Glen Ellis Falls

Glen Ellis Falls is one of the oldest and most popular day use sites in the White Mountains. The falls cascade 65' into a deep pool surrounded by rock and moss, in an area of rugged beauty.


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The Work

Protection of the trail, improving its construction, and adding historical interpretation were key goals of this project.

This project covered a majority of the trail, from Rt. 16 to the trail’s terminus at the falls. Several issues needed to be addressed, including eroded treadway, drainage, and slumping base materials. The beginning of the trail has been constructed to meet Forest Service Trail Accessibility Guidelines (FSTAG) and an additional trail was added to a scenic overlook.

Reconstruction of the Stone, Hairpin Turn

Building an Accessible Trail

Background & History

Glen Ellis Falls, accessed from a short hiking trail near the height of land in Pinkham Notch, features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. It is visited by a wide variety of recreationists, giving them the chance to experience the history and natural beauty through hiking, picnicking, and interpretation. It is located in an area steeped in history, providing unique opportunities to readily view a beautiful waterfall within the historical context of the Civilian Conservation Corps days—a federal work relief program started by President Roosevelt to build America's natural resources infrastructure.

The Glen Ellis Falls area was acquired by the US Forest Service in 1915. In the 1920s, the parking area and trail to the falls were developed. At the time, the 0.3 mile, out-and-back trail was a simple boardwalk and wooden staircase.

During the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps did extensive work on the trail—their stone and masonry work has remained largely intact for nearly 90 years. The last investment in this site was in the 1960s and, over the past 60 years, it has been heavily impacted.