It is a long drive, but a pretty one and Sam was quite good on the way over. By the time we arrived, it was around 10:30 and it was already warm out. Luckily, there was also a nice breeze, so it really was a lovely day for a hike! And despite the fact that Ryan and I have hiked miles and miles over many years in the Whites, we have actually never done this trail, so it was new to all of us.
Sam was excited from the start, and did a great job all day. We chose to ascend via the Bemis Brook Trail, which was a twisty, turny, rather rugged singletrack trail which hugged close to the edge of Bemis Brook. We got out along the stream on the granite ledges and hiked up them to Bemis Falls before rejoining the trail. It truly was beautiful.
The water was cold!
Along Bemis Brook
Neat granite steps
Jack in the pulpit along the trail
The kiddo, leading the way
Sam and I along the stream
Sam and Ryan along the brook
Really cool rock slabs and rushing water
Cute kid and waterfalls, what more could you ask for? ;)
At the top of Bemis Falls, the trail turned sharply upwards with a lot of rocks and roots, but Sam worked her way up to the next trail junction with a lot of spirit and hard work. She was having a great time! When we joined back up with the Arethusa Falls Trail, the trail widened and got a lot more mellow but it was still a good ways up to the Falls themselves. Sam was tired, but she rallied and did a good job moving along.
Up the trail
Toad, the only wildlife we saw all day
Once we reached Arethusa Falls, we realized why this was such a popular spot and decided it was well worth the hike! It was spectacular. Likely 150 to 200 feet high with pools beneath and just a really pretty spot.
Sam took off her shoes and got in the water - it was cold but refreshing on a hot day!
Sam with her toes in the water - brrr!
Sam and the falls
In the water
Waterfall selfie ;)
After a long time spent admiring the falls, getting feet wet (Sam) and having a snack, we finally headed back down. The return trip was much quicker as the Arethusa Falls Trail was a much more mellow trail and we didn't have quite the need to stop every few feet to check things out ;) We saw a number of people heading up the trail as we descended, and Sam told them all that the falls were worth the hike! All in all, my watch read 3.9 miles in a little under 4:00, with a moving time of just over 2:00, and almost 1,000 feet of gain. I'd say it was a successful hike, and a whole lot of fun!
Once we got back to the car, we quickly changed and then headed into North Conway to stop for a late lunch/early dinner at Moat, where Ryan proceeded to eat a huge plate of sliders ;)
Now that's a plate of food, right there!
Then we took the scenic route home and after Sam asking us every few minutes if we'd found a place for ice cream despite the fact that we were in the middle of nowhere ;), we finally stopped at Toot's to finish up the day with delicious ice cream and some time with the farm animals. What fun!
Perfect end to the day :)
Feeding the lambs
He was the size of a chicken! So cute!!
All in all, a very busy and long day but a whole lot of fun and we are incredibly proud of Sam for doing such a good job hiking! Now that we know she can handle herself on a longer hike, it's time to break out the books and plan our next adventure ;)