Kancamagus HWY Waterfalls
by Kimberly J Tilley
Last Saturday we took my mom out to go hiking to some waterfalls with us. We stopped at three waterfalls off of the Kancamagus HWY in the White Mountains National Forest. We hiked Lower Falls, Sabbaday Falls and Champney Falls. Champney Falls was my favorite waterfall to see, not to hike tho. lol We need to go back to Champney one day and do the entire waterfall trail.
Sabbaday Falls was the first stop we made along our planned trip route. It was a short gentle hike to the waterfall. You can go down to the base of the waterfall and walk around in the river. There is a staircase and bridge to follow so you can have an aerial view of the waterfall. This is a good place to have a picnic or to just get out and stretch.
Champney Falls was very busy, there really was no parking space when we got to the parking lot. People were parking all along the side of the highway. This is a very long hike, even if you do not do the entire trail to Mt. Chocorua. The trail has some harsh conditions such as …
and staircases like this one.
But there was a nice view at the top…or er um, the half-way point. 😉
From here there was still another 2 miles to go. But before you start to climb to that view point, when you are down at the base of Champney Falls you should look left.
Tucked away in a nice quiet spot, is a little waterfall spilling water over the edge of a cliff. This is a nice dead end alley to walk into. 😀 There is an overhanging edge off the wall of the gorge where you can rest in a cool shade. View the roots of the trees trying to grow down the side of the gorge from up above, watch the butterflies flutter about….wait for other travelers to pass on bye so you don’t have to be stuck around a group of young women chatting about their boyfriends and co-workers. blah
A couple more photos from Champney Falls.
Lower Falls already had some swimmers in it and it wasn’t even Summer time yet. But with Global Warming and all the crazy weather we have been having, IF we had brought bathing suits we probably would of joined them for a swim. It was quit warm out and to our surprise the water was not fridged. Which makes me wonder, what does the Atlantic feel like? Is it still as cold as I remember trying to swim in as a child or has it warmed up over the years?
There is no hiking to do here. All you do is park your vehicle and walk on over to the water, which you can see from the parking lot. There are picnic tables and barbeque pits to enjoy a long day by the water.
People were sliding down the waterfall. It was funny to watch. All the boulders and rocks are very smooth from the ages of the erosion from Swift River. If you are traveling with a baby, or young child there are a few sandy spots to play in. We did see some strollers out on the boulders, but I don’t think that was safe. I think it is best to have baby in a backpack carrier when hiking and traveling.
You can find little rapids, waterfalls and cascades through-out the entire area.
The small waterfall falls into a large pool and then the river continues on past these trees.
And then we took to the long drive home and got up early the next morning, picked up my husbands’ mom, and went out hiking to three more waterfalls. 😀