Grafton Notch State Park
Grafton Notch State Park
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Affords breathtaking views of waterfalls, caves, and hiking trails without the parking lots, tourists, gift shops and hot dog stands.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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4 within 6 miles
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  • Nathan M
    13 contributions
    Amazing Hiking, Swimming, and Waterfalls
    First family trip to Sunday River and we loved the short hikes with 3 month and 3 year old boys. Only minutes down the street from Sunday River and so much to see and do. Great views, waterfalls, and swimming holes.
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 15, 2023
  • MaineMountainOwl
    Maine287 contributions
    Beautiful Park with Waterfalls in Season
    This 3,129-acre (1,266.3 ha) park on ME 26 was a beautiful drive despite brutal summer heat. It had roadside turnouts for Screw Auger Falls and Mother Walker Falls. Both waterfalls had limited flows due to a drought across Northern New England. Interpretive signs explained the area’s geologic and glacial history. Well-marked trails to the falls were short with uneven surfaces of rock and forest floor. I liked all that I saw in this very special park; I expect to return to hike Old Speck in the early fall.
    Visited June 2021
    Written June 29, 2021
  • Justin P
    Raleigh, North Carolina4,496 contributions
    Beautiful Park
    We stopped for a couple short hikes with our dog at Grafton Notch while passing through the area. There are several parking areas along Route 26 with access to a variety of trails, from short and easy to long and challenging. We visited Screw Augur Falls, Mother Walker Falls and Moose Cave, all short hikes less than half a mile. Screw Augur Falls is a cool 23-foot waterfall through a narrow canyon with potholes. Mother Walker Falls is another gorge on Bear River, not much of a waterfall though. Moose Cave is yet another gorge on the river with a small cave in it. It's named for a moose that fell in, so be careful not meet the same fate. In addition to the short hikes, there are several much longer and more difficult hikes including Grafton Loop Trail and one of the most challenging sections of the Appalachian Trail. I'd like to hike at least part of some of these trails if we return and have more time.
    Visited August 2021
    Written September 29, 2021
  • TrailTrekker15
    Tallahassee, Florida3,930 contributions
    Stunning Lightly-traveled Valley
    I drove through Grafton Notch State Park on my way back to Bethel. Just the drive alone through the park is worth doing as the notch is absolutely stunning! I stopped and hiked the Moose Cave Trail. The hike was close to a half mile total. There were some stairs, but the elevation change overall was minimal. If I had more time, I would have hiked to some of the other locations shown along the road. I highly recommend visiting Grafton Notch!
    Visited July 2022
    Traveled solo
    Written July 30, 2022
  • vizzos
    Burlington, Vermont51 contributions
    Great short hikes
    Visited Screw Auger Falls, Moose Cave, and Mother Walker Falls. Very short hikes to the point of interest. I think I would skip Mother Walker Falls if was nothing special is you have limited time.
    Visited August 2020
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 25, 2020
  • Stacey H
    Cleveland, Ohio91 contributions
    Great State Park
    We stopped while traveling between VT and ME. We saw Screw Auger Falls and parts of the Appalachian Trail go through here. Lots of hiking trails, picnic areas, snowmobile and ATV trails, swimming, camping sites. Beautiful area to visit and spend a day or more.
    Visited June 2021
    Written June 15, 2021
  • Emily F
    10 contributions
    Wonderfully Easy
    This place is gorgeous all year long. The trails are easy, even someone in a wheelchair can see most of it. The falls are beautiful. Bring your bug spray if going in the summer, the blackflies are BRUTAL! Make sure to stop at the pie place down the road for some goodies and a little further there is a lady who sells dog collars and other homemade crafts.
    Visited June 2020
    Written June 11, 2020
  • NHjo
    Saco, Maine8,221 contributions
    A lesser known NH notch (at least to tourists).
    Grafton Notch State Park is a beautiful and fairly short pass to drive. The foliage was just a bit past peak when I went, but the views were still amazing and there were pockets of brilliant golds and oranges. I've driven most of the 'notch' state parks in NH (Franconia, Pinkham, Crawford, and Dixville), and this one was a nice addition to the list.
    Visited October 2022
    Written October 13, 2022
  • Mandymac71
    Aubrey, Texas59 contributions
    Uncommercialized area of natural beauty
    We drove up to this from Portland Maine during Oct foliage time. It was so worth it. This is just a parking lot along side of road, completely uncommercialized!! We did the Table Rock trail which is across the hwy from parking. Its a vigorous climb of about 900 feet with an amazing rewarding view at the end. Take water and have good tread on your shoes! I dressed too warm and wish I would had short sleeves on. I saw a few school aged kids, but you would sure want to stay ahead of them so they don't take any turns straight off a cliff edge. If they are the kind to run ahead, I would probably do one of the lower elevation hikes. This is a family fun place, no shops or restaurants, just pure outdoor fun in beautiful surroundings.
    Visited October 2020
    Written October 9, 2020
  • Pryst
    Staatsburg, New York283 contributions
    Beautiful Area for Hiking or Simply Sitting and Thinking
    Grafton Notch State Park is one of the most beautiful areas I've ever visited. I know many people who vacation in Maine and stick to the southern points like Ogunquit or Saco but a trip up to Bethel, and especially Grafton Notch, will most certainly reward your time. I have been there in the spring and fall and would definitely recommend a late September visit when the brilliance of the foliage is inspiring and there are fewer visitors. I visited with my wife and daughter in September and October and both times we were almost the only people there. Hiking trails are easy to manage and one may choose the difficulty and duration of a hike. If one is lucky, one may even see a moose wandering around. The waterfalls and little caves and niches are a delight, as is the entire experience. One may picnic there and even have a barbecue (charcoal cooking in provided grills only, no wood fires) but alcohol is prohibited so forget about having a beer with that burger. Wading and swimming at Screw Auger Falls is allowed but beware because rocks are slippery. My own favorite area was the canyon known as Moose Cave which one can navigate part of easily but should be in pretty good shape to go the whole distance. A very meditative and peaceful park, Grafton Notch is only about thirty minutes from Bethel (which is a lovely little town) and the ride itself is lovely. Highly recommended.
    Visited September 2013
    Traveled with family
    Written May 31, 2014
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
206 reviews
Excellent
164
Very good
35
Average
7
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Nathan M
13 contributions
Aug 2023
First family trip to Sunday River and we loved the short hikes with 3 month and 3 year old boys. Only minutes down the street from Sunday River and so much to see and do. Great views, waterfalls, and swimming holes.
Written August 15, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NHjo
Saco, ME8,221 contributions
Oct 2022
Grafton Notch State Park is a beautiful and fairly short pass to drive. The foliage was just a bit past peak when I went, but the views were still amazing and there were pockets of brilliant golds and oranges. I've driven most of the 'notch' state parks in NH (Franconia, Pinkham, Crawford, and Dixville), and this one was a nice addition to the list.
Written October 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeffrey Y
44 contributions
Sep 2022
Great park with a couple of stops and hikes. Can experience whole park in a few hours. Last stop has picnic tables for lunch.
Written September 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

great-places
Indianapolis, IN95 contributions
Aug 2022
This is a good location to stop and walk around for an hour. It is not too big, but the waterfalls are pretty cool.
Written August 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TrailTrekker15
Tallahassee, FL3,930 contributions
Jul 2022 • Solo
I drove through Grafton Notch State Park on my way back to Bethel. Just the drive alone through the park is worth doing as the notch is absolutely stunning! I stopped and hiked the Moose Cave Trail. The hike was close to a half mile total. There were some stairs, but the elevation change overall was minimal. If I had more time, I would have hiked to some of the other locations shown along the road. I highly recommend visiting Grafton Notch!
Written July 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nancy
2 contributions
Oct 2021
Table Rock Trail was challenging due to slippery rocks due to earlier rainfall, but worth the effort. Beautiful.
Written October 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Justin P
Raleigh, NC4,496 contributions
Aug 2021
We stopped for a couple short hikes with our dog at Grafton Notch while passing through the area. There are several parking areas along Route 26 with access to a variety of trails, from short and easy to long and challenging. We visited Screw Augur Falls, Mother Walker Falls and Moose Cave, all short hikes less than half a mile. Screw Augur Falls is a cool 23-foot waterfall through a narrow canyon with potholes. Mother Walker Falls is another gorge on Bear River, not much of a waterfall though. Moose Cave is yet another gorge on the river with a small cave in it. It's named for a moose that fell in, so be careful not meet the same fate. In addition to the short hikes, there are several much longer and more difficult hikes including Grafton Loop Trail and one of the most challenging sections of the Appalachian Trail. I'd like to hike at least part of some of these trails if we return and have more time.
Written September 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Burgesskpc
83 contributions
Sep 2021
There are a variety of hikes at Grafton Notch State Park including a hike or hikes crossing the Appalachain Trail. For those of us who like to hike the AT a little at a time, this is a great hop-on spot.
Written September 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MaineMountainOwl
Maine287 contributions
Jun 2021
This 3,129-acre (1,266.3 ha) park on ME 26 was a beautiful drive despite brutal summer heat. It had roadside turnouts for Screw Auger Falls and Mother Walker Falls. Both waterfalls had limited flows due to a drought across Northern New England. Interpretive signs explained the area’s geologic and glacial history. Well-marked trails to the falls were short with uneven surfaces of rock and forest floor. I liked all that I saw in this very special park; I expect to return to hike Old Speck in the early fall.
Written June 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stacey H
Cleveland, OH91 contributions
Jun 2021
We stopped while traveling between VT and ME. We saw Screw Auger Falls and parts of the Appalachian Trail go through here. Lots of hiking trails, picnic areas, snowmobile and ATV trails, swimming, camping sites. Beautiful area to visit and spend a day or more.
Written June 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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