Ammonoosuc River, Covered Bridge, and Waterfall

Destinations:  Ammonoosuc River, Bath Covered Bridge, Waterfall
Trail:  Ammonoosuc Recreational Trail - Western Bath to Bath Center
Region:  NH - Central West  
Location:  Bath, NH
Rating:  Easy  
Features:  River, covered bridge, waterfall
Distance:  3.4 miles  
Elevation Gain:  Minimal  
Hiking Time:  Actual: 1:25   Typical: 1:40  
Outing Duration:  Typical: 2:30  
Season:  Fall
Hike Date:  12/15/2006 (Friday)  
Last Updated:  04/26/2008  
Weather:  Sunny/cloudy, 40 degrees
Author:  Webmaster

Route Summary   

This hike takes you along the Ammonoosuc River to a wide set of waterfalls beneath Bath Covered Bridge. It follows a rail trail that is used by snowmobiles in winter and ATV's in the summer. The usage, both by vehicles and people, has always seemed to be very light when I've been on trail.

  • From the parking lot, pick up the trail in the back right-hand corner of the lot (when standing on the road looking into the lot).
  • Follow the wide path along the Ammonoosuc River for 0.5 mile.
  • Then just past the bridge crossing the river, turn right uphill in order to climb to the level of the bridge.
  • At the top of the hill, turn right in order to cross the bridge.
  • Walk for 1.2 miles on the Ammonoosuc Recreational Trail which will bring you to the Bath Covered Bridge and the waterfalls beneath it. This is an easy trail to follow with no junctions to get you lost.
  • After enjoying the scenery, retrace your steps by heading downstream on the trail. Remember after crossing the bridge over the Ammonoosuc River, to turn left downhill, then left again in order to get back to the parking lot.

Place         Split
Western parking area 0.0 0.0 0:00 0:00
Bridge 0.5 0.5 0:13 0:13
Bath Covered Bridge and Waterfall 1.2 1.7 0:30 0:43
Bridge 1.2 2.9 0:30 1:23
Western parking area 0.5 3.4 0:12 1:25

Spring photo of the Bath covered bridge and waterfalls (photo by Webmaster)


Spring photo of the snowmobile trail along Ammonoosuc River (photo by Webmaster)

  Trail Guide   

Most of this trail is an old railroad bed that's now used as a snowmobile and ATV trail. The trail is wide and level except for one hill.

From the parking area, head down the obvious trail with the river on your left. Through the bare trees the river is visible for most of this section of trail. Spring photo of the Ammonoosuc River downstream from the Bath covered bridge (photo by Webmaster) During the summer, there can sometimes be tall grass and wildflowers crowding in this first half-mile section of trail. But since this report covers my December walk, there are no wildflowers, and surprisingly, no snow either.

After a half-mile, pass under the bridge that crosses the river, and climb up the steep but short trail to the right in order to get to the bridge's surface. Turn right at the top of the hill to cross the bridge and then continue along the trail which is now a wide and clear former railroad bed.

The trail roughly follows the river with woods and fields oftentimes intervening. The river is on the right, and sometimes you can look across the river and the fields that may be present on either side, and see Route 302 and the cars going by.

About a mile into the hike, a tributary (Childs Brook, I believe) feeds into the river from the left-hand side of the trail. You can hear the roaring of the falls that occur farther upstream. If you drive from the Bath covered bridge, up River Road for about 0.7 mile, there will be a small pulloff on the left. From here you can explore a little gorge and the falls that extend a bit beyond either side of the road.

Eventually you will hear the roar of the falls beneath the Bath covered bridge. You can walk to the right off the trail down onto a little beach that gives a nice view of the falls. On the opposite side of the trail, a short path leads uphill to the road (River Road) which gives access to the covered bridge.

Spring photo of Bath waterfalls (photo by Webmaster)



NH - Central West

  Driving Directions   

There are two trailheads.

Western Trailhead:
  • This is the trailhead I started at for this particular hike.
  • It is located on Rt. 302 in Bath. It is 2 miles west of Bath's center.
  • There is a large parking lot just west of some power lines that cross the road at the top of a hill (heading west you go up a hill, cross under some power lines, and then the parking area is at the bottom of the hill on the right).
  • Note: This parking area is not plowed in the winter. For winter access, use the parking area below.

Interior of the long Bath covered bridge (photo by Webmaster) Bath Center Trailhead:
  • This parking area is near the covered bridge in Bath's center.
  • From Rt. 302, enter the downtown area and cross the readily visible covered bridge; it spans the Ammonoosuc River that runs behind the downtown buildings.
  • On the far side of the bridge is a small parking area on the right, just past a minor road that goes off to the right.
  • After parking the car, walk down to the bridge and turn right to go up a road that starts immediately before the bridge.
  • Partway up the hill, there will be an access path to the left. Turn left and then sort of make a U-turn and descend the trail to the river
  • You are now on the snowmobile trail. Turn right to follow the route for this hike.

More Ammonoosuc River Trail Reports   



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