Arethusa Falls and Frankenstein Cliff Trail

HARD 599 reviews
#2 of 34 trails in

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

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

bird watching

running

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.

hiking
20 days ago

My husband and I did this hike yesterday. Absolutely GORGEOUS!!!! Spikes are a MUST! The Frankenstein cliffs are covered in ice with some ice falling down. Just be aware and you ll be fine. Arethusa falls was oh my gosh. I can’t even!! Definitely worth it!!! Nice easy hike!! 100% recommend this trail!!!!

Arethusa falls via Frankenstein Cliff. December 1st and falls are frozen. Very majestic and awe inspiring. We hiked a bit farther down the train tracks to get some photo ops before turning up the trail to head up Frankenstein Cliff. We never encountered another hiker. It was so quiet and serene. The snow made it very magical and fantasy like. Pure awesomeness!

hiking
muddy
rocky
washed out
2 months ago

This trail wasn’t too difficult. We wore sneakers and work boots. This time of year (fall) there’s a lot of leaves so it gets slippery so be cautious.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Highly recommend starting up Frankenstein if you plan to make the full loop. Did it in 3 hours comfortably. Wandered off the trail a few times due to faded blazes but gorgeous views going up and amazing at the top. Small outlook but beautiful view so don’t be fooled thinking there’s another outlook as I did. Tad slippery with the leaves and it being wet. Great start to the morning overall!

hiking
2 months ago

Very beautiful hike. Started through the woods to first hit Frankenstein Cliff. it was a hike and steep (would not recommend for kiddos under 10 years). the views at the top are stunning. the other side of the mountain is more crowded but still beautiful. The falls are definitively beautiful. Great day out!

hiking
3 months ago

This is a great hike! Glad we went up the cliffs first. The trail markers could stand to be redone as allot are faded and are sometimes difficult to find, but that just added to the adventure. Train trestle, beautiful cliff view and a spectacular waterfall made it well worth the hike!

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike but seemed a lot longer than what we thought! Took us about 4 hours with a steady pace!

Went up cliffs first; generally well marked though at times leaves obscured the path. The way down by the falls was much better marked and not quite populated end of the day. Blown down trees at the top, typical of this type of forest. Easy to get around though, no major obstacles. Definitely a beautiful moderate hike, worth the views and well maintained

hiking
3 months ago

Belle petite randonnée, nous avons seulement fait l'allée retour jusqu'à la chute en revenant par le chemin pour voir les deux autres chûtes. Super pour une rando de fin de journée :)

Quite a tough hike up to the cliffs! But I preferred going that way as I think it would be a slippery descent. Didn’t see many people till I neared the falls. All in all the trail was well blazed though lots of downed trees.

hiking
3 months ago

This was a great woods trail, I hiked up to the cliff first, the view was great but it was too cold to stay still. The water falls where great, and you could easily get right up and close. I was surprised by the high volume of people at the water falls. Some areas where steep but overall a good way to start the day

Great trek for an afternoon, done in 2 hrs but did run a good portion of it

hiking
3 months ago

Inkl. Fotopausen knapp 4 Stunden durch den Wald - mit 2 - 3 schönen Fotomotiven, ansonsten ein gutes Konditionstraining. Zu viel Zeit, wenn man nur drei Tage hier ist, um den Indian Summer zu genießen.. Empfehle kürzere Trails, die auch außerhalb des Waldes verlaufen.

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

I highly recommend ascending the cliffs first. it was a strenuous climb and I just felt more comfortable leaning into it. The view from the cliffs was amazing and the falls at the end was a great treat to just sit and watch. As others have said the trail markings are a little sparse. If you start at the upper parking lot there is a sign you can't even see and if you follow the markers you end up in the lower parking lot scratching your head. No reception in the area so go prepared. my wife and I killed a gallon of water on this hike and went quite slow due to the rough terrain so please prepare.

Absolutely breathtaking, loved this hike and the spectacular views. We went up Frankenstein, which was pretty steep!!! Then took the Arethusa Falls trail to a kickass waterfall! We then descended down Bemis, which is a must, we stopped at another two falls that were more intimate and private sooooo peaceful and beautiful. I should add that my husband are in our 50s and not experienced hikers, this was our 6th hike this year and was hard in spots but doable and worth every bit of effort!

hiking
fee
rocky
3 months ago

just finished this trail for the 2nd time. I love it here. some truly unique features and amazing views. taking the loop counterclockwise is the best approach IMO and make sure to take the Bemis Brook trail on the way down. The trail markers are sometimes hard to find, as they have faded and some trees have fallen, so watch carefully for the yellow blazes. I sometimes had to look for the blazes in the opposite direction to be sure I hadn't wandered off trail. It's a difficult climb, but well worth it. Enjoy!

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

i went up arethusa falls trailWas tough at first. but it lightens up. well worth every second of the climb. Its absolutely beautiful. I went down bemis brook and after gettin to the bottom which was a challenge I was literally jumping from root to root. it is extremely steep as well. I was glad that I went down it and not up. but there were a couple more beautiful falls down there.

hiking
4 months ago

highly recommend going counterclockwise, following the 0.2 mile sign to the A falls, and taking the Bemis trail. those waterfalls were even prettier!

hiking
4 months ago

Perfect place, nice trail, and falls. Less water at this time of the year, but still awesome and pretty!!!

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

This hike was a heck of a workout, however it was not as bad as the people on all trails make it out to be. It's easy to follow and well marked with yellow marks on the trees on the Frankenstein cliff trail and blue marks for the Arethusa falls and Beemis brook trails. It's a real good hike.

hiking
4 months ago

perfect!! ❣

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

We decided to hike this trail because of poor weather conditions that would have made hikes above the tree line not much fun. Based on previous reviews we hiked this loop counterclockwise and we also added the Bemis trail. In all we hiked approximately 5-miles and even with lot of stops for photos completed the loop in 3 1/2 hours. For athletic or seasoned hikers I would rank this as a moderate trail with a couple of kickers. Adding Bemis trail you will see 3 waterfalls (Arethusa, Bemis and Colosseum) .The section from the rail line to the Cliffs overlook is the most strenuous part of the hike and will get you most of the elevation again. Most of the trail is in the trees and was perfect for a day with mist and light rain.

hiking
4 months ago

Love this hike.

hiking
4 months ago

This was an awesome hike! We did the entire loop from Frankenstein cliff trail to Arethusa Falls trail. There are some very steep portions on Frankenstein, we are intermediate hikers and managed fine taking breaks to catch our breath every so often. After Frankenstein cliff there is also Falcon cliff, it only adds about a mile to your hike and gives you a different view. if you're getting tired, just skip it. I recommend taking the Bemis Brook Trail on your way down from Arethusa as you will see two more waterfalls and a little pond that are all beautiful. Would not recommend going up Bemis Brook Trail to Arethusa as there are some extremely steep portions. I disagree with the reviews that say the trail is well marked, rather it is heavily trafficked so you can tell where the trail goes but there are not always markers indicating if that's the correct direction. The entire hike took us about 4.5 hours and that was with a couple of breaks and picture taking opportunities at the cliffs and waterfalls. If you still have any energy left in you when you're done I would recommend hopping in the car and driving a few minutes down the road to Ripley Falls, only a half hour or so mile long hike if you park at the top of the hill (we parked at the bottom not knowing and it took us about an hour and was about 2 miles).

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