3.7 Miles / 6.0 km
Time to Hike:
1 hour, ~51 minutes
Surface Type:
Purgatory Reservation
Lyndeborough, New Hampshire
42.889944, -71.71126
May 28, 2019
May 29, 2019
476 '

Total Change
665 '

730 '


The Purgatory Falls and Wah Lum Loop at the Purgatory Reservation in Lyndeborough, New Hampshire is a moderate 3.7-mile loop hike that brings you to Upper Purgatory Falls.

Trail Names: Purgatory Brook Trail, North Wah Lum Trail, and South Wah Lum Trail.

Trailhead Location: Purgatory Falls Road, Lyndeborough NH.

Allowed activities: walking, hiking, birding, geocaching, foraging, limited snow mobile use, horseback riding. Passive recreation and hunting (according to NH State laws) are allowed. Camping is only allowed after making an appointment with the Lyndeborough NH or Mont Vernon NH Conservation Commissions and obtaining written permission. Email: conservationcommission@montvernonnh.us.

Forbidden activities: Littering, use of alcohol, fires, and no ATVs

Hours: Trails are open daily. There are no hours of operation posted at the Lyndeborough Parking area.

Warning: Winter and early spring visitors may encounter dangerous icy conditions.

Parking: There is very limited parking at the Purgatory Falls Road trailhead. The road to the trailhead parting is a dirt road. It can be very bumpy and rutted in spring time or after periods of heavy rain. Use caution and go slowly. There is an old parking sign posted on a tree, and what looks to be a run-down parking area. Pay no attention to the first sign, keep going a little bit further down the dirt road and the actual parking area will become obvious.

Pets: Dogs are allowed on the trails as long as they are leashed and waste is carried out with the hiker.

Accessibility: This is not a hike recommended for anyone who may have mobility issues. This trail has many dangerous trip hazards including steep sections that are close to edges of drop offs, wetness and slippery conditions caused by waterfall mist or flowing streams, mud, slippery root protrusions, moss covered rocks and fallen timbers. Winter snow melt and spring rains can cause the trail to be very wet, with several streams running across or submerging parts of the trail. Hikers must be confident to go up and down some very hilly and rocky terrain. There is a pedestrian bridge at the junction of Janet’s Trail and The Purgatory Brook trail that crosses over a fast running section of the brook but it needs repair. It can be quite hazardous to cross over, so hikers must use extreme caution when crossing at this area. The trail does have some sections that are smooth, wide and somewhat flat, but for the most part the trail is not.

Sanitation: There are no restrooms at the trailhead, but there is a trash bin. Please carry out any waste.

Trail information:  There is a posted Trail map at the Lyndeborough Trailhead, but there is no kiosk. A copy of the trails can be downloaded or printed by following the link below:


Length and features:  This hike is a moderate 3.7 mile journey, done as a loop by accessing Purgatory Brook trail, then branching onto the South Wah Lum Trail and the North Wah Lum Trails. The Purgatory Falls Road trailhead is the closest trailhead to the Upper Falls. It can also be done as an out and back trail. The trail blaze markers along the Purgatory Brook trail are yellow rectangles. The trail blaze markers along the South and North Wah Lum trails are orange diamonds. There are places along the trail where hikers will see both of these markers at the same time, as well as white rectangle blaze marks painted on trees along the trail. These white trail markers are no longer in use. Along this hike, two of the three waterfalls can be seen. The brook runs along much of the trail and several small water features can be enjoyed besides the falls.  A lookout spot on the South Wah Lum trail gives hikers a wonderful view of nearby Pack Monadnock and North Pack Mountains. The section of Purgatory Brook where the Falls are marks the town lines of Mont Vernon and Lyndeborough NH. The Conservation Committees from each of these two towns maintain the trails.

Explore 76 trails near Lyndeborough, NH
  1. Parking

    42.889944, -71.71126
  2. Main Trailhead

    42.889743, -71.710665
No community routes found. To add your own hike as a Community Route for this Trail guide, leave a Trip Report with an attached GPX file.


Ticks - Lyme Disease More Info (CDC)
Poison Ivy/Oak
Rockfalls / Ledges / or Scrambles



Blaze Color


Blaze Dot


Photo Albums

1 Trip Report

No Star-Ratings
Write-up by:
2Adamswalking user profile picture
3.7 miles / 6.0 km
Trail added
May 28, 2019
Hiked on
May 27, 2019
Updated on
May 29, 2019

Weather Forecast

In Lyndeborough, NH

Explore Hiking Trails

New Hikes

Spencer Pond Loop
0.3 Miles
0.5 km
Weston Lake Loop
3.2 Miles
5.1 km
Bates Ferry Trail and General Greene Tree
2.7 Miles
4.3 km
Congaree Boardwalk Loop
2.5 Miles
4 km

Before you leave...

MyHikes is an indie web platform aimed to make exploring public trails easier for everyone. The site has no investors and is owned and operated by one person, Dave Miller (Founder & Admin). As the Founder, main contributor, and doer-of-all-things for MyHikes, I share my trips with over-detailed write-ups for fun on a volunteer basis and I believe that public trail information should be available to everyone.

It takes a lot of time 🕦, money 💰, and effort (including espresso shots ☕) to run MyHikes, including hiking , mapping , writing , and publishing new trails with high-quality content... along with building new features, moderating, site maintainance, and app development for iOS and Android . I simply ask that if you find MyHikes' trail guides helpful to please consider becoming a Supporter to help keep the site, iOS, and Android apps available to everyone.

Supporters unlock website and in-app perks with a one-time payment of $25 (you renew) 😎👍. Or you can simply make a Donation of your choice without a MyHikes user account. Otherwise, telling your friends about MyHikes is the next-best thing - both quick and free 🎉

Thanks for visiting MyHikes and have a great hike!️

Admin user profile picture

Dave Miller
MyHikes Founder & Admin