NH Family Hikes

Beede Falls

Length: 0.5 mile loop

Difficulty (click for info): Beginner

Elevation Gain: 70 feet (loop)

Rating (click for info): 5/10

Height: 35'

Source: Bearcamp River

Driving Directions:
Trailhead and parking area are on Sandwich Notch Road in Sandwich, NH. (Seasonal road - check status on TrailsNH to verify gate status). To get there, take Grove Street from the north side of Rt. 113 in the center of Sandwich, just northwest of its junction with Rt. 109. After 0.4 miles, Grove Street becomes Diamond Ledge Road. Continue another 1.9 miles and turn left onto Sandwich Notch Road. Drive just over a mile to a large parking area on the right. Click here for a Google map.

About the Hike:
Hidden down a little-traveled dirt road that extends from Sandwich to Waterville Valley, Beede Falls is a local fun spot. Although it is difficult to get to by road, it is a very easy walking adventure suitable for all. In addition to the main falls, the area itself is very scenic, with a few other sights to see. To start, follow the graded gravel trail downhill from the park signs. Bear left as another path to the lower falls goes right. The walkway will take you 0.1 miles to an improved area of blended rock steps and crooked wooden railings around the outlet of the pool at the base of the waterfall. The falls are very rewarding for almost no effort. They are completely unique - the Bearcamp River slides down a long sloped ledge with a small drop at the end. The water spreads out in a sheet over the rock as it rushes down. At the base of the slide is a large pool. The soil under the pool is mainly sand, and in low water, a small beach forms on one side of the water. In high water, the pool is absolutely perfect for swimming (although a bit shallow). Swimmers can even sit underneath or behind the falling water!

When you're ready to move on from the falls, continue on the Bearcamp River Trail along the sluggish waterway, then across it on a sturdy bridge. Reach a junction on the other side. Bear left for a moment to see Cow Cave; right will loop you back to the beginning. In a short distance, the trail leads beside this rocky seam in the forest floor, where a shallow crevasse opens up along a downhill slope. Return to the junction and take the other fork back, following the sign for Lower Falls. The trail follows beside the river and soon comes out to a section where the water is constrained into a ledge flume. It continues downstream to where the water is released and spreads out across wide open ledges. The trail crosses the water here, but stroll down further first to see the lower falls from the bottom, where it gracefully tumbles over steps and bumps in the rock mass. Then return to the crossing and walk over the water to the trail on the other side. This might involve getting wet, but this area was built for splashing around. The trail will take you a short distance back to the parking area. If you don't want to cross the river, it is quick and easy enough to go back the way you came.

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