NH Family Hikes

Porcupine Falls

Length: 0.8 miles out-and-back

Difficulty (click for info): Beginner

Elevation Gain: 30 feet

Rating (click for info): 5/10

Height: 13'

Source: White Brook

Driving Directions:
Trailhead and parking area are on White Brook Road in Gilsum, NH. This road leaves the east side of Rt. 10, 5.1 miles north of its northern junction with Rt. 9 and 6.3 miles south of the southern junction with Rt. 123. Drive 0.4 miles to the end of this narrow dirt road, where there is a parking area and a building. The trail starts on the left side at a wooden footbridge. Click here for a Google map.

About the Hike:
Located on local conservation property, this unique and interesting waterfall is reached by an easy stroll on a well-manicured trail. It's not overly powerful in volume or grand in stature, but the waterfall is a sight to behold in other ways, from its odd angle of flow to the wild rock layers in the streambed that create the plunge. It's a very brief visit to make and not far off the main road, so it's worth adding to your itinerary if you are in the area.

From the trailhead, cross a well-contructed bridge over White Brook and walk past a kiosk. The trail sets off across the flat forest through a veritable garden of ferns. You'll then cross a short boardwalk, and closer to the falls, head up a string of stone steps. Approaching the brook, you'll come to a bridge, and the falls will be visible just ahead. Continue up beside the brook to get right up close to the falls. Though eminating from just a tiny woodland stream, the falls have a totally unique character and appeal. The brook flows from the top of a mass of layered rock, angled like books resting against a bookend. It shoots out from the side between two of the layers, pouring down like from a spigot onto a stony outfall. If you look up from the bridge, you'll see a different view of the falls with most of it hidden behind the rock, since it turns perpendicular to the stream as it falls. The trail keeps going over the bridge to make a loop back to the road, but it is easier to return to the trailhead the way you came.

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