Exploration | Hiking | History | Nature | Travel

A Visit to Fall of Song

The Fall of Song is a popular place located on the grounds of Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough, New Hampshire. The is a waterfall with infrastructure to support the masses, with a large parking lot a short walk from the walls and a boardwalk that runs right up to the waterfalls. These make it far more accessible than most of the waterfalls I visit, and likely ensures a lot of company when you visit at peak times. As is my nature, I visited off-peak and had the place to myself for a short time.

The Fall of Song was once called Ossipee Falls, so named for the mountain range they’re in. I’m not sure exactly when the name changed to the medieval, lyrical Fall of Song. It may have been in the mid-19th century when the area was known for its mineral springs, or maybe later when BF Shaw came up from Lowell to build Ossipee Park mountain resort here. Or maybe it was when the property was sold to Tom Plant who built his Castle in the Clouds. Any of the characters from that time could have named it Fall of Song. It really doesn’t matter, I suppose. The falls have drawn visitors for generations because they’re simply beautiful.

Fall of Song

In the winter and early Spring the gates are closed but pedestrians are welcome. A quick half mile walk up the road offers beautiful views of Shannon Brook tumbling down to greet you. You soon reach The Pebble, a giant glacial erratic that stands watch between the brook and the road. I see a lot of glacial erratics in my walks through the woods, and this one is pretty impressive.

The Fall of Song is an impressive 40 foot plunge through narrow granite walls. With recent rain they were singing with gusto, with an icy mist swirling into a rainbow in the afternoon sun. I appreciated the boardwalk for what it offers in accessibility for people who might not otherwise see Fall of Song, while thinking about how great the photo might have been without the boardwalk in the picture. So it goes.

Fall of Song and Shannon Brook

Not being one to settle for the easily accessible, I hiked up the trail above the falls to see them plunge from above, and then made my way up to Bridal Veil Falls just above Fall of Song. This second fall is one you have to earn, but in doing so you feel you’re in on a little secret that those who only visit Fall of Song never know. I tried several approaches to get to the best vantage point without being completely satisfied with any of them and have promised myself another visit to see them again.

Shannon Brook, above Fall of Song with a glimpse of Bridal Veil Falls above

There are several other falls above Fall of Song worth a look, with Bridal Veil being the prettiest. And you can spend a lot more time hiking this area beyond the waterfalls. For all my wandering further north in the White Mountains, the old volcano ring of the Ossipee Mountain range offers stunning vistas. This is a place worth returning to.

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