Waterfall Hikes in New England

Basin Cascades Trail, Franconia

The trail begins down past the basin and is about a mile to the largest waterfall.

Late in September we hiked up the Basin Cascades Trail to see Rocky Glen Falls. Kinsman Brook was still in drought so water was very low, but a less muddy trail was a lot safer. Due to September being so cold, there was quite good color higher up.

The trail begins down past the Basin, over the bridge and is about a mile to the largest waterfall. It starts as an easy walk but quickly changes with roots, rocks and boulders, and a couple of stream crossings-low in drought. Arrive early as this is a heavily trafficked trail to Lonesome Lake. As an FYI near the parking lot are very nasty facilities.

Roots were the most challenging aspect of the trail as you really had to watch your feet and pick them up when you were tiring. Be sure to tuck lacing loops in-everything loose catches. There are at least 2 stream crossings with rock hopping-in spring melt there may be more-watch out for wobbly rocks. The trail was easy to follow for the most part-some blazes were really hard to find, especially at stream crossings. 

There is one tricky area about 3/4 of the way-especially for short people where poles would have been very handy. It was a steep but short scramble on a boulder overhang with roots to climb as an alternate. It was also very wet just at that spot. Otherwise the trail was very dry.


As you can see from this photo of the first longer cascade of Kinsman, water was extremely low, but there was a view, which I was able to capture while my husband cheerfully retrieved the water bottle for the second time! Some folks were hiking up the boulders instead of the trail. At just under a mile we reached Rocky Glen Falls. 

There are 2 places to see it. On the right up a steep bluff is an overlook, and then as you pass this back on the trail you can view the falls from down below. It was really worth the effort for us baby boomers. Most hikers were continuing on to Lonesome Lake.

Rocky Glen Falls from overlook

Rocky Glen Falls from below


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