Actually, I find that there is a level of tranquility about the visit to these falls since there are far fewer visitors than to other waterfalls such as Arethusa Falls in the Crawford Notch. It is somewhat puzzling as to why Georgiana Falls seem to lack popularity. They were glowingly described by Thomas Starr King as early as 1859, and a path to the first path to the falls was cleared around 1877.
On the day of my hike (19-Mar-2011), the path up to both the lower and upper falls had been tramped out predominately by hikers on snowshoes, but there were also some postholes resulting from those who had opted to bareboot it. Also, it should be noted that the snow had softened considerably by the time I was heading back down the trail in mid afternoon. Even with wearing my snowshoes, I occasionally sank and created a hole here and there.
There are picturesque cascades all along Harvard Brook to keep you entertained as you make your way up the trail. However, the star attractions on this hike are two waterfalls. One has a 30 ft drop, and the other one drops 80 ft. The smaller waterfall is often referred to as Lower Georgiana Falls and the larger 80 ft waterfall is referred to as Upper Georgiana Falls (also known as Harvard Falls). There are no signs to identify these falls. However, below are two snapshots which show what I'm fairly certain is Lower Georgiana Falls in the FIRST photo, and Upper Georgiana Falls in the SECOND photo.
By carefully working my way to a spot near the top of the upper falls, I was able to peer down at I-93 off in the distance. Perhaps many readers have seen this vantage point while travelling northward on I-93 in the vicinity of Exit 32. Particularly during the winter months and during the Spring run-off, it appears as a small white streak near the top of a distant ridge on the west side of the Interstate corridor.
Just as I'd done on my previous winter visit to Georgiana Falls, I opted to go beyond the upper falls by bushwhacking another half-mile or so up the brook to a boggy area that has been created by beaver activity. On many maps, this area is named Bog Eddy. There are excellent views from this location toward Mt. Pemigewasset, as well as the Kinsman Range.
On my previous visit to Bog Eddy, I was able to get a dramatic view that included not only Mt. Pemigewasset, but also a portion of the Franconia Range (SEE PHOTO BELOW). On this March 2011 visit, I just didn't take the time to bushwhack around to the spot where I could get this particular view.
By high peak standards, this hike was relatively short. Including the bushwhack to Bog Eddy, this journey was well under 4 miles round trip. However, in my opinion, it was just as enjoyable as many of my hikes that have covered a far greater distance. There are simply times when less is more!
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ADDENDUM TO ABOVE REPORT:
ADDENDUM TO ABOVE REPORT:
It might be of interest to learn that "trip reports" have been written about treks to Georgiana Falls (as well as to other White Mountain locations), as least since the mid 1800s. Below is report that appeared in the Appalachian Mountain Club's journal entitled "Appalachia" (Vol IV 1884-1886).
(NOTE: If you would prefer to read the original text, it has been digitized by Google Books and can be accessed by clicking HERE.)
Path To Georgianna Falls
By M. Isabella Stone
On the Pemigewasset valley stage-road, at a point about two miles north of North Woodstock post-office, and three miles south of the Flume House, the traveller crosses Harvard Brook, flowing from the northwest and running east to empty into the Pemigewasset River. Half a mile north of this point, on the eastern side of the road, is the house of Mr. Stephen Russell, where a guide can be obtained for Georgianna Falls, described in Osgood's Guide-book as eighty feet in height, located on Harvard Brook, but rarely visited on account of the difficulty of traversing the pathless forest for nearly two miles. Directly after a heavy rain, when the brook is pouring away its high tide of life in merriest music, this is a delightful walk, extending through beautiful woods rich in botanical attractions, and ending in a short, steep clamber. Both below and above the Georgianna Falls proper there are numerous picturesque cascades, varying from three to fifteen or twenty feet in height. For the first one above, which is especially beautiful, I suggest the name "Harvard Cascade."
Formerly, to reach the cliffs at the top of Georgianna Falls, from which is an attractive prospect down the Pemigewasset valley, and for the best view of the falls themselves, we were obliged to fight our way through an intricate mass of fallen timber called "the burnt district," where hundreds of large trees, killed by fire, have rolled into the bed of the stream, seventy feet below, or are hanging over its precipitous banks. This summer a good path was cut through this debris; but the injury to the waterfall and its grand setting from the unsightly mass of dead wood is irreparable.
In 1877, from the point of intersection of Harvard Brook with the stage-road, a narrow path was "brushed out," following the course of the stream to the falls, but leaving untouched countless huge logs, which afforded the pedestrian ample gymnastic exercise. From neglect this path soon became badly overgrown, obscure in places, and encumbered with fresh windfalls.
The majority of guests at North Woodstock in recent summers hare considered this excursion a hard day's work, — once in the season being quite enough for nearly all, too much for many. Several persons wandering up the brook for a seemingly long distance returned firmly convinced that the lofty waterfall was a myth, and smiled at the gross exaggeration of certain enthusiastic mountaineers. The truth was, they had failed to reach the true Georgianna Falls at all.
During 1882, 1883, and 1881 the writer five times visited these falls, and has ascended far above them, exploring the upper course of the stream which rises in Bog Pond. Nearly half a mile below the pond is a series of interesting cascades, in a gradual descent for a considerable distance, making a continuous cataract. These we named "Upper Falls," painting the name on a tree blazed for the purpose. About halfway between its source and its mouth the brook entirely loses its impetuous character, and for perhaps three eighths of a mile spreads out into a series of pools, between which it almost disappears in tracts of marshy land. From the margin of one of them we obtained a fine view of Mt. Liberty. This part of the brook's course bears the local name of "the Bog Eddy."
Opposite the house of Mr. Stephen Russell, above-mentioned, is a grove, through which leads a broad path due west, the first right-hand fork of which the traveller should follow northwest — as directed by a sign-board — into an open field; thence nearly west, guided by a white topped stake, to the edge of the woods, where there is a guide-board inscribed "Georgianna Falls, 1 mile 54 rods." By a mossy log the path crosses a tributary stream, passes through the woods westward till it strikes Harvard Brook itself, where it turns to the right, continuing up the left bank. Another sign is placed here. From this point the old path of 1877 was followed on account of its nearness to the charming brook. The present path continues to the falls, where is a large board bearing the name, and a smaller one inscribed "Bog Eddy, J mile;" it passes on for sixty-four rods through " the burnt district" and beyond to Harvard Cascade, which shall have a sign next summer if the name be approved or a better one offered. The present path, from the road as far as Harvard Cascade, made in the summer of 1884, is well brushed out, holes filled up, most of the logs chopped asunder or removed, and steps fixed for the others. In short, the work was done by Mr. William M. Sargent, now of North Woodstock, well known to many Appalachians as a skilled woodsman and a faithful worker.
Beyond Harvard Cascade to the Upper Falls, less was attempted, as few visitors would care to go so far. Other laborers were employed. A good blazed trail is made the entire distance; much of the way a narrow, rude path has been made. At the upper end of the Bog Eddy is placed a sign, and another nearby, directing to the Upper Falls, with the distance marked. At the Upper Falls we nailed a sign directing to "Bog Pond, i mile;" this distance is estimated, and is probably overrated. From this point the writer and one companion, on Aug. 7, 1884, with a light two-rod surveyor's chain, measured the entire route down to the highway, marking every quarter-mile on trees blazed for the purpose, and putting up the eight signs above-mentioned, prepared by the writer.
From the road at S. Russell's to Georgianna Falls .... 1,1/4 miles 18 rods.
Georgianna Falls to Harvard Cascade .... 1/8th mile 24 rods.
Harvard Cascade to end of Bog Eddy .... 4/8 mile 16 rods.
Bog Eddy to Upper Falls .... 7/8 mile.
Total . . 2,7/8 miles 18 rods. According to the measurement of Mr. Sargent, the height of Georgiana Falls, to the first basin below, is sixty-seven feet. At the foot of the falls is a cave for shelter in case of rain. This summer, sixty, two rods below the falls, close to the path, a birch-bark camp was constructed.