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

Dunn Falls, near Grafton Notch State Park


  • Preserve Size: 34,955 acres
  • Trail Mileage: 2.5-mile loop
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Sights: waterfall, pools, West Branch of the Ellis River

Just 2.5 miles or so farther up Upton Road from the Cataracts Trail is a slightly longer loop trail that brings you to a beautiful, tall waterfall and enticingly swimmable pool. The trail is not quite in Grafton Notch State Park, but it is part of protected lands.

The trail splits quickly after the trailhead. To the right is the white-blazed Appalachian Trail, and to the left is the Dunn Falls trail, blazed in blue.

I recommend taking the Dunn Falls trail — in other words, going clockwise around the loop. It continues along mostly flat, if not a bit downhill through forest, until it splits at 0.8 miles at an intersection next to the stream. Take this spur trail to the right, and in about .2 miles you’ll reach the bottom of the falls.

Return back along this spur, and take a right at the main path to continue the loop. In 0.2 miles, you’ll reach the intersection with the AT (and a nice look down the waterfall gorge), and you can head back to the parking area in 0.8 miles.

Directions: From Andover, to the east, follow Upton Road about eight miles to the parking area. There is a dirt parking lot on the right side of the road, about 100 feet or so beyond the trailhead and the Appalachian Trail crossing. The AT here is marked with rock cairns.

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