Lower Purgatory Falls is a fantastic family-friendly hike due to its short half-mile length and wide, well-established footpath. This popular trail leaves from a small parking area and continues on easy terrain to the approximately 12-foot falls. The falls are first seen through the trees, where the trail becomes rockier with some roots. An opening in the trees at the water’s edge to the right of the falls offers an open view and is a great destination for those seeking a quick, scenic walk.
If you’re interested in continuing on, Purgatory Brook offers two additional waterfalls that are known as Middle Falls and Upper Falls. It is approximately 3 miles each way if you follow the trail north to its end. Upper Falls has a quiet, secluded feel to it, especially if you have it to yourself, but be sure to bring insect repellent and sturdy footwear because the trail can be rocky and muddy. Roots along the trail are especially slippery when wet. Upper Falls can also be accessed via a short trail off of a dirt road to the north, but this isn’t recommended due to extremely tight, limited parking.
For yet another option to view the waterfalls, two additional parking areas exist on Purgatory Road and Dow Road, where you can opt for a loop hike on the Wah Lum Trail that spurs off onto the Purgatory Brook Trail to reach the falls. A map is recommended to avoid getting lost.
For a truly authentic New England experience, come to New Hampshire. We are a four-season, year-round vacation destination ideal for every type of traveler, whether on vacation, on holiday or living right here. Visit our quaint shops and galleries, scenic state parks and historic sites, sparkling lakes and sandy beaches, the tallest mountains in the Northeast, three National Scenic Byways, and traditional festivals and open-air markets. There is so much to see in the Granite State, you'll want to visit again and again.