Falls In The River, Pittsburg NH


• 4-star hike
• 1.6 to 2.7 mile options
• Easy difficulty | Gain 120 to 200 feet
• Pittsburgh, NH | Great North Woods
• Driving Directions: Dam, Route 3

Waterfall on the Connecticut River. Raging yellow water. Rocky banks. Surrounded by green forest.
The Falls on a raging Connecticut River.

Trailspotting's New England Waterfall Trails
Trailspotting's Waterfall Trails
Discover a New England waterfall on a hike through nature.

Thankfully a reference to the Connecticut River waterfall to which this trail can lead you, and not a foretelling of misfortune, we'd still recommend being careful around the rocks and viewpoint so as not to take The Falls In the River Trail literally.

This is a relatively easy hiking trail that traces a route through woodland alongside the white waters of the Connecticut River towards a moderate but still impressive section of cascades. The trail offers several viewpoints from which to admire the waterfall, though the best ones are slightly west of the main trail. Expect a few rocks and roots, but much of this trail is forgiving under foot. Possibly a little too forgiving in some wet and muddy areas, many of which are passable thanks to some simple boardwalks and others can be carefully sidestepped.

Most popular is the 2.7 mile out-and-back route that begins at the upstream trailhead by the dam, though there's a much shorter alternate 1.6 mile out-and-back trek from the Moose Alley trailhead on Route 3 to consider, that is also far quieter and has slightly more varied scenery.

red icon Dam to Falls, purple icon Route 3 to Falls Expand Map

red icon Dam Trailhead to Falls 4★
2.7 mi, Out & Back, Easy, Gain 120 ft
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails

We've listed this route first mainly because it's the most popular route, though possibly because not many people know about the shorter Route 3 option. The trailhead at the dam site is the largest and most scenic point from which to start your hike, and offers great views towards the Second Connecticut Lake. Clearly naming geographical features isn't something that folk are too concerned with up here, since not only is the lake unimaginatively named, but as far as we can tell the waterfall destination for this hike doesn't even have a name!

The trail to the falls is entirely within woodland and was the location of some of the larger wet sections along the Falls In The River Trail. From around the half-way point the trail gets closer to the water and provides some picturesque views of the river, where you may find fly fishing folk seeking a nibble.

Shallow fast flowing river, with trees displaying fall colors on the far bank.
Fall is beginning to show its colors on the upper section of trail.

purple icon Route 3 Trailhead to Falls 4★
1.6 mi, Out & Back, Easy, Gain 200 ft
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails

The Moose Alley Trail terminates at US Route 3 and is a great way to access the falls from the downstream side that is also the shortest. Follow the Yellow blazes of Moose Alley until you cross an exposed meadow and reach a junction which marks the south end of the Falls In The River Trail. Cross Big Brook via a new trail footbridge, then hike within woodland alongside the banks of the river to the falls. You'll need to hike up a short hill before reaching the falls themselves.

Typical trail conditions. One with a trail sign, and the other with a hiker.
Typical trail conditions.

dark gray icon Route 3 Trailhead to Falls & Dam 4★
2.1 mi, One Way Only, Easy, Gain 210ft (90ft W-E)
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails

Thanks to the folding bicycles we keep in our trunk, we were able complete a hike of the full length of the trail in only one direction. We moored our bikes by the dam and parked our car at the Route 3 trailhead. After completing our hike along the river we cycled back along the relatively quiet highway in a mostly downhill direction.

For those looking for a longer hike, the journey along the river can be extended on Moose Alley Trail to Magalloway Road for a further 1.6 miles (110ft gain). Across the road the Bog Bridge Trail can take you even further, terminating at US Route 3 another for another 2 miles (340ft gain). Locals recommended these trails to us, though we didn't have the time to check them out for ourselves this time.

Standing on the gantry of a dam. Placid lake water to the left with distant mountain views. Raging white water below to the right.
The dam at the end of Second Connecticut Lake.

Shot from ground level. Red-purple maple leaves on the ground, with bright green leafy trees above.
A crunchy carpet to cushion our feet.

Tangents:
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Short video of the Connecticut River cascades on the Falls In The River Trail.

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