. Hike is mostly in the forest with a few open ledges for views. I'd rate the hike moderate rather than difficult. About 4 hours for the loop including a 45 minute stop for lunch at the Falls. I recommend adding the Bemis Trail on the way back to view the Coliseum and Bemis Falls. I'd avoid the loop in wet weather, many roots and rocks to slip on.

1 month ago

I went up the cliff path first so I wouldn’t have to on the way down... those first couple miles were tough! But it was really refreshing getting to the waterfall right near the end. The rest was a breeze after that!

hiking
1 month ago

A great hike with a beautiful payoff at the top!

hiking
1 month ago

This trail has a variety of scenery and is not heavily traveled. We hopped onto this after taking the Bemis Brook and Arthusa Falls trails. The climbs are decent, if you are a newer hiker just take your time and it will be fine. The ridge top has a nice view. Be careful on the climb down (or the climb up if starting on the trail head.) This had a lot of small gravel and was a bit slick even in dry weather and with hiking boots. Would not recommend wearing sneakers on this trail if you can avoid it.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful!!!

1 month ago

loved the water fall!!!

2 months ago

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.

2 months ago

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.

2 months ago

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!

2 months ago

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.

2 months ago

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
2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike and well worth the workout :)

2 months ago

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
2 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

Worth the work out to the falls! :)

nature trips
3 months ago

This was definitely a great hike. Some spots were kinda rough (it was the first hike this summer) and steep, but when you keep walking and eventually make it to Arethusa Falls it is breathtaking. Not a lot of spots to sit and enjoy the waterfall,
But still well worth the wait and struggles! Beautiful!

hiking
3 months ago

A great trail with the wondrous 140 foot fall being the greatest reward of all. We spent over an hour at the falls picnicking and wading and taking a dip under the fall. It was truly memorable. The trail to the fall is not terribly exciting but not monotonous.

Bring a towel and prepare to get wet. The shower under the cool refreshing falls is truly unforgettable.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail, the waterfall is beautiful. Please note that coming down off frakenstein cliff is difficult and dangerous since its so steep. Watch your footing and hold onto trees when you can.

hiking
3 months ago

My wife and I (both 68 y/o) went up Frankenstein Cliff trail, took the .5 mile spur to Falcon Cliff (just OK), over to Arethusa Falls (very worth seeing) and took the Bemis side trail down to two more beautiful smaller falls. Took us 6 hours as we don't move as fast as we use too. A good, not too long and not too strenuous hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Solid trail. Not difficult and makes for a nice day. If you’ve done other trails in the Whites, this could be a bit underwhelming, but it’s fun nonetheless.

3 months ago

We went up the cliffs way. One confusing part of the trail was early at the railroad tracks. You have to follow along the tracks till you get to the railroad bridge. Before the bridge you pick the trail back up. Nice trail otherwise.

hiking
3 months ago

worth the climb, beautiful summit

Load More