Upper & Middle Purgatory Falls via Purgatory Brook Trail

Update: After this guide was written, I returned to Upper and Middle Purgatory Falls to take professional photos.

The Purgatory Brook Trail in Lyndeborough, New Hampshire, includes three substantial waterfalls along its 4.8 miles (one way).

After hiking to the glorious Lower Purgatory Falls, I was interested in seeing Upper and Middle Purgatory Falls. But since this is normally an after-work hike for me, I knew I didn’t have enough time for the full hike to visit all three falls. Since the Upper and Middle falls are closer to each other (and significantly farther from Lower), I decided to visit Upper and Middle in one hike.

While trying to plan my visit to Upper Purgatory Falls and Middle Purgatory Falls, I didn’t find a lot of good online information. This post is my attempt to make it easier for others to explore these two beautiful falls. All photos were snapped with a phone. I hope to go back soon and document the falls with my “good” camera.

To visit Upper Purgatory Falls, I took the Upper Purgatory Fall Trail which is accessible from the very end of Purgatory Falls Road (not to be confused with Purgatory Road). Purgatory Falls Road is rugged, mostly unpaved, and begins with this warning:

This sign looks promising:

But don’t you dare park here! This street parking is only for trucks carrying snowmobiles:

Here is the official lot:

A couple more parking spaces:

Just past the lot, we know we’re on the right track to Upper Purgatory Falls via the Upper Purgatory Fall Trail:


Take this cool bridge to cross Purgatory Brook and continue toward the Purgatory Brook Trail:

A look back at the bridge we just crossed:

Within 10 minutes, the Upper Purgatory Falls reveals itself:

The strong stream of water drops into a gorge:

Gorgeous, smooth carved rock:

More Upper Purgatory Falls magic:

Final Drop:

The whole scene is hugely impressive:

Trail info:

After Upper Purgatory Falls, the Upper Purgatory Fall Trail becomes Purgatory Brook Trail, all clearly marked with yellow blazes:

Between Upper and Middle are little treats like this:

Mountain water running into Purgatory Brook:

After about 20 minutes of hiking beyond Upper Purgatory Falls, Middle is about to be revealed:

Middle Purgatory Falls:


My hike from the parking area to Upper and Middle Purgatory Falls and back took just over an hour. I didn’t spend as much time as I would have liked at each falls due to mosquitoes.

I hope this guide helps you as you plan your visit to Upper Purgatory Falls and Middle Purgatory Falls. Do you have any questions about anything? Post a comment so I can try to help.

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