Hike-in Required
ADA accessible
Guided tours
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Kinsman Falls is one of many waterfalls found on Cascade Brook in Franconia Notch State Park. Unlike the other waterfalls on this brook, it falls vertically into a deep pool, providing a refreshing place to cool off when the current isn't moving too swiftly. Kinsman Falls is about 20 feet tall and remarkably narrow. It takes a half-mile hike along the Basin Cascade Trail to reach, which weeds out some of the crowds that swarm the Franconia Notch Valley.

Most people start their hike to the falls at The Basin Trailhead, located off I-93. Walk down the paved and crushed-gravel path to the iconic waterfall on the Upper Pemigewasset, and leave the crowds behind as you start up the more rugged Basin Cascade Trail. The start of the trail is well marked with mileage listings to Kinsman Falls and the Lonesome Lake A.M.C. Hut.

The trail climbs moderately at first, veering away from Cascade Brook. When it returns to the stream's edge, visitors are greeted by tumbling cascades that stretch out of view. In some ways these smooth granite slides are more impressive than Kinsman Falls; however, there's no harm in exploring both!

Kinsman Falls is marked with a wooden sign nailed to a tree. A steep scramble down to the river edge reveals the best views of the falls and access to the swimming hole. Be careful when deciding to swim; the current can be deceptively strong, especially after recent rains. 

If you'd like to extend your hike, return to the sign for the falls and continue up the trail another half mile. There will be at least one stream crossing. Rocky Glen Falls, a three-tiered falls that drops about 40 feet, is found just before the intersection with the Cascade Brook Trail, which crosses the brook and continues up to Lonesome Lake. Return along the Basin Cascade Trail to reach the parking lot.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Beautiful waterfall. Deep swimming hole. Other adventures nearby.


Can be crowded.

Pets allowed



Big vistas


Nearby Lodging + Camping


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