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Frankenstein Cliff - Arethusa Falls

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Nice views, 200 foot waterfall
Near:Bartlett, NH
Distance:5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:1200 ft
Hike Time:3 hours
Trail Condition:Well maintained trail

Summary: Ascend the Frankenstein cliffs, as we did on Halloween. The trail head is easy to find at the lower parking lot but with autumn leaves on the ground it was easy to lose the trail after it crossed a brook. The trail runs parallel to the railroad tracks just down hill of the tracks. It eventually loops under the bridge to ascend the cliffs.

The actual trail differs from the one on the topo map. When you look at the map you will see two trails - one with a few dots - the map version and one with lots of dots (from the gps) which was the actual trail.

Trailhead: Route 302 in Crawford Notch a few miles west of the Sawyer Rock Picnic area. There are two parking lots and you can use either to start your ascent of the cliffs. (Lat:44.14753 Lon:-71.37014)
Trail Guides for Frankenstein Cliff - Arethusa Falls:
AMC White Mountain Guide
by Appalachian Mountain Club (Appalachian Mountain Club)

Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Saco District Ranger, 603 447 5448
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Jon Willard, who has posted  54 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews  Page 1 of 3   Submit your own review
Reviewed by Allyson on 8/11/2010
This was a bit of an ambitious hike for me, but the view at the summit was wonderful. We went in reverse, opting to climb the Frankenstein cliff first and then looping down the easier, more clearly marked Arethusa trail on the way back. There was one particularly steep section which wasn't very clearly makred with loose dirt. Took more than 3 hours though, closer to 5 with breaks and lunch.

Reviewed by RD on 8/9/2010
I am a Boy scout and this is one of my troops Best activities because we can include all of our scouts and they enjoy it.Also It has a fantastic view especially in the Fall.

Reviewed by JC on 8/11/2009
We hiked the route in reverse - having not hiked in 2 years it was a bit ambitious on our part and the trails particularly in the Frankenstein Cliff area were poorly marked and muddy, or had loose ankle-busting rocks. The view from the cliff was somewhat mitigated by the fact that we could see our car in the parking lot below as a tiny dot, and realized that we still the vast majority of the hike left. Not sure if I'd recommend it with the current conditions of the trail.

Reviewed by DMJ on 7/20/2009
Hiked the Frankenstein Cliff yesterday first and then did the loop to the falls and surrounding area. I must say from all the rain, the trail gong up was indeed wet and muddy and the rocks slippery, but was spectacular once at the top! Worth the effort!

Reviewed by Gil on 6/8/2009
Nice hike with great views. We went in June would love to go back in April when there is more run off from the snow.

Reviewed by JRS on 10/26/2008
We hiked to the falls then completed the Frankenstein Cliff loop in 3 hours. The falls was a moderate uphill challenge while the decent of the Frankenstein loop was very challenging at times with all of the leaves down. The view of the Saco was beautiful as well as the other mt. tops in view. I would reccommend this hike to anyone who wants a moderate cardio workout and an exciting decent!

Reviewed by Jay on 11/13/2007
We hiked this loop on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2007. A clear cool day. Temp around 32 at the start with moderate wind gusts. We started toward the cliff first. We were glad we did. The first mile was tough. The leaf fall on the ground made the footing tricky, since we often couldn't see the roots and rocks that make up that part of the trail. As a result, a half mile in, my wife took a bad fall that tore through her pant leg and thermals, but luckily the knee was only skinned. We almost gave up at the one mile mark, but fortunately a couple of hikers that passed us called down encouragement, telling us that the hardest part was almost over. Glad they did. We pushed on and enjoyed the entire loops.

Reviewed by kristi on 10/10/2007
a beautiful, eye popping, fantastic view

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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