hiking arethusa falls in new hampshire

hiking arethusa falls new hampshire

You want to know something funny? Since we made the decision as a family not to extend our time in South Korea, step back a bit from the kids’ modeling, and really focus on ourselves for a while, I feel such a complete weight off my shoulders. I feel ready and inspired to work again. I’m energized. Our trip home to New Hampshire was no exception, and we had such a wonderful time spending family time in Maine, and we even got a day out on the trails, hiking Arethusa Falls in New Hampshire.

Hiking Arethusa Falls in New Hampshire

We did a ton of hiking when we lived in the PNW, and it became kind of our thing. Don’t get me wrong; the kids absolutely still whine and grumble and groan just like any other kids do when forced to endure a trek up a mountain, but they’ve also come so far. They’re stronger, faster, and more sure-footed than ever before, and having the chance to hike in New Hampshire vs. in South Korea’s hot, humid, and difficult terrain (remember Crocodile Peak?) was a welcome relief.

AllTrails doesn’t work well in Korea, but it works just fine in New Hampshire, and after a quick cursory search, we decided that hiking Arethusa Falls was just the ticket for us. We like a hike with a reward, and it’s one of our best tips for hiking with kids. Whether it’s a lake to swim in, a river to wade, or the promise of ice cream at the bottom, we always involve some sort of win for our kids, and Arethusa Falls Trail looked like the perfect blend of challenging, fun, and rewarding with the falls at the top.

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arethusa falls trail conditions

Arethusa Falls Trail Conditions

Located near Bartlett, New Hampshire, Arethusa Falls is considered moderately challenging, but at only 4.5 km roundtrip, we were confident our kiddos could stomach whatever challenge the trail threw their way. And we weren’t wrong! We parked at the lower lot near Frankenstein Cliff Trail, paid our little $5 entrance fee, and made our way across the tracks to the trail. It definitely wasn’t as well-marked as some trails we’re used to, but the trees are marked with blue dots to indicate the path ahead.

We got there at about 11 AM, and there was plenty of parking in the lower lot, so we definitely beat the crowds. The roundtrip hike is estimated at 2 hours, but we made our way up as a family in just under an hour, peaking at the falls, which were glorious despite the water levels being much lower than previous seasons. The trail was beautiful, covered, and Porter loved trying to parkour his way between the rocks all the way up.

hiking arethusa falls new hampshire

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Arethusa Falls Temperature

The falls were chilly, as expected, but it was a welcome treat after a warm hike up! The boys were in their swimsuits already, and I literally just stripped to my shorts and sports bra, while Ryan got in the water in his shorts. Mieke was the only one who did a trail change, but she wasn’t too into the whole “swimming in cold water” thing. Us though? Heck yes! It got busy toward the end of our stay at the falls, so we made our way back down after about an hour, but the crowds really didn’t start showing up until about 1:30 PM.

Tips for Hiking Arethusa Falls

Trail Length: Right about 3 miles roundtrip

Level of Difficulty: It’s rated moderate, but I honestly felt it was closer to easy/moderate.

Cost: We didn’t have a pass, but the annual pass is just $30. We paid the $5 daily rate in cash via the dropbox at the trailhead.

Dogs: We saw many leashed and well-behaved pups all the way up to the falls!

Tips: Wear bug spray because the mosquitoes are fierce! Also, we recommend swimsuits and towels…or just take a dip in your trail clothes like we did!