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The Lure of NH Waterfalls


Gordon Falls is the first of a series of falls along Snyder Brook in Randolph that can be viewed on a pleasant and moderate hour-long hike through the woods at the base of Mount Adams and Mount Madison. The trail head for the Maple Walk and Fallsway trails is at the clearly marked Appalachian parking lot on U.S. Route 2 in Randolph. Gordon Falls is the first of a series of falls along Snyder Brook in Randolph that can be viewed on a pleasant and moderate hour-long hike through the woods at the base of Mount Adams and Mount Madison. The trail head for the Maple Walk and Fallsway trails is at the clearly marked Appalachian parking lot on U.S. Route 2 in Randolph.

Photos and text by Bob LaPree

It is hard to know why waterfalls are such a pleasure to behold and experience, but there is no doubt about their near universal attraction for lovers of the great outdoors.

Whether it is the roar of the water cascading over a high precipice or the gentle gurgle of a diminutive falls in a small forest stream, there is a pleasing quality to the experience that is something to savor as part of the natural world in which we live.

Silver Cascade in Crawford Notch State Park on Route 302. Silver Cascade in Crawford Notch State Park on Route 302.
Any season is fine for visiting waterfalls, though some will virtually disappear in the dry months of summer. Spring is by far the most dramatic time to experience the forces of nature embodied in these visual delights.

Frequent rainfall this spring has been a mixed blessing at best — washing out many weekends but minimizing the fire danger. It's also led to a fine spring run-off that has created many spectacular waterfall flows that show little sign of slowing anytime soon.

Sabbaday Falls features an unusual right angle turn as it follows a fault that opened up ages ago. Sabbaday Falls is located on New Hampshire Route 112, the Kancamagus Highway, east of Lincoln. Sabbaday Falls features an unusual right angle turn as it follows a fault that opened up ages ago. Sabbaday Falls is located on New Hampshire Route 112, the Kancamagus Highway, east of Lincoln.
So the next few weeks are a great time to visit our many waterfalls with the added bonus that the forests are showing their many variations of greens, yellows and reds as foliage emerges and the wildflower bloom is well under way and abundant.

And, with the weather finally starting to improve, it's time to Get Out! there and enjoy these treasures, not just this season but all year-round. As an enticement, we present in photos a few fine examples to visit — and all are very easy to get to.

These and many more falls are described in the excellent guidebook "New England Waterfalls" by Greg Parsons and Kate Watson, available in most bookstores and indispensable for finding and enjoying waterfalls all across New England.