Terrifying Table Rock

Table Rock Trail

If you are an adventure seeker, you must do the Table Rock climb from Dixville Notch.  The trail leaves at the height of land, just off the crazy-winding road through Dixville Notch in Northern New Hampshire.  There are several ways to get up to the top, but if you want an adventure we suggest you go this way, straight up from Route 26.  (But if not, you can also take the Cohos Trail from Huntington Falls, or the western leg of the Table Rock Trail from the Balsams Ski Area.)

Lindsay hiking up the Table Rock Trail.

When you hike from the Notch be prepared to climb up quicker,  gaining 600 feet in vertical elevation in 3/10 of a mile.  Some rocks are loose and you wouldn’t want to attempt this if it was raining.  And be sure to take a look behind you a couple of times on the way up to see how high you’ve climbed.  After about 20 minutes you’ve made it!

About halfway up the trail we turned back to see how high we had already climbed.

We followed the trail up the next rock slab and onto “Table Rock”.  If you are brave, you can walk (or crawl) out to the ledge.  From here you get a beautiful and dramatic view of the The Balsams Resort, with the ledges dropping sheer below to the floor of the notch.  We hiked up alone, but by the time we reached the summit, we were joined by several groups that had made the ascent from the Balsams ski area or came up from just behind us.

Amazing view of The Balsams.

Lindsay on Table Rock.

Andrew making his way out to Table Rock.

We didn’t want to just turn around and go back down the same way we had come up, so we took the Three Brothers Trail (Cohos Trail) and on the way to Ice Cave we found a fantastic view of people venturing out onto Table Rock.

Another look at Table Rock

We found the barely maintained Middle Brother Outlook (to Old King) spur trail and found the best view of Table Rock and The Balsams.  We could hear and see people venturing out onto Table Rock while we hid among the spruce trees and cranberry bushes trying to find shade.

Don’t let the broken sign discourage you from visiting this spot.


We continued on the Three Brothers Trail that eventually brings you to Huntington Cascades.  The last time we were at these waterfalls there was a little bit of snow and Lindsay took a big spill (we blogged about it at the end of our post: Snowy Swamp Walk).  But today the weather was beautiful and we skipped our way down through the water crossings.  And to our amazement and our first time ever: we could cross the Huntington Cascade pool!  We’ve hiked here so many times in the spring, fall, and winter, that we almost couldn’t believe that you could cross the pool without getting wet.  It had always looked like the trail lead you right through the pooled area, but it wasn’t until the drier summer months when we were finally provided the opportunity to cross easily.  So interesting how the water level and experience changes with the seasons!

Andrew hiking on the Three Brothers Trail.

Andrew looking down at Huntington Falls.

Two-lined salamander

Andrew looking for a better view of Huntington Falls.

Part of Huntington Falls.

We found a huge spring salamander in the pool at the base of Huntington Falls.

We walked back to our car via Route 26.  It was a little dangerous to be walking along this winding road with the sun setting in the eyes of the drivers, but we made it without getting hit or causing anyone to crash.  It would be neat to have a trail that connected the Huntington Cascades rest area with the Table Rock trail, maybe even a bike path through the most impressive  Dixville Notch.

Walking through Dixville Notch.

10 thoughts on “Terrifying Table Rock

  1. How huge is a huge Spring Salamander?
    Any bird sightings? I believe Perigrine Falcon have been known to be in area and nest on the cliffs behind the Balsams.

  2. Great report and photos! I try to do that loop every Autumn, but I use the Sanguinary Ridge trail for the return loop – more great views, and not overly further than the road walk.

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