About Sabbaday Falls
Sabbaday Falls was a multi-tiered waterfall twisting within a narrow gorge that was said to be carved out from the last Ice Age.
The falls had a cumulative drop of 35ft though that seemed kind of harsh considering that there were at least two major tiers and even a small five-foot tier at the very top.
Given the narrow nature of the gorge, I was never able to get an all-encompassing view of the entire waterfall from any one spot.
Instead, there was always part of the falls hidden from view so the end result was that the pictures really didn’t do Sabbaday Falls any justice.
Nevertheless, the trail did pass by each of the waterfall’s drops, which yielded more of an intimate experience.
In addition to the waterfalls, there was an attractive Emerald Pool at the base of the gorge that seemed very true to its name.
With the pool contrasting with the gorge walls and the surrounding potholes and rocks fringed by Autumn foliage, it seemed like this pool very easily could’ve been a popular swimming spot if it wasn’t prohibited here.
Then again, perhaps because it was as a result of this prohibition that the water was clear enough to yield such clarity and color in the first place.
The falls was said to have gotten its name from workers who were working on a road connecting Albany Intervale to Waterville.
One Saturday night, these workers decided to take a rest and come back the following Spring.
Since their rest day started on Sunday, which was the Sabbath Day, they renamed this brook to “Sabbaday”.
It was said the workers never returned to finish the work though the name persisted.
In keeping with the theme of rest, this waterfall also kind of served as an early afternoon rest stop for us as our daughter was taking her afternoon siesta.
I welcomed the break from the long drive between Stowe, VT and Conway, NH.
But since our daughter was sleeping, Julie had to stay with her in the car.
Thus, I ended up doing this hike solo even though it was a pretty family-friendly excursion.
Experiencing Sabbaday Falls
From the very busy parking lot (which was just about full when we showed up in the early afternoon on an Autumn day in October; see directions below), I followed a flat trail that skirted along the Sabbaday Brook.
Barely 1/4-mile into the hike, I reached the Emerald Pool, which also had some interpretive signs before it so I knew exactly what I was seeing here.
Going around the Emerald Pool into part of the gorge next to it, I was able to look upstream and see part of Sabbaday Falls noisily dropping and cutting into the gorge (continuing to make this gorge deeper over time).
Since I couldn’t proceed any further at the slippery and potentially treacherous foot of the gorge, I went back to the main trail to continue.
At this point, the trail then climbed up some steps and more boardwalks alongside the rim of the gorge.
There were plenty of places to stop and look over the gorge as well as to get views across the main two tiers of Sabbaday Falls from a variety of angles.
After crossing over one of the bridges near the top of the trail, I was able to get closer to the smaller uppermost third tier of Sabbaday Falls.
At the same time, I was also able to look down over the main tiers of Sabbaday Falls dropping into the gorge below.
It seemed like the trail kept going beyond the waterfall, but I was content to get to the second bridge where there was supposed to be an overlook back into the gorge and the falls.
Unfortunately, that view was mostly overgrown and not nearly as interesting as the views I was able to get from the gorge-hugging trail itself.
All in all, it took me about 45 minutes to cover the 0.6 miles round trip.
It was a pretty relaxing experience, and I felt recharged enough to do the final leg of the drive towards Conway, NH.
Sabbaday Falls resides in the White Mountain National Forest between Lincoln and North Conway in Grafton County, New Hampshire. It is administered by the US Forest Service. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website or Facebook page.
We drove to Sabbaday Falls after visiting the Flume.
So we’ll first describe the directions from there before describing the directions from North Conway, which was perhaps the largest town in this part of New Hampshire.
After leaving The Flume, we drove south on the I-93 towards Lincoln, where we left the I-93 and went east on the Hwy 112.
We then drove for about 20 miles (30 minutes drive) before reaching the well-signed and busy parking area for the Sabbaday Falls on our right.
Leaving in the other direction from North Conway, we would drive south for 6 miles on the Hwy 302 towards the town of Conway.
Then, we would head west on the Hwy 112 until we would reach the parking lot for Sabbaday Falls on our left after about 16 miles (30 minutes).
To provide you with a sense of geographical context, Lincoln was 92 miles (2 hours drive) east of Stowe, VT, 42 miles (about an hour drive) west of North Conway, 130 miles (2 hours drive) north of Boston, MA, and 190 miles (3 hours drive) southeast of Montreal, QC, Canada.
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