May 8, 2011

Kid Tracks: Diana's Baths perfect for dip and a snap

By WENDY ALMEIDA Staff Writer

There is a short family-friendly hiking trail in the White Mountain National Forest that my family likes to visit whenever we are in the North Conway, N.H., area. The Moat Mountain Trail leads to Diana's Baths, a series of small cascading waterfalls and pools at Lucy Brook. The trail to the brook is about half a mile one way on fairly level terrain.

click image to enlarge

White Mountain National Forest’s Moat Mountain Trail leads to Diana’s Baths, a series of cascading waterfalls and pools.

Gaetana Almeida photo

click image to enlarge

In the summer, Diana’s Baths in Bartlett, N.H., is a favorite place for the Almeida kids to cool off and splash around.

Wendy Almeida photo

Additional Photos Below

DIANA’S BATHS,BARTLETT, N.H.

LENGTH: About 1 mile round trip

TERRAIN: Packed gravel, fairly level terrain

TRAIL USE: Walking

FEE: $3 for White Mountains National Forest day pass; self-service station at trailhead

TRAILHEAD: From North Conway, N.H., take River Road to Westside Road. Westside Road splits but stay to the right so the turn for Cathedral Ledge is on the left. Stay on Westside Road for another half mile. Entrance to trail head is on the left. (GPS N 44° 04.478 | W 071° 09.823)

BATHROOM: Yes, at trailhead

DOG FRIENDLY: Yes

13-YEAR-OLD’S REVIEW: “I like walking around Diana’s Baths and looking at all the rocks and climbing them. I like getting close to the water to put my hands in it when it’s cold. But when it’s hot I like taking a dip in the pools.”

15-YEAR-OLD’S REVIEW:
“I like the trail going out to Diana’s Baths because it’s a nice smooth, easy trail. I like taking pictures of the falls and climbing around the rocks to get different shots of the water.”

 

At this time of year the water is running fast and makes an impressive waterfall show. It is a great place to visit for your photography enthusiasts. During my family's recent visit, my husband and 15-year-old daughter were vying for time with our camera to take photos of the falls. There was a rock formation that spewed a wave unusually high in the air around one of the rocks. This site called to my family members as a great photographic opportunity. There was some debate about who would use the camera before a compromise was reached that included a cell phone as a second camera option.

My suggestion to avoid bickering is to encourage everyone who likes to take pictures to bring their own camera. Think of it as insurance for you to have a bit more quiet time to enjoy the beauty of the place.

Another essential to pack on this hike is bug repellent. This is a woodsy trail and a little bug protection will go a long way to keeping your hike pleasant.

We have visited Diana's Baths during the summer months when the cascades are slower. The pools underneath the much smaller falls are great for a dip. With the water pooling at different tiers, there are plenty of places to splash your feet around. My younger daughter can never resist going for a full body dip, bathing suit or not, in the deeper pool areas. The water is usually chilly, but my daughter assures us it feels oh-so-good on a hot summer day. But be aware that Diana's Baths is a popular destination during the warmer season, and you'll need to look around for a quiet spot.

There is a narrow trail that follows the shore to the top of the falls. The hilly terrain next to Lucy Brook is fairly easy to climb and at the top just beyond the falls there are more spots to sit and enjoy the water.

There are some remnants of an old gristmill just off the trail to explore as well. The mill used the hydropower of the brook to grind flour. Keep a close eye on the kids around the mill's remains as there is an old gear shaft and pipes that could cause injury if the kids start climbing around that area.

For fans of geocaching -- a game using a GPS unit and coordinates to find hidden "treasure" -- there are several boxes on this trail. We have found a handful on the way to, and around, Lucy Brook. You can do a latitude longitude search on geocaching.com using these coordinates to find several listings: N 44° 04.478 | W 071° 09.823.

Diana's Baths is a great hiking destination. Between the scenic picture taking options and swimming at the waterfalls, the trail offers up a great recipe for a fun day to explore the outdoors with your family.

 

Staff Writer Wendy Almeida can be contacted at 791-6334 or at:

wea@mainetoday.com

 

Follow her on Twitter at:

Twitter.com/RaisingMaine

 

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors


Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

There are lots of interesting photo opportunities at the cascading falls. Climbing on and around the rocks offers new perspectives for young photography enthusiasts.

Gaetana Almeida photo

  


Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)