NH Family Hikes

Pulpit Falls

Length: 0.8 miles out-and-back

Difficulty (click for info): Beginner

Elevation Gain: 60 feet (+100 feet on return)

Rating (click for info): 6/10

Height: 12'

Source: Pauchaug Brook

Driving Directions:
Trailhead is on Rt. 10 in Winchester, NH. Look for a pull-off - little more than a widened shoulder - on the inside of a long curve in the road, 2.7 miles south of the junction with Rt. 78 and 1.8 miles northeast of the state line. Going south, that would be on the right. The trailhead is on the opposite side of the road; use caution walking across this high-traffic, low visibility turn. There are no signs marking the trail. Look for an entrance to a wide footpath marked with blue paint. Click here for a Google map.

About the Hike:
Tucked away in a dark ravine just 1000 feet from the Massachusetts border, Pulpit Falls is a highly attractive waterfall with no publicity. You'll have to look carefully to locate the unmarked entrance to the unofficial trail leading to this scenic delight. It's a short and easy walk to get down into the valley of Pauchaug Brook, cutting its way between Route 10 and the lower slopes of Hogback Mountain. You'll enjoy the variety of scenic aspects of this waterfall, and you'll likely enjoy them all by yourself.

From the trailhead, follow the unnamed path into the woods, as it heads gradually downhill under a towering hemlock canopy. After 0.15 miles, the trail crosses a small brook and reaches a T-junction on the other side. Turn left here, following the blue markings. The trail briefly follows this brook, then swings to the right and climbs uphill in a mountain laurel-lined gully. In another 0.15 miles, it crests the top of a small pass. Passing by a little pool on the left and an overhanging, fern-covered rock outcrop on the right, the path descends toward Pauchaug Brook, swinging to the right and reaching the top of the falls in 0.1 miles.

The path ends abruptly at the rock overhanging the upper part of the falls. Peer over the edge to see the brook pour over a narrow gap between two slabs of rock and plunge into a circular pool. The pool is enclosed on three sides by layered, moss-covered ledges, creating a highly secluded swimming hole. Below the pool, the brook spreads out evenly over an angled ledge, creating another appealing cascade. More high ledges adorn the sharp walls of the ravine where the brook continues on its course.

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