NH Family Hikes

The Falls in the River

Length: 2.8 miles out-and-back

Difficulty (click for info): Beginner

Elevation Gain: -100 feet

Rating (click for info): 6/10

River: Connecticut River

Driving Directions:
Trailhead and parking area are on Rt. 3 in Pittsburg, NH. Park at the dam on the Second Connecticut Lake, 13.8 miles north of Rt. 145. The trail starts at the end of the parking area opposite the dam.

About the Hike:
Before the construction of the Cohos Trail, few people knew of the voluminous cataract hidden in the peaceful Connecticut River. Now they are accessible to the public via a one and a half mile walk called the Falls in the River Trail. During this pleasantly short trek, you will experience the scenery of the wild north woods and the drastic contrast of the peaceful and rapid sections on the Connecticut River. The trail starts at the dam on the Second Connecticut Lake and enters the woods on a hillside above the river. Look for the Cohos Trail sign with raised yellow letters. The river is visible through the trees, but the best viewpoints are to come. After about half a mile, the trail leads uphill and away from the river to avoid a marsh. When it turns back to parallel the river, the end of the marsh is crossed on bog bridges. The trail here is overgrown with brush. After crossing an unnamed path in a clearing, the trail heads back to the river. Here, you enjoy a section along a huge, tranquil inlet. Peer over the bushes along the shoreline across the rippling water to the coniferous peninsula separating you from the main waterway.

As you reach the mouth of the inlet the trail continues close to the river, providing many views along the way. Eventually, you will again find yourself again high above the river. The sound is the first indicator to alert you to the presence of rapids in the seemingly gentle river. Looking down, you can see the bubbling white water. The trail soon descends to meet the water at the falls. The waterfalls are quite large and wide. There are two main drops, the smaller above your viewpoint, and the larger right in front of it. Below is a swirling pool, followed by a series of small drops down a wide flume. Several herd paths will lead you downstream to a viewpoint looking upstream through the flume, but first, enjoy a few immersive minutes on your perch in the midst of this natural wonder.

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