Kinsman Falls (along the Basin-Cascades Trail)

The Waterfalls of Franconia

Franconia Notch has no shortage of waterfalls. A short walk up Falling Waters Trail will bring you to three picturesque waterfalls:  Stairs Falls, Swiftwater Falls and Cloudland Falls (the largest of the three). While the upper half of the Falling Waters Trail is strenuous, the 1.4-mile walk up to the three waterfalls is fairly family-friendly.

Cloudland Falls
Cloudland Falls (3rd and largest of 3 falls on Falling Waters Trail)
Swiftwater Falls
Swiftwater Falls (2nd of 3 falls on the Falling Waters Trail)
Stairs Falls (first of 3 falls on the Falling Waters Trail)
Stairs Falls (1st of 3 falls on the Falling Waters Trail)

Moving south from Falling Waters Trail will bring you to the Basin. You can reach the Basin by walking down the Pemi Trail or Bike Path (which runs the length of the park).

The Basin
The Basin
smaller falls along the Pemi Trail
other falls along the Pemi Trail

Aside from The Basin and the surrounding cascades you will find two larger waterfalls (Kinsman Falls and Rocky Glenn Falls) which can be accessed from the Basin-Cascades Trail (trail junction is near The Basin). Once on the Basin-Cascade Trail you can hike .5 miles to reach Kinsman Falls and just another half mile further to reach Rocky Glen Falls. Carry on Cascade Brook Trail for 1.7 miles and you’ll find yourself at Lonesome Lake.

Kinsman Falls (along the Basin-Cascades Trail)
Kinsman Falls (along the Basin-Cascades Trail)
Rocky Glen Falls (along the Basin-Cascades Trail)
Rocky Glen Falls (along the Basin-Cascades Trail)

Moving south from The Basin, you will come to one of Franconia Notch’s main attractions; the Flume Gorge. This 2-mile self guided nature walk will lead you through covered bridges and numerous water features. The most spectacular waterfall at the Flume is the Avalanche Falls. Further along your walk you will pass Liberty Falls, but don’t miss the viewpoint at the lower look out.

Avalanche Falls (at Flume Gorge)
Avalanche Falls (at Flume Gorge)
Liberty Falls (at the Flume Gorge)
Liberty Falls (at the Flume Gorge)

Just outside Franconia Notch State Park to the south you’ll can also get to Georgiana Falls. To get there take exit 34A and carry on route 3. The parking for the falls is just past Whales Tale Water Park, on Hanson Farm Road. Just a 1.2 mile hike will lead you past Lower Georgiana Falls, then Upper Georgiana Falls and bring you to the Harvard Cascades.

View from Georgiana Falls
View from Georgiana Falls

The pools at the base of the waterfalls are definitely big enough to swim around or you can just wade into knee length to cool off on a hot day.

Georgiana Falls (upper pool)
Georgiana Falls (upper pool)

Check out our Franconia Notch State Park hiking map for more information.

Be Sociable, Share!
avatar

Discover Power of Parks SCA Interpreters

Discover the Power of Parks is presented by New Hampshire State Parks in collaboration with the Student Conservation Association and made possible by generous financial support from Eversource. The program offers a look into the natural world through hands-on programming. Interpretive programs focus on connecting participants with nature and building appreciation for New Hampshire's unmatched natural heritage. Programs include guided hikes, interpretive tours, and imaginative environmental workshops for children and families. Programs are offered free to guests with paid park admission fee. No pre-registration is required.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *