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Arethusa Falls Hike: A Scenic Adventure through the White Mountains

Arethusa Falls

Arethusa Falls, a stunning natural wonder in Crawford Notch State Park, New Hampshire, provides hikers with an exhilarating and picturesque experience. With its breathtaking beauty and difficult hikes, it draws hikers as one of the tallest waterfalls in the White Mountains. We'll go over important information regarding the Arethusa Falls hiking trail in this post, but we'll also let you in on a few little-known secrets.

Arethusa Falls

Table of Contents

  1. Getting to Arethusa Falls by Road
  2. Parking at Arethusa Falls
  3. Facts About Arethusa Falls
  4. Activities to Enjoy at Arethusa Falls
  5. Essential Items to Carry for Your Visit
  6. Safety Precautions at Arethusa Falls
  7. Nearby Attractions
  8. Capturing Memories: Photography Tips
  9. Seasonal Changes and Unique Experiences
  10. Wildlife and Flora at Arethusa Falls
  11. The Fascinating History of Arethusa Falls
  12. Arethusa Falls: A Symbol of Conservation
  13. The Magic of Winter at Arethusa Falls



Nestled in the heart of New Hampshire, Arethusa Falls stands as a testament to the awe-inspiring beauty of nature. This natural wonder has long captivated the hearts of travelers, hikers, and artists alike, drawing them in with its grandeur and mystique. We will delve further into the captivating world of Arethusa Falls and learn more about this gorgeous location in this article.

1. Getting to Arethusa Falls by Road

The journey to Arethusa Falls commences from the vibrant city of Manchester, New Hampshire, or nearby areas. As you embark on this adventure, consider taking the scenic Route 302, offering picturesque views that foreshadow the stunning landscapes awaiting you. The road trip itself becomes an integral part of the experience, with stretches of natural beauty unfolding before your eyes.

2. Parking at Arethusa Falls

Upon arriving at Crawford Notch State Park, you'll find designated parking areas thoughtfully arranged for visitors. Although there is no entrance fee for the park, it is still a good idea to get there early, especially during busy times of the year, to obtain a parking spot. The demand for visiting Arethusa Falls can be quite high due to its popularity among locals and tourists alike.

Arethusa Falls

3.Facts About Arethusa Falls

This majestic waterfall boasts several fascinating facts that contribute to its allure:

Standing tall at an impressive height of approximately 160 feet, Arethusa Falls is undoubtedly one of the tallest waterfalls in the state of New Hampshire.

Fed by the pristine waters of Bemis Brook, the falls create a captivating spectacle as they cascade down the rugged cliffs.

The name "Arethusa" pays homage to a Greek mythological nymph and exemplifies the falls' ethereal and captivating beauty.

4. Activities to Enjoy at Arethusa Falls

Beyond the breathtaking sight of the waterfall itself, Arethusa Falls offers a plethora of activities for visitors to partake in:


The hike to Arethusa Falls presents an invigorating adventure through the wilderness of Crawford Notch. The well-marked trail, suitable for hikers of varying skill levels, meanders through lush forests, over picturesque wooden bridges, and alongside babbling brooks. As you make your way, the enchanting sounds of nature will accompany you, creating a harmonious symphony of tranquility.


For photography enthusiasts, Arethusa Falls presents an idyllic canvas of natural beauty. Whether you're a professional photographer or an amateur with a smartphone camera, capturing the falls and its surroundings becomes a captivating endeavor. The interplay of light and shadows, the verdant foliage, and the cascading waters offer a myriad of opportunities for capturing stunning images.


Near the falls, designated picnic areas beckon visitors to savor a moment of serenity amidst nature's grandeur. Unfurl your picnic blanket, relish a delightful meal, and bask in the picturesque setting of Arethusa Falls. Sharing a meal with loved ones in this scenic backdrop creates cherished memories that will linger for a lifetime.


The vicinity of Arethusa Falls provides an excellent opportunity for birdwatchers to observe various avian species. From the enchanting melodies of the White-throated Sparrow to the whimsical antics of the Boreal Chickadee, birdwatching becomes a delightful and educational pastime.

5. Essential Items to Carry for Your Visit

Pack the following necessities to guarantee a safe and comfortable trip to Arethusa Falls:

Comfortable Hiking Shoes: Sturdy footwear with good traction is essential for navigating the hiking trail and rocky terrain.

Ample Water: Stay hydrated during your expedition by carrying an adequate supply of water.

Snacks and Packed Lunch: Prepare a meal for the walk or picnic and fuel up with healthy snacks.

Insect Repellent: Shield yourself from pesky bugs and insects to fully enjoy your outdoor experience.

Sunscreen: When engaging in prolonged outdoor activities, especially, cover up your skin from the sun's rays.

Camera or Smartphone: Preserve the memories of your journey by capturing the beauty of Arethusa Falls.

6. Safety Precautions at Arethusa Falls

While exploring the marvels of Arethusa Falls, it is crucial to prioritize safety. Keep these precautions in mind:

Stay on Marked Trails: To preserve the delicate ecosystem and for your safety, adhere to designated hiking trails and avoid venturing off the path.

Observe Warning Signs: Pay heed to warning signs and advisories issued by park authorities, especially during inclement weather.

Beware of Slippery Rocks: The rocks around the falls can be slippery, so exercise caution when exploring the area.

Be Mindful of Wildlife: While encountering wildlife is a treat, maintain a safe distance and avoid feeding them.

7. Nearby Attractions

Arethusa Falls resides within Crawford Notch State Park, an area teeming with natural wonders and attractions. Exploring the park provides the opportunity to visit nearby gems such as:

Frankenstein Cliffs: These dramatic cliffs offer stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and are a popular spot for rock climbing enthusiasts.

Ripley Falls: A short hike leads to Ripley Falls, another beautiful waterfall worth visiting during your journey.

Mount Willard: Consider embarking on a hike up Mount Willard for breathtaking vistas of the Presidential Range.

8. Capturing Memories: Photography Tips

As you endeavor to capture the allure of Arethusa Falls through photography, consider these tips:

Golden Hour Magic: The hours surrounding sunrise and sunset, known as the "golden hour," bathe the falls in warm, soft light, resulting in magical photographs.

Long Exposure Elegance: Utilize long exposure photography to create silky, dreamy images of the cascading water.

Foreground Elements: Incorporate natural elements like rocks, foliage, or tree branches in the foreground to add depth and dimension to your compositions.

9. Seasonal Changes and Unique Experiences

Arethusa Falls transforms with the changing seasons, offering unique experiences for visitors:

Spring: Witness the falls come to life with melting snow and increased water flow, creating a mesmerizing sight.

Summer: Embrace the lush greenery around the falls as nature flourishes during this vibrant season.

Fall: Fall foliage paints the landscape with hues of red, orange, and gold, providing a picturesque backdrop to the cascading waters.

Winter: The falls undergo a magical transformation during winter, adorned with icicles and surrounded by glistening snow.

10. Wildlife and Flora at Arethusa Falls

The natural surroundings of Arethusa Falls are home to diverse flora and fauna. Keep an eye out for:

Flora: Marvel at the beauty of native plants like the delicate Lady's Slipper Orchids, vibrant wildflowers, and majestic ferns.

Fauna: Be on the lookout for the elusive Eastern Coyote, the curious Red Fox, and the timid Snowshoe Hare.

11. The Fascinating History of Arethusa Falls

Beyond its natural beauty, Arethusa Falls boasts a fascinating history:

Native American Connection: The falls were known to indigenous tribes for generations, and their folklore and traditions are intertwined with this natural wonder.

Exploration and Naming: European explorers first discovered the falls in the early 19th century and bestowed upon it the name "Arethusa" as a tribute to its enchanting allure.

12. Arethusa Falls: A Symbol of Conservation

Arethusa Falls serves as a symbol of the importance of conservation efforts to preserve natural treasures. Various organizations and park authorities work tirelessly to protect the delicate ecosystem surrounding the falls, ensuring future generations can continue to revel in its splendor.

13. The Magic of Winter at Arethusa Falls

While visiting Arethusa Falls during winter presents unique challenges, it also offers a magical and serene experience. Snow-covered landscapes, frozen waterfalls, and a sense of tranquility create an atmosphere of wonder during the colder months. However, extra caution is essential, as icy conditions can make hiking more treacherous.

Arethusa Falls  trail


A visit to Arethusa Falls is an invitation to immerse oneself in the pure beauty of nature. From the majestic waterfall itself to the lush forests and captivating wildlife, every aspect of this destination leaves a lasting impression on visitors. Whether you're an adventurous hiker, a photography enthusiast, or a nature lover seeking solace, Arethusa Falls promises an unforgettable journey.

So, pack your bags, put on your hiking boots, and let Arethusa Falls cast its spell on you.


1.     Is there an entrance fee to visit Arethusa Falls?

No, there is no entrance fee to access Arethusa Falls or Crawford Notch State Park. It's open to the public.

2.     Are there restrooms available at the falls?

Yes, there are restrooms near the parking area for visitors' convenience.

3.     Is swimming allowed in the pool beneath the falls? 

While swimming is not officially prohibited, it is not encouraged due to the risks associated with strong currents and slippery rocks.

4.     Can I visit Arethusa Falls during winter? 

Yes, the falls offer a unique winter hiking experience, but extra caution should be taken due to icy and snowy conditions.

5.     Are pets allowed on the trails to the falls? 

Yes, leashed pets are allowed on hiking trails, but owners must clean up after them.

6.     Is there a visitor center at Crawford Notch State Park? 

Yes, the park features a visitor center where you can obtain information about the park's attractions and facilities.

7.     What is the best time of year to visit Arethusa Falls? 

Each season offers a unique experience, but the fall foliage and the winter snow add an extra touch of magic to the already captivating scenery.

8.     Are there guided tours available to explore the falls? 

While there are no official guided tours, park rangers occasionally lead educational hikes to share information about the area's natural history.

9.     Can I camp near Arethusa Falls? 

Camping is not allowed directly near the falls. However, there are campsites available in the surrounding Crawford Notch State Park.

10.  Are there any other waterfalls in the vicinity of Arethusa Falls?

Yes, besides Arethusa Falls, Ripley Falls is another nearby waterfall that visitors often explore during their trip to Crawford Notch State Park.

Prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure as you enter the alluring world of Arethusa Falls!