Rocky Glen Getaway and 6 Other Winter Water Wonders

As awesome as waterfalls are to watch in the spring – they’re equally alluring during the colder months.  If you haven’t experienced them during this season, you’ll want to be sure to put this hike on your winter to do list.

View of The Basin a large "pothole" of water with small waterfall flowing into it

The first stop on our route is the Basin. One of Franconia Notch State Park’s  Natural Wonders.  Park at the Basin Parking Lot and follow the Pemi Trail — it’s a quick walk on the snow-covered path and always an awesome sight.

Small waterfall splashing through narrow gorge of rocks

From the Basin, head down the Pemi Trail a bit further to the Baby Flume.  It’s a short easy walk to get to this small waterfall that drops 6 feet or so through a narrow flume, but it is beautiful just the same.

SIgn of Basin Cascade Trail and trail lengths

Now it’s time to hit the Basin-Cascade Trail.

Bank of Cascade Brook with an open pool of water, mountain peak in the distance

You’ll probably want micro-spikes for this trek and it’s a good idea to have hiking poles along with you too.  Once you start your climb up it won’t be long before you’ll notice the sounds of the highway disappear and are replaced by the peaceful calm of a snow-covered forest.  The trail follows the Cascade Brook so you’ll hear rushing water most of the way.  Take some time and walk out to the many look out points to enjoy views of the nearby peaks.

View on top of bank looking down at frozen Kinsman Fall with pool of water down below the icicles.

View from in front of Kinsman Falls with large frozen icicles hanging from rocks

A half a mile into the hike you’ll come to Kinsman Falls.  The frozen wall of water, which drops about 20 feet or so is such majestic sight. If you’re up for it, hike down to the frozen brook below to see the sight from a different view. It is steep and a bit of a scramble so take your time going down and up.

Snow covered trail with opening to Cascade Brook on right hand side of trail

Continue on Basin Cascade Trail, you’ll be winding your way back and forth along Cascade Brook.

View of Frozen Rocky Glen Falls looking up into the gorge

Pool of open water at the base of a frozen Rocky Glen Falls

About a half mile further, you’ll come to another gem Rocky Glen Falls.  There is no sign marking the fall, so be watching for it on the right.  This fall drops about 35 feet down. The best view of the frozen wall of ice is from down in the gorge.  If you hike down to see it, be sure to take your time and watch your step.

Sign of trail junction to Lonesome Lake

If you wanted to continue further – Lonesome Lake is another 1.3 miles up the trail.

There are a number of other water sights to see in the Notch.  The Falling Waters Trail will take you to three picturesque waterfalls.

At base of Stairs Falls looking up at waterfall outer banks frozen

The first one on this trail is Stairs Falls…the smallest of the 3 on this route but impressive none-the-less.

View of Swiftwater Falls from base of fall area, mostly frozen snow covered trail to the left of the fall.

Swiftwater Falls is up next  — the 60 foot frozen falls giving way to a crystal clear pool down below.

VIew looking up at Cloudland Falls, falls are frozen and massive looking.

The final in this series of falls is Cloudland… an impressive 80-foot wall of frozen water. How cool is that?!?

View looking into the Flume Gorge, caverns of rock on each side, frozen icicles hanging down from the rocks.

If you’re still up for more adventure – plan a stop at one of the most well-known spots in the Notch – the Flume Gorge.  This natural wonder boasting a number of water features – including Avalanche Falls.

The temperatures during the winter months can fluctuate dramatically in the mountains so be sure you have appropriate gear and are dressed for the conditions.  NH Fish and Game has tips to help you hike safe no matter what the season.  Be sure to follow our travels throughout the winter on Facebook and Instagram!