Arethusa Falls and Frankenstein Cliff Loop

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Crawford Notch State Park

Arethusa Falls and Frankenstein Cliff Loop is a 4.8 mile heavily 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.

Length4.8 miElevation gain1,637 ftRoute typeLoop
HikingNature tripsSnowshoeingBird watchingDog friendlyForestRiverViewsWaterfallwild-flowersWildlifeRocky
Description
Waypoints (1)
Contact
Getting There

This trail has impressive waterfalls and gorgeous views from the cliffs.

New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism, P.O. Box 1856 , Concord, NH, 03302-1856, Phone: 603-271-2665

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.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (901)
Photos (1,481)
Recordings (564)
Completed (2,459)
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Valentina Umanes
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HikingGreat!Snow

Amazing trail. Loved the water falls. Adding some pictures of this weekend :)

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Nathan Sharples
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HikingGreat!

Hiked yesterday 1/17/21 and it was great. Arethusa is frozen with a small portion of water still running. My watch clocked almost 6 miles and 2000 ft of elevation. Nothing crazy, spikes needed. Beware Ice Climbers that thought it was a good idea to to climb directly above the trail.

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Kjersti Rosen
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HikingGreat!

Stunning winter hike! Did January 2021. Lucked out with snow on trees and a rare sunny afternoon. Impressive frozen waterfalls, gorgeous views from the cliffs and more icicles going down. Spikes recommended but not critical when we went. Moderate, with some steep parts.

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Ansel Barnum
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HikingIcySnow

Frankenstein was shedding massive shafts of ice which violently shattered on the trail and could leave someone looking like Frankenstein—or in need of similar resurrection. Best means of traverse: run! For those who survived this perilous gauntlet the reward was a spectacular view from the cliffs above under blue skies and blazing sun.

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Francy Gomez
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Hiking

NfGreat hike! We went up Frankenstein Cliff trail first. I’m glad we did as the climb was steep and it’s a lot easier to go up than down. We used crampons which I highly recommend as there is some climbing involved. They also just helped with having a better grip when going downhill. When we went the river crossings weren’t difficult at all, maybe a 1-2 rocks to skip and that’s it. Great hike! Highly recommend.

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Catherine Valley
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BackpackingFloodedIcyMuddyRockySnow

Wow! Such a crazy hike. Started out on the Frankenstein Cliff Trail and had to turn around and go on the other side of the stream, because it was too difficult to cross. Frankenstein Trail was pretty steep and crossing over the rocks at the falls was pretty dicey. There were many smaller water crossings. Opening up to the Cliff was beautiful. Such an incredible view. From there we headed toward Arethusa Falls. Spikes were needed at this point. The trail was pretty easy. Arethusa Falls did not disappoint. It was absolutely stunning. Overall, the Frankenstein Cliff Trail was challenging for sure. The rest of the trail was icy in spots and wet and muddy. It clocked 5.2 miles.

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Stacy Parr
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HikingBlowdownFloodedIcyMuddy

We hiked this the day after Christmas when we got all the rain and warm weather....lots of wet slippery rocks and water crossings. Got to the Cliff with no spikes. Once we started heading thrown towards Arethusa Falls the spikes went in and stayed on for the duration. Fun hike but definitely a challenge. I would advise going up Frankenstein Cliff first because it is very steep. Arethusa Falls was raging like I’d never seen before. Absolutely beautiful!

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Catherine Valley
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Hiking
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f r
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HikingIcySnow

The hike up to the waterfall was great. A little steep but well marked. When we hiked to Frankenstein cliff trail, it was icy. One of the people I was with is an avid hiker, but not a winter hiker. Even with spikes it was dicey. I would recommend going to the overlook and turning back, or using the train tracks on the way down when you intersect with them. Definitely a challenging hike in the winter

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Jessica Bielkiewicz
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Hiking
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Jonathan Nash
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Hiking
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Carolyn Theresa
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HikingMuddy

Very well marked trail. Hiked on 11/27 after some rain so trails were a bit muddy. Arethusa is covered in ice and snow, very beautiful. Steep in some parts but nothing too challenging.

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Graham Kelly
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Hiking
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maria dhami
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Hiking

Great trail, very well marked although not easy especially on some of the uphill climbs. You get to see an amazing view along with a very cool waterfall, can't ask for much more than that on a 5 mile hike!

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McCalla Orso
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HikingGreat!

Nature in all its glory! I would say 5 stars but the Falls, though beautiful and worth it, can get a bit crowded. The view of Crawford Notch atop Frankenstein is fantastic with a rooty, but relatively easy hike between the two. We started up Frankenstein, steep but doable. Fine for a beginner as long as you’re in shape. Whichever side you start on, I HIGHLY recommend taking the Bemis Brook Trail split from the Arethusa Falls trail. It hugs an alluring brook with waterfalls and pools along the way. Well worth the STEEP portion that will either start or end Bemis Brook depending on which direction you are coming from. It is mostly flat and beautiful till you reach the short section that connects the two trails. Whether heading down or coming up, prepare to get your ass kicked. It is steep and rooty. I recommend being in good health and shape before attempting it. There are far fewer people on the Bemis Brook for a reason and that’s reason enough to take it! But seriously, it’s gorgeous. Do it.

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Michael MacLeod
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HikingRockyWashed out

this climb is treacherous if your not an experienced hiker.. its all up hill at a serious pitch then all downhill with very deep roots and terrain

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Hannah Grace
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Hiking

Some pretty steep climbs but worth it for the incredible views! There are also some good hammock spots at the falls

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Stephen Fasciana
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HikingGreat!
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Angela Griffin
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Extraordinary November weather made this hike phenomenal. I imagine it can get quite crowded near the Falls but we hit it early on an off day. Nobody at the Falls and we passed maybe 4 people on the way out to the Cliffs. The view from the cliff is epic, we had no company and enjoyed lunch. The way down towards the train tracks was leaf littered and slippery so I was really glad to have my poles. Overall a beautiful and challenging hike. Loved the lonesome trail on this one.

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