About Me

My photo
Bethlehem, New Hampshire, United States
E-mail contact: | Facebook:

Text Above Search Box


10 June 2017

Beaver Brook Trail: Lots of Beautiful Waterfalls!


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.


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"!


Karl said...

Very nice, John!

Beaver Brook Trail is on my list as it's always been brought to my attention as one of the premier trails up Moos, but mostly for the previous mentioned reasons of it being famously steep (or even scary), part of the AT, etc. I had no idea the scenery was so beautiful or that there was 0.5 miles of rolling cascades. You're pictures capture the real reason why this trail should be on someone's list!

Do you have to go off the trail much to see the images you photographed or is the trail open to the brook most of the way?

You certainly picked the right time to go as I'm sure these cascades are a mere trickle in the late summer months.

Thanks for sharing.

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Karl,

Many thanks for reading my posting, and especially for taking time to post your comments.

You asked whether it’s necessary to go ‘off-trail’ to experience the cascades seen in the photos that I posted. Nope, they are all either trailside views, or accessible via a very short side path.


One Day in America said...

Hi John,

Just got back from a week of no wifi in a rental house near Great Basin National Park in Nevada. It was great to be "disconnected" for awhile!
But it's also nice to see your new waterfall post. What a wonderful late spring outing—complete with a moose, all those shades of green, and numerous waterfalls.
Although the elevation gain sounds practically lung-bursting, I'd say that quality definitely trumps quantity on this hike!

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Rita,

Thanks for your comments. It is a beautiful waterfall hike, particularly at times of the year when the cascades have a strong flow. There is a significant elevation gain between the trailhead and the last cascade, however it's somewhat mitigated by the frequent stops along the way to admire the waterfalls. Also, one doesn't need to hike all the way to the last cascade. As mentioned in my report, 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.


Matt M said...

Hi John,

Great report and pictures as always. I hike Moosilauke last June on a out and back on Beaver brook trail, I loved the waterfalls and the steps were definitely well placed. The waterfalls were especially nice on the way down as the mist cooled me off a bit.


1HappyHiker said...

Hi Matt M,

Thanks for reading my report, and special thanks for your kind words.

The cool mist from the waterfalls is yet another great side-benefit to hiking the Beaver Brook Trail, especially on a hot summer day!