Hike #4: Explore & Adventure

Explore & Adventure in NH

For our fourth hike of the summer (let’s not talk about how few that is compared to what I’d hoped) we headed out to a place called Diana’s Baths. I’ve been there many times; it’s an area with multiple waterfalls and river formations to play in. Combine the swimming with being easily accessible and this place is a popular spot.

On this day, popular was an understatement. We rolled in around 10am and it was so busy we couldn’t even park our car. After circling the parking lot a couple times, we realized that if there were that many cars, there’d be even more people. So we said screw it, let’s find our own adventure!

Our first stop was at Cathedral Ledge. Cathedral Ledge is mainly for rock climbers; you can climb right up the ledge face. I remember from when I was a kid, my brother and I came with my dad often to eat lunch and watch the rock climbers! On this day, we discovered by accident that you can drive to the top of the ledge; we just followed the road and suddenly we were at the top! So there wasn’t much hiking; more just trail wandering once we were up there. The view was a bit foggy, but still cool to see.

Explore & Adventure in NH

Explore & Adventure in NH

Explore & Adventure in NH

Explore & Adventure in NH

For our next adventure of the day, we stopped along the Saco River. We saw a group of people heading down the river bank and decided to follow and check it out. As it turned out, it was a popular kayak/tubing loading area! With lots of rocks and shallows it was the perfect area for the miss to splash around in, have a picnic lunch, and for me to continue my rock obsession. I don’t know that I’ve ever mentioned my love for rocks on the blogs. But I have one. I love sifting through rocks at the beach, in rivers, really anywhere looking for unique ones to take with me. I acquired quite a few new river-smoothed ones for my collection!

Explore & Adventure in NH

Explore & Adventure in NH

Explore & Adventure in NH

From there, we decided to just drive and see what adventure we could find. We ended up at a scenic parking lot which included a short trail to a place called ‘The Dismal Pool’. Obviously, we had to investigate! The pool was indeed pretty dismal, but it was not without some treasures. Cool scenery of course, but also the cutest little toads ever!!!

Explore & Adventure in NH

Explore & Adventure in NH

Explore & Adventure in NH

These toads are so tiny. Barely larger then a pencil eraser. So mini and SO CUTE. Definitely worth visiting The Dismal Pool for that find. After that, we trekked it down the road a ways to a couple waterfalls we’d seen driving past. One was just to view, but the second (Cascade Falls I believe it was called) was able to be explored! There were a few people there, but it wasn’t overly packed.

Explore & Adventure in NH  Explore & Adventure in NH

Explore & Adventure in NH  Explore & Adventure in NH

The miss loved being able to go right up to the waterfall. You can wade right up to it! She headed right out and had a blast. I mean really, who doesn’t love playing in a waterfall? On the walk back to the car, a few more small sights were seen! First, this awesomely creepy orb spinner who was sitting in a perfect web.

Explore & Adventure in NH

Then, we saw the cog rail train going right up the mountain. Riding on that would be one heck of an adventure. Honestly, it looked sketchy as hell. The tracks it was going up looked so rickety that I wouldn’t even want to walk on them, let alone ride in a train over them!

Explore & Adventure in NH

Lastly, we saw this amazing caterpillar. I love all it’s little fuzzies! My bug loving child was thrilled. Sometimes, it’s literally the little things.

Explore & Adventure in NH

With all sights in the area seen, we hopped in the car and headed further on until we found the cog rail train station. We stopped there for a bathroom break, and walked on some paths that led to a lodge/resort area. They had a really cool rock playground which my kiddo had a blast climbing all over. She also loved trying to catch the gigantic grasshoppers leaping around the gardens surrounding the rock playground.

And that was the final adventure of our day! We took a scenic drive home (which somehow my child stayed awake through) and ended the day with a treat of getting dinner out. For an entire day of winging it, things couldn’t have turned out better!

  • These pictures are breathtaking! I’m quite jealous, because we don’t have anything like this in our country. Anyhow, it sounds and looks as though you had an amazing little adventure!

    • Kay

      Thanks! It was a great time, and even though I’ve lived in this state my whole life, I’m still awed by how beautiful the mountains are sometimes!

  • B.

    It sounds like you had a great time! I think you made the right call by skipping the popular place. And the photos are beautiful!

    • Kay

      Thanks so much!

  • Sounds like you made the right choice! Beautiful scenery and adventure. 🙂

    • Kay

      Definitely the right choice, and thank you!

  • Mariah Kaercher

    So when can I visit you? Seriously this is a gorgeous place.

    • Kay

      Anytime! 😀 New Hampshire really is beautiful, and even better, a huge portion of things to do are free! Other than gas costs of course. 😉

  • Jessica

    Sometimes unplanned adventures can be the most rewarding! Out of curiosity, what sort of camera/camera settings do you use? Beautiful photos…minus the spider 😉

    • Kay

      Thanks Jessica! I use a Nikon D3000 (which is a model they no longer make -it’s many years old!). I tend to shoot on manual setting with the flash off since the internal flash has been broken for a couple years now after I dropped it. *sheepish face* I will switch it to the macro setting still with manual focus which is what I did for the bug/toad pics. Then I use Adobe Lightroom to edit – usually cleaning up lighting/contrast/temperature of the photos.

      And then if it’s a day where I’m feeling lazy and not attempting to get ‘good’ shots, I’ll just keep the settings/focus on auto and snap away!

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