A Four Waterfall Hike in New Hampshire’s White Mountains

Here’s an idea.  How about you leave the rush of everyday life behind for a bit, and replace it with the sights and sounds of rushing water.  We made a trip to Randolph and the Appalachia trail head on the hunt for waterfalls, and here’s what we found.

The trail on the way to our first fall of the day is a pretty easy walk.   Follow the sign that points to Valley Way.  Once you reach the intersection of Sylvan Way and Fallsway, bear to the left, and go downhill slightly.  You’ll hear the sound of water rushing and then all of a sudden, you’ll see Gordon Fall.

Straight on view of Gordon Fall

Kris taking picture of Gordon Fall from the side

The fall is also marked by a sign on a tree. (Hint: all the falls on this trek will be indicated by a nearby sign). What a great display of cascading water spilling over the rocks.  From Gordon Fall, we headed back to the trail on our way to Lower Salroc Fall.  The trail follows Snyder Brook upstream but is a fairly easy trail, with some slight inclines. Within about 10 minutes you’ll be at Lower Salroc.  This is a much smaller fall, but is beautiful just the same.Looking down at Lower Salroc Fall surrounded by flat rocks and woods

Go up a short incline and you’ll come to Upper Salroc.  Take some time here and sit on one of the big rocks at the base of the fall, enjoy the sunshine and the water rushing all around you. While the roaring is incredibly loud – it’s oddly peaceful and calming.

Kris sitting on a boulder alongside of Upper Salroc Fall

Alongside of Salroc Fall

Keep heading upstream and in just another few minutes you’ll come to the intersection of Valley Way. You’ll want to follow this route to Tama Fall, there are a couple of steep slopes along the way, but not for very long and before you know it you’re at the fall.

Fallsway and Tama Fall Trail Sign

Take in the beauty of this natural wonder from a couple of spots.  Walk out on the rocks at the top to watch the water flowing down the rocks. But it’s equally impressive to see it from down below where you can really appreciate the cascades of water gracefully flowing over the rocky terrain.

Tama Fall from bottom of where the fall goes into the stream

Kris in front of Tama fall taking picture of fall at the base

To get to the final fall of this trek, you’ll back track from Tama fall to the intersection of Valley Way and Fallsway Trail.  Continue down Valley Way until it intersects with Sylvan Way, and bear left.  Follow the yellow hash marks on the trees, it’s not as well marked but keep an eye out you’ll come to a trail sign soon enough.  Go through the intersection of Air Line and continue on Sylvan Way to Coldbrook Fall.  From Tama Fall to Coldbrook Fall is about a 25 minute walk or so, but the inclines are brief and the terrain pretty even.  Coldbrook is said to be about a 40 foot plunge or so, and it is most certainly spectacular with the water surging down over boulders and rocks.

 

Close up of Coldbrook Fall on Appalchia Trail

We found the best viewing spots for this one was along the rocky banks, but there’s a really cool stone column bridge just below the fall that you’ll want to stop and see.View of Coldbrook Fall from along rocky river bank

Stone Column Memorial Bridge at Coldbrook Fall

To get back to the parking area from here, backtrack on Sylvan to the intersection of Air Line, then bear left which will lead you back to where you started.   New Hampshire has more than 100 waterfalls so there are plenty of others to see.  There are about 10 or so located in and around Crawford Notch State Park, and our friends at NH State Parks made it around to see 8 in one day.  Another great one to check out for its beauty and historical significance is the Flume Gorge, located in Franconia Notch State Park.

Stay tuned for our next adventure when we go exploring New Hampshire’s caves! And be sure to follow along on Facebook and Instagram for regular updates!

8 Comments

  1. pat June 22, 2018 at 10:51 am

    hi kris when is the peak foliage this year in white mountain region

    • kneilsen June 25, 2018 at 11:17 am

      Hi Pat, Thanks for the question. As you might imagine, it is difficult to predict when peak foliage will happen in NH’s White Mountains. Historically peak foliage usually happens around Columbus Day weekend, which is typically the second weekend in October. Hope this helps!

  2. Bob June 23, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Liked the article – a lot. Waterfalls a favorite subject.

    • kneilsen June 25, 2018 at 11:18 am

      Thank you for your feedback Bob! It was such a beautiful day exploring in the White Mountains!

  3. Patrick McKeown July 20, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    What was the total mileage roughly? How long did it take to do all four?

    • kneilsen July 23, 2018 at 10:21 am

      Hi Patrick, Here is a link to the written part of the blog. This gives very specific details of how long it is to each fall and the trails you need to take.
      https://blog.visitnh.com/four-waterfall-hike-new-hampshires-white-mountains/#more-966 Going off my memory it was probably about an hour or so to get to all four… but that is just an estimate… and mileage I would say was between 2 to 3. But as the written part of the blog explains, there is not a whole lot of incline, only in a few spots. Hope this helps!

  4. Deborah Stripling July 22, 2018 at 3:20 am

    I’ve never hiked, but I’d like to try a couple of new adventures my husband & I can experience with our 8 yr old grandson. We’ve introduced him to Scouting. He truly enjoys the outdoors. My questions: 1.) I see the sign with “0.8, 2.4 & 3.8.” Are those indicating actual walking miles to the named trails? 2.) Can you tell me ‘about’ how long it might take a beginner to hike to the area(s) included in your photos? 3.) It looks like you were wearing everyday sneakers for the hike.
    Would sneakers also be suitable for a beginner? 4.) To be on the safe side, besides water, sunscreen & bug spray, what supplies should we carry with us? Thanks, in advance, for your reply!

    • kneilsen July 23, 2018 at 12:42 pm

      Hi Deborah, In my opinion, this hike would be perfect for you to experience with your grandson. Yes, I did this with my everyday sneakers and I did not have a problem. That sign that your are referring to is on the trail and are giving distances to those named trails – which are not the ones I took for this route. If you follow the specific details in the written part of the blog (the one that has all the pictures) it should take you probably about an hour – just an estimate depending on how long you spend at each site. There are some inclines but they are not very long and are not too difficult. Yes, definitely bring water, sunscreen and bug spray, and you might consider bringing a few snacks to enjoy by the falls. Good luck!

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