The Walter Newton Natural Area is a relatively small yet marvelous natural reserve. The marshland is covered in trees with beaten paths lathered in rustling leaves and branches. Hidden behind a dense forest is the 25 foot high Rainbow Falls, the most sought after attraction in the area
This natural area presents a real treat for hikers and joggers as it offers multiple scenic trails many of which lead to Rainbow Falls. From the Trailhead near the parking lot, there is signage directing visitors to the different trails around the area. The Ruth Walter Trail, which is named in remembrance of Ruth S. Walter a conservationist, is a short 0.6-mile long trail of mostly flat terrains that leads to the Falls. Similarly, the Rainbow Falls Trail is a longer trail at 1.2 miles trail, leading to the Falls, passing by the Glove Hollow Brook, this trail is slightly more challenging as there are hilly parts, covering around 100 feet of elevation. Other trails include Henry’s Trail and the Newton Trail which crosses over the brook. If height doesn’t scare you a side trail leads to the top of the fall, but it can be slippery and quite dangerous with moss.
The park’s natural beauty can be enjoyed all year round, as it is equally beautiful in Spring when in full bloom, in Autumn when the scenery is shaded in auburn as well as it is in winter when it is covered in snow. However, it is a fact that hiking is much easier from Spring to Autumn, when the land is drier, as the trails get very muddy and slippery after rainfall. Wooden beams and stepping stones have been placed in boggier areas to make moving around easier. It goes without saying that a good pair of boots are recommended during the wet season. The flow of the water is very seasonal and does often get rather dry in Summer reducing the fall to a small trickle, which can be disappointing when visiting during a drought. After Snowfall, visitors can ski on the two trails between Henry’s Trail and Rainbow Falls
Visitors can park at the parking lot near the trailhead. From the lot, it is difficult to envisage the beauty contained within the natural area as if it weren’t for the wooden signage one would probably miss the small opening through the trees leading to the park. Along the trails, as well as at the bottom of the falls, there are a number of benches ideal for a short rest. Dogs are welcome on the trail, as long as they are kept on a leash. While at the park keep an eye out for birds and other wildlife which have been spotted in the area.
When in the vicinities of Plymouth New Hampshire, the Walter Newton Natural Area offers a peaceful, natural break from all the rush. Albeit not being the largest of Natural Areas, the 25-foot waterfall and the brook do make it quite special and worth visiting.