Trip report

GetWinter#3:Arethusa/Frankenstein Cliffs

Hiking/Walk DATE: 02/05/2011 - 02/05/2011

Trip/Event Location: Bartlett, NH

Trip Leader(s): Gandalf

Max # People: 15

Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money

Difficulty Level: Moderate

This trip's focus is to get you familiar with climbing and using snowshoes. Plunging more than 200 feet, the frozen Arethusa Falls are the highest in New Hampshire and there are sometimes ice

Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:

Three mies south of the Willey House site on US 302, or about 8.5 miles north of Bartlett, a large sign on the west side of the highway identifies the approach to Arethusa Falls. I suspect the upper parking lot will be closed in winter so we'll meet up at parking area immediately off the access road. We will be driving a blue Toyota FJ Cruiser.

Trip Report/Photos
Featured Photo

Beneath the Frankenstein Cliffs, twelve GO members gathered to prepare for our loop hike. We put our snowshoes on and headed for Arethusa Falls first using the unbroken Bemis Brook Trail. Once we got reconnected with the Arethusa Falls Trail it got easier with the broken trail which we followed to the frozen waterfall.

At the falls we took a lunch break and watched ice climbers making their way up and down. A few of us will be doing this in a month! There were no logs or rocks to sit on so we just ate while standing. When we hooked up with the Arethusa-Ripley Falls Trail we found that the rest of the loop had not been hiked recently; with fresh snow it made for tougher walking. We took turns breaking trail ~ plowing through the elevation gain.

Pushing on, we made our way to the rim of Frankenstein Cliffs. We took a break enjoying the views. Next we hiked down the winding trail and just as we were saying the worst was over, we hit the 'ice bulge." We all had our turn at the slow approach followed by an uncontrolled butt surf over the bulge. 

The next stop of our hike was a cliff with beautiful crystal-blue ice formations. They were probably 100 feet tall, and there were several ice climbers picking their way up. We watched them for a while. Even Jeffrey got a couple of ice axes and jumped into the action. The next quarter mile we made very good time since we slid most of it. Some were skiing on snowshoes; some were butt surfing. I saw a couple of other interesting techniques. 

All in all a good hike and a good time. Thanks to all for your efforts with breaking the trail!  

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What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event

  • Thanks for a great day out, Mike and Jon! - shep5

Members That Participated


Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

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Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

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Outdoor Fitness Level: Strenuous

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