Hike-in Required
Yes
Open Year-round
Yes
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

None

Pros

Short, easy walk to Lower Falls. Family friendly.

Cons

Limited parking.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Features

Family friendly
Near lake or river
Wildlife
Waterfalls
Geologically significant

Location

Field Guide

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