Sculptured Rocks – Hebron, New Hampshire - Atlas Obscura

Sculptured Rocks

This narrow canyon has been carved by the river over thousands of years into spectacular and curious forms. 


A short walk from a beautiful back road near Newfound Lake, New Hampshire, the wonders of the Sculptured Rocks geological site are not obviously apparent. However, once standing next to the little canyon or atop the short bridge across, you can see the incredible shapes the river has carved in the rocks.

Here, jagged rocks are replaced with smooth arcs and curves that look carefully sculpted by a human hand, but are in fact a geological oddity created by Mother Nature over thousands of years, ever since the end of the last ice age.

After crossing the bridge, there are many trails to explore, but it’s hard to stop taking pictures of the natural sculptures below, carved by the Cockermouth River. If you look upstream standing on the bridge, one part of the waterfall looks like the face of the bear. Spring is the best time as the falls will be at their highest and fastest flow levels.

Follow the river and you will find many places to take a swim in the refreshingly cold northern New England water. The summer is the best time to come for swimming, but winter is best for having the place all to yourself. The waterfall at the bridge is stunning topped with snow and a long exposure.

Know Before You Go

If you visit in winter just be wary of the edges in icy and rainy conditions; they are slanted downward toward the water and it won’t take much to slip over the edge. There are no rails here!

There’s a sign next to the road and plenty of parking. Come in the off hours, very early or very late, to enjoy without the crowds in the summer.

On the way, there is one of the most beautiful lakes in New Hampshire, Newfound Lake. Make sure to save some time to visit this too!

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February 23, 2018

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