The hike from Ripley Falls to Arethusa Falls via the Arethusa-Ripley Falls Trail is not only gorgeous, but is relatively easy. It is doable for all experience levels, and there is plenty of parking right off of route 302 in Crawford Notch. Hiking just Ripley Falls is the easiest route. Arethusa is a little longer distance, but if you want your moneys worth, I recommend doing them both. Here is everything you need to know.
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Ripley falls is a 100 foot waterfall in Hart’s Location of Crawford Notch New Hampshire. Gorgeous in all seasons, the short hike can be completed by individuals of all fitness levels.
Ripley Falls Trail
This trail is 1.2 miles out and back (.6 each way) from the parking lot of 302 in Crawford Notch. It doesn’t gain too much elevation, so the hike to Ripley Falls can be done by almost anyone who is willing to work a little bit for an awesome waterfall. This is a well traveled trail.
How long does it take to hike to Ripley Falls?
Hiking to Ripley Falls is only a 10-20 minute hike to the falls, for a roundtrip total of 20-40 minutes for the average hiker. (The 100 foot waterfall is spectacular)
Arethusa Falls Trail
This Trail is a 2.6 mile out and back trail (1.3 each way) from 302 in Crawford Notch. It is a relatively gradual elevation gain all the way to the falls. This is a well traveled trail.
This is a 140 foot waterfall, from the Bemis Brook in Crawford Notch State Park. It is the second largest waterfall in the state, making it a must see for waterfall lovers. It can flow heavy during certain periods, but can also have low flow in certain months. In the winter, the falls freeze over, making for an incredibly beautiful ice wall.
How long does it take to hike to Arethusa Falls?
This should take 25-35 minutes each way for the average hiker.
Arethusa-Ripley Falls Trail
This is a 1.2 mile trail between Arethusa and Ripley Falls. It can be accessed right from Ripley Falls and only about .1 miles from Arethusa Falls. This trail is far less traveled than Ripley Falls Trail or Arethusa Falls Trail. It features a relatively thin path most of the way with a few quick elevation gain and loss sections between the two falls. This trail can be pretty muddy during wet times.
The entire loop will turn out to be 6.5-7 miles and will involve walking along 302 to get back to your car, taking the railroad tracks back to the other trailhead (my personal favorite) or you can trace your steps back the same way you came.
Arethusa falls is at around 2,150 feet, and the trailhead is at an elevation of 1,350 feet. This results in an elevation gain of around 800 feet.
Ripley falls is at around 1,800 feet and the trailhead is at an elevation of 1,450 feet. This results in an elevation gain of around 350 feet.
If you like the Crawford Notch area, check out a nearby hike: Zealand Mountain and Zealand Falls
You may also like one of the best short hikes in NH: Mount Willard
Directions and Parking
Both parking lots are convienently located off of 302 in Crawford Notch. The lots can get busy, but you can always find a spot on the side of the road if necessary.
Arethusa Falls Trailhead Address:
The Trailhead is locaed off of 302 (Crawford Notch Road). The parking area is marked clearly by a large sign.
Ripley Falls Trailhead:
The trailhead is located off of 302 only a couple of miles away from the AMC Highland Center.
Great swimming holes on the Saco are nearby as well as tons of waterfalls, some 4,000 foot hikes and even incredibly gorgeous short day hikes like Mount Willard. Frankenstein Cliff is another short hike option which can be combined with either waterfall, or hiked as a separate trip.
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Pictures of Ripley Falls and Arethusa Falls:
Arethusa is a 300 foot gorgeous waterfall on Bemis Brook. Bemis Brook eventually flows into the Saco River.