Arethusa Falls and Frankenstein Cliff Trail is a 4.3 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.
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.
Came back and did Frankenstein solo three days after Arethusa (2/7/17) This was after about an 8 inch dusting of snow the night before and I was the only one on the trail the entire time therefore breaking trail with only shoes and spikes. From the train tracks to the top it was all solid uphill and I was scrambling the majority of the time. View was amazing and it was creepy knowing no one else was around and creating the first tracks of the day myself. It took me two and a half hours from the parking lot, up to the Ripley split, and back down Arethusa trail - I opted out of Falcon Cliff and I was a sweaty mess. I would definitely recommend using snow shoes after a fresh snowfall and be very careful on the steep paths and in the fresh snow it is tough to gauge where the trail actually is. Would NOT recommend this hike in the winter time for children, people with heart conditions, or someone who is not confident in their balance and endurance. A great fitness challenge!
Did this last Saturday with a small group. Parking lot was packed but trail to the falls was not too trafficked. Did not need snow shoes as the trail was well packed down from all the previous foot traffic. I did not wear spikes but my other three counter parts did and I was fine. I opted to go back down via Bemis Trail and it was fun literally flying down the cliff by myself. 2 small waterfalls look awesome in snow. Around 3 hours round trip with stopping for the slower people in my group.
fantastic spring day in January. falls enclosed in ice but beautiful. back via Bemis trail, butt sliding down to the river but 2 great waterfalls well worth the return path.
Did a quick run from 302 to the falls (not Frankenstein Cliff) via Arethusa Falls Trail in August 2016. It was an easy hike made slightly more challenging with the Bemis Brook cutoff. Very popular trail and the view of the falls from the base were spectacular. The falls themselves were crowded, which should be expected. Nice way to spend an afternoon if you're in the area. Just a short drive from North Conway.
I haven't done a lot of hikes, so I have no point of reference. That said, this hike took my breath away. The climb with pines and spring melt was primordial and wonderful. Our 7 year old dog did very well. Moderate hike with many places to stop and take in the green, and smells, and water sounds.
Great hike with multiple opportunities for viewing the surrounding beautiful park. We climbed to Frankenstein in wet, leaf-covered conditions - the footing was challenging as a result but we didn't consider the trail difficult otherwise. I'd say moderate. In snow and ice, I suspect it wouldn't work without spikes. Having Arethusa to look forward to at the end of the hike was ideal. And the descent towards Arethusa was relatively easy, though very crowded from Arethusa to the trailhead/ parking lot. The Frankenstein loop was comparatively quiet compared to the crowd both at and approaching Arethusa Falls.
Not difficult, would rate as moderate. leash you dogs and enjoy the hike to beautiful falls
This trail was a steep beginning and had a great view from Frankenstein cliff and the falls was worth it. I did this trail with my wife the week after hurricane Irene and the falls were screaming!! Excellently kept trail and would do it again.
We did the Falls last year only after attempting to go up Frankenstein Cliffs the day before. I had unwisely taken the family up that way in November (6 and 8 year old with us) without doing enough research. Had to turn back after the trail got more and more treacherous. Wet leaves on the way down didn't make it any easier. Without kids, we would have powered through, but there were several exceptionally dangerous wet slippery rock faces to cross that were literally perilous for kids.
Not wanting the trails to get the better off us, we went back and did the falls the next day and loved it. Well trafficked and maintained trail. Only saw a few others, which made it feel more special. Headed to Mt. Willard for a universally agreed easy hike with good views tomorrow, and might try something harder before heading home if the rest of the family is up for it.
Excellent hike with a beautiful waterfall. You can spend and hour or spend the day depending on what trails you take.
A beautiful hike. Arethusa Falls was great and the view from Frankenstein Cliffs was amazing.