NH Family Hikes

Nancy Cascades

Length: 4.8 miles out-and-back

Difficulty (click for info): Easy

Elevation Gain: 1450 feet

Rating (click for info): 7/10

Height: 300'

River: Nancy Brook

Driving Directions:
Parking area and trailhead are on Rt. 302 in Hart's Location, NH (cascades are in Livermore), 17.7 miles south of Rt. 3 and 11.3 miles west of Rt. 16. Look for the moderate-sized dirt pullout with a hiking sign on the west (right, coming from Twin Mountain) side of the road, about a mile south of the Notchland Inn.

About the Hike:
The hike to Nancy Cascades is part of the long Nancy Pond Trail. We highly recommend the full hike to Norcross Pond, but the trail to the first cascade is much easier than the full hike and the graceful fan of the first Nancy Cascade is a very worthwhile destination by itself. The Nancy Pond trail begins just south of Crawford Notch. From the pull-off, follow the Nancy Pond Trail into the forest, passing a kiosk. The trail begins as an easy dirt path which climbs at a moderate, constant grade. In 0.3 miles, trail crosses Halfway Brook. Watch for where the path joins an old road coming from the right; you will need to watch for this on the way back and turn right to stay on the correct trail. It continues climbing past this, passing an unofficial path and boundary markers on the right half a mile past the brook. It crosses Nancy Brook, the water source of the Nancy Cascades, in another 0.8 miles. The trail turns left on the other side as the abandoned Bemis Ridge Trail continues straight ahead. The trail climbs along the brook for about 0.3 miles, passing the remains of an old mill, until it suddenly turns away onto a relocated section of trail. There are many switchbacks here. After a short climb, the trail descends past boulders back to the brook in a half mile, passing some large boulders along the way. The trail crosses crosses Nancy Brook for a second time, now within viewing distance of the first cascade, then continues up along the other side, where a side path descends to the rocky brook at the pool below the cascade.

The lowest Nancy Cascade is the largest single waterfall in the 300-foot total drop. It is a delicate, fanning waterfall, and is great to photograph. There are many rocks to sit on, so it's a nice place for a picnic. You can choose to stop here, but it is worth a bit of extra effort to make it past the lowest cascade to see what's above. The trail climbs very steeply, with switchbacks, up the hillside right across from the cliffs of the cascades, soon arriving at an opening in the middle of the next cascade, more of a low-angle water slide with a splashing drop-off at the end.

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