Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Hiking Beaver Brook Trail in the Winter

On the north side of Mt. Moosilauke along the Appalachian Trail there is a ¾ mile long cascading waterfall I very much enjoy hiking alongside, especially in the winter months.

The Beaver Brook Trail begins in Kinsman Notch off Rt. 112 (Kancamagus Highway) at a large parking area a half mile west of the Lost River tourist attraction. (A $3 fee can be paid via envelopes available at the trail head). As you head out along the easy grade part of the trail it begins by crossing small feeder streams at 3-4 spots prior to the warning sign at the base of the soon to be much steeper trail (the second 2 streams are crossed on bridges where a beaver pond near the lot can be viewed to the right).

The Warning Sign on Beaver Brook Trail.

The final 3 tenths hike from the sign to the base of the falls rises and hovers over the lower stream bed while clinging to the side of the steep side hill.

Steep trail above the lower stream bed.

Once at the base of the falls you begin a very difficult and, in the winter, very slick climb alongside the falls.

The author takes a rest at the falls.

I have climbed this area without ice spikes, but find it far easier and more enjoyable with them, especially near the top of the falls where there are man made stairs that can get a tad iced over.

Amazing iced stairs at the top of the falls.

At the highest point of the falls is a sitting spot with a wonderful view to the north along the top of the Kinsman Ridge of Mt. LaFayette.

A view to the north along the top of the Kinsman Ridge of Mt. Lafayette.
All along the trail you never stray more than 30 yards from the stream, and there are dozens of great spots for pictures, resting and just plain site seeing. For me, the winter brings out a naturally formed beauty with the frozen falls, the hidden water beneath them gurgling and shaping the ice from below. 

**Caution is always a must as the thickness of any ice over water can’t be judged from above. 


Written by Brian Markee

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