Last weekend, Lindsay met up with friends Sarah and Kristen for a short hike in Plymouth, NH. A random search for a short hike in the area came up with this lovely conservation area called Walter Newton Conservation Area. The Plymouth Conservation Commission manages this forest and you can find a map on their website.
The parking area is off a narrow dirt road and there is room for 6+ cars. The lot was almost full when we met up, but it looks like cars regularly park along the road. There are several trails and loops that you can do, but most people probably take the short .6 mile walk to Rainbow Falls and then turn around.
We took the Ruth Walter Trail on the south side of the stream and quickly came to Rainbow Falls. This impressive rock face has many steps, where water cascades down. On this day, in the Fall, the water was flowing, but not nearly as impressive as the water flows in the Spring or after a big rain event.
After we explored the falls, we followed the Rainbow Falls Trail (red trail) up and over a small hill. The recently fallen leaves made for slippery trail conditions as we scrambled to the top. There are also several ski trails that look like they would be a fun adventure this winter. It appeared that not many people hiked on this section and the trail markers disappeared for a short while in the direction we were going, but we managed to find our way.
On the other side of the hill, we found ourselves at the empty second parking lot with a kiosk. We followed Henry’s Trail back through the forest and then the short walk along the Ruth Walter Trail to the parking lot.
We ate our lunch in the lot while folks left and came to this popular hiking spot. I’m glad we found this conservation area and we will have to be back to see the Falls when they are really flowing and to try out another loop trail.