Arethusa Falls Trail is a heavily trafficked trail that is rated moderate because of its elevation of 784 meters and distance of 1.49 miles. Arethusa Falls Trail is one of the 34 trails in Crawford Notch State Park at Bartlett, New Hampshire. The out-and-back Arethusa Falls Trail is family-friendly. Leashed dogs are allowed, and owners are asked to always clean after their pets. The trail's terrain is mixed and perfect for hiking, running and snowshoeing. The trail is open throughout the year, but it is recommended to go between March and October. Visitors are advised to wear the right snow trekking shoes and to bring their own drinking water.
The Arethusa Falls Trail an out-and-back trail that goes through the waterfall. The hike here is great for families and little kids. There is plenty of parking, which costs $5. Trails are well marked, and clearly labelled directions are given at intersections. A mile downstream from the Arethusa Falls is a swimming hole where visitors can cool off, especially in the summer.
The trail begins off Route 302 at the top of a short road that goes across railroad tracks. The blue blazes marking the trail are visible and easy to follow over the consistent uphill route meandering over rocks and roots. The Bemis Brook trail intersection is about 0.1 miles down this path and visitors who join this route will rejoin the Arethusa Falls trail approximately 0.6 miles down the lane. At the 1.3-mile point, the trail will intersect the Arethusa Ripley Falls Trail that has steep steps that lead left towards the falls. While the trail is challenging, it is considerably short and friendly for families and their leashed pets to take at least an hour from the trailhead to the falls at a moderate pace. As the trail goes closer to the falls, the air temperature cools in relation to the rest of the park. Visitors are encouraged to bring footwear that is appropriate for a rocky terrain as opposed to a flat path.
In 1875, Edward Tuckerman discovered Arethusa Falls and named it after the nymph Arethusa who was also the child of Nereus the Greek deity. Edward Tuckerman, a botanist who was focused on the study of lichens and other alpine plants, spent most of his time studying and collecting from these mountains. In honor of him, the local villagers named a ravine after him. More on the park’s history can be found at the Willey House which symbolizes the death of seven members of the Willey family and two other people. Boasting of architectural history tracing back to 1793, the Willey House is considered a protected site.
Arethusa Falls was standing at 177 feet when it was first discovered, but now it is estimated to be at 141 feet within the Crawford Notch State Park in New Hampshire. The park is also the grave to the first photographer of the American landscape known as Samuel Bemis which has seen the trail named in his memory. This town grew as a result of the settlers who discovered it in 1771 before naming it the Crawford Notch after a family that inhabited the area as trail builders and hostelers in the 19th century. This notch connected the settlers to their areas of interest such as Conway in the northwest and the trading ports along the coast through the white mountains as they were popularly known.
All Trails. (2020). Arethusa Falls Via Bemis Brook and Arethusa Falls Trails. Retrieved on February 24, 2020. From https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/new-hampshire/arethusa-falls-via-bemis-brook-and-arethusa-falls-trails?u=m
Hiking Project. (2020). Arethusa falls out and back. Retrieved on February 24, 2020. From https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7032271/arethusa-falls-out-and-back