Location: Pinkham Notch, NH Finding : Simple. Access : Simple. Swimming: I've been told that swimming can be done. Legal : Public land. Privacy : Absolutely none.
Today I visited these falls just after a hike up Mt. Eisenhower. They are very easy to find because they have a well marked parking area along Rt. 16 just south of the height of land in Pinkham Notch. From the parking area you can walk under the road through a nice little tunnel to get to the falls themselves. Needless to say, this is a not a remote, hard to access waterfall!
The trail to the falls is wide and well graded. You could probably push a wheelchair along it without a problem. It follows the Ellis River which is a medium sized stream at this point. The river itself is rather senic as it flows around many sculptured granite boulders.
The trail decends a long stairway (no wheelchair access, really!) to a point just below the falls where there is a small observation area. The falls are quite impressive. Today the water in the river was high and so the force and energy of the falls was probably greater than normal. The river drops over a 50 or 60 foot cliff into a pool. Surrounding the pool are even higher rock walls. The water doesn't drop straight down, but instead seems to fall at a slight angle. In that respect the falls are very distinctive.
There were many people there today. In fact, it was practically a mob scene on the path above the falls and on the steps. I didn't mind all the people. For many of them, this might be the only waterfall they will see in the White Mountains. I overheard one child asking his parents if there were any other waterfalls to look at. I couldn't help but suggest Silver Cascades in Crawford Notch since I had just seen that one a few days ago. His mother thanked me and we went our separate ways, but I got a kick out of that conversation.
Very nice waterfall -- if you don't mind crowds.
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