About 6 miles west of North Woodstock, NH is the trailhead for the Beaver Brook Trail. This corridor is part of the Appalachian Trail. And it's also one of the many routes that can be used to access the summit of Mt. Moosilauke.
But to enjoy this trail, you don't need to be someone who is hiking the Appalachian Trail, nor even a day-hiker who is going to Mt. Moosilauke. Just by hiking the first mile of the trail, you will be rewarded with close-up views of a nearly continuous chain of waterfalls that begin about 0.3 mile from the trailhead and persist for about 0.5 mile. Oddly enough, none of the individual cascades are named, but rather are known collectively as the Beaver Brook Cascades.
Although I've done this small adventure several times, I set forth on a day in early June 2017 for a repeat performance in order to experience the magic that this trail offers.
Be forewarned that although it's well worth the effort, the trail is steep! There is about an 1,100 ft elevation gain over the approximate 0.8 mile distance between the trailhead and where the waterfalls begin to taper off. But of course, you can stop wherever you wish. Depending on your time and circumstances, perhaps simply visiting the first cascade would be enough to provide a satisfying experience.
Shown below is a map showing the general location of the cascades along the Beaver Brook Trail.
|Map showing the general location of the cascades along the Beaver Brook Trail|
|On the way to the Beaver Brook trailhead, I had the good fortune of seeing this mellow moose meandering in a meadow along the roadside.|
|When I took my first steps on the Beaver Brook Trail, there was this burst of green, leaving little doubt that spring has sprung!|
|The trail along the cascades is steep, but there are well-placed steps along the steeper sections, such as shown here.|
|This is the first of the many cascades that seem to come one after the other for about a 0.5 mile stretch of the Beaver Brook Trail.|
|Shown here is yet another of the many cascades along the Beaver Brook Trail.|
|At one point along the trail, there are three cascades lined up side-by-side.|
|One of several openings along the Beaver Brook Trail that provide views of high mountain peaks in the distance.|
|A zoomed photo taken from one of several openings along the Beaver Brook Trail. Particularly prominent are Mt. Wolf (foreground), and Franconia Range (background).|
|On the day of my hike in early June, there were still a few sporadic patches of last winter's snow/ice along the Beaver Brook Trail, particularly higher up on the trail where the chain of waterfalls begins to peter out.|
TO SUM IT UP:
Unquestionably, this is a short hike. However, there are a number of proverbs that might apply here, such as: "good things come in small packages", or "it's the quality rather than the quantity that matters", or "less is more"!