Posted on September 22, 2020 and last updated on September 22, 2020

Cataracts Trail, Grafton Notch State Park


  • Preserve Size: 34,955 acres
  • Trail Mileage: .4 miles one way
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate
  • Sights: Long waterfall, pools, Frye Brook

Grafton Notch State Park has several amazing waterfall areas, all quite close to the road and easily accessible. The famous ones are off of Route 26 — like Moose Falls and the legendary Step Falls. But Cataracts is a great option for waterfall lovers. And because it’s a little farther out of the way, it’s visited less, I think.

From the trailhead on Upton Road, the path is a fairly easy .4-mile walk uphill (albeit over rocks and roots) to an impressively tall, narrow waterfall, and to the beautiful pools above it. Take some time to explore around the pools, and swim if you can!

The .4-mile trail curves at the end away from the stream to an outhouse. A well-worn trail continues beyond that point — but it is not drawn an any official map, so I am not sure where it ends up. It appears to continues into park land, so I don’t think someone would be in danger of trespassing on private property if they explored it.

Directions: Take Upton Road west from Andover for 5.4 miles. Right before a short bridge, you’ll see a pullover on the right side of the road for several cars. The trailhead kiosk is across the street.


Let me know if you have any trail updates or corrections!