Friday, April 27, 2012

Arethusa Falls April 17

Still in a hiking mood after the hikes up Pleasant Mt and Boulder Loop, on April 17 I decided to head to Arethusa Falls near Crawford Notch in NH.  This is a "short" hike of about 1.5 miles to the falls. But don't be fooled by "short" hikes.  This trail may be considered an "easy" hike by those who would define themselves as "real" hikers, but don't think you're going to be jogging in and out before breakfast!  Unless you are a frequent and in-shape hiker, you are going to have to put in some effort if you want to see the falls.

I've hiked this trail a couple of times in the past and it is worth doing.  For something a little different this time I decided to hike the Bemis Brook Trail which splits off from the main trail for about 1/2 mile to follow right along the side of the brook. Although there are a lot of roots to work around, it is a nice trail and it brings you past two small waterfalls.

Bemis Falls

and Coliseum Falls

Shortly after Coliseum Falls, the Bemis Brook Trail rejoins Arethusa Falls Trail.  However, you should beware.  I use the word "rejoins" loosely.  If you want to rejoin Arethusa Falls Trail without retracing your steps, then the only way forward is up a very steep riverbank.  And I do mean steep.

It's hard to tell from pictures, but I would say that it was 100 to 125 ft of scrambling straight up rocks and roots while using the roots as a ladder in a lot of spots.  Very careful attention to footing is required in this area.  However I do appear to be surviving.

So on my way I went.

The trail varies from that point with a mixture of rocks, roots and brook crossings.  Fortunately on this trail the brooks are crossed on bridges, not hopping over stones as with some trails.  When the dog hikes with me he seems to think it's fine to cross straight through the brooks, but whenever I can I use bridges.

There are also a couple of spots where you can still see some damage from Hurricane Irene.

Once you arrive at Arethusa Falls, you will no doubt feel that the effort to get there was well worth it.  The exact height of this waterfall is debated, but whatever the exact height may be, it is spectacular just the same.

As in the past, this once again proved to be a lovely hike.  I highly recommend it.

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