A nice and mellow hike that is great for families. The three mile round trip to the falls makes for a pleasant outing.
The trail starts at the top of a short road off Route 302, across railroad tracks. Right from the beginning, it's very easy to follow the blue blazes that mark the trail. Expect a fairly consistent and steady uphill over plenty of rocks and roots. At 0.1 miles, you have the option to take the Bemis Brook Trail
, which rejoins the Arethusa Falls Trail
at 0.6 miles. At 1.3 miles, the trail intersects the Arethusa-Ripley Falls Trail
. Continue to the left for Arethusa Falls, climbing a steeper set of steps before descending to the falls.
The trail is challenging no doubt, but it's also short enough that families and kids can accomplish it. It's also a good trail for hiking with dogs. Dogs are recommended to be leashed, but not required.
It takes about an hour from the trailhead to the falls at a moderate pace. Generally, the air temperature at the falls is refreshingly cooler than the rest of the trail.
Note: There's not much room at the falls, and we found it to be quite crowded because it is a reasonable trail for families, and we used it on a holiday weekend. There is a reasonable amount of elevation gain, and although short enough to be completed by families and small children, consider proper footwear for hiking over rocky trail versus a flat path.