When we last visited the White Mountains last fall, we took a great hike to Arethusa Falls. Arethusa Falls is the highest single drop waterfall in New Hampshire and is really a sight to see. We weren’t up for a hike around the entire 5-mile loop to Frankenstein Cliff so we noted that for next time.
Well, next time came a few weeks ago when we spent a few days hiking in the White Mountains. The trailhead is located in Harts Location off of Rt. 302. If you want to start at Arethusa Falls, you park or walk to the upper parking lot. If you’re starting at the Frankenstein Cliff side of the loop, you park or walk to the lower lot.
One of the things I wanted to see for myself was Frankenstein Trestle in the above photo. It’s a short walk to the trestle if you start on the Frankenstein Cliff side of the loop. The trestle is part of the North Conway Scenic Railroad and is a pretty impressive span. There are signs saying to stay on the trail and to beware of falling creosote. I, of course, had to go off the trail and climb to the top of the trestle using a short side trail.
Side note: Before our hike, I read this blog post written by a guy who thought the trail actually led across the trestle to the other side. There are spots where the trail isn’t obviously marked, but no way would a trail ever lead you across an active span of railroad!
Speaking of trail markers, most of the trail is clearly marked. There was the area around the trestle, as well as another spot near the miniature waterfall/rocky area where the yellow stripe was hard to find.
The cliff-to-falls direction of the loop is a steady climb upward. Near the top, you get a slight head-fake as there are a series of switch backs that give you the illusion of being near the end, but really you’re not. As you can see from the photo below, the view that you get from the cliff is totally worth the hike.
Note that there are no fences, so kids and pets needs to be careful.