Exploring The Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves

A bridge at the Lost River Gorge.

Finding the Lost River

The Lost River is not lost so much as buried. The river flows over falls and dives beneath the boulders and caves, all of which can be explored today thanks to early conservation efforts by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

Paradise Falls- a 35 foot waterfall at the Lost River Gorge.
Paradise Falls – a 35 foot waterfall at the Lost River Gorge.

Boulders and Caves

Ten unique boulder formations offer an exhilarating, and sometimes wet, challenge to navigate. Down in some of the caves, our breath came out in clouds, and the transformation from sunlit boardwalk to the deep blackness of a cave, even with the helpful red lanterns guiding the way, was as startling and exciting as if we were spelunking in the wild. Visitors always have the option to bypass the caves and stick to the boardwalk, making it possible for those with physical limitations or claustrophobia to still enjoy the Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves.

A Hiker on the boardwalk at Lost River Gorge.
The 1-mile boardwalk hike includes over 1,000 stairs.

The views are impressive, with lush moss carpeting the granite as it rises over the water, and little pockets of mushrooms appear where soil has collected between boulders. A recent addition to the boardwalk includes a path to a pothole formed by a long-gone whirlpool, and a sign informs visitors that they are viewing a rare section of old growth forest. I can’t say I noticed a difference but my eco-scientist friends were very excited by this unusual find.


Located in North Woodstock, the Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves is open May-October. Hours of operation vary by season, check the website for details and admission costs.

A view of mountains in the distance at the Lost River Gorge.
The view from the lookout tower surrounded by old growth forest.



Where To Eat

Crawling through the caves will work up an appetite. Check out these local spots when you need to refuel!

Gypsy Café

117 Main Street, Lincoln, NH

Known for their diverse menu and creative décor, Gypsy Café offers flavors from around the world including Moroccan-inspired lamb meatballs and Indonesian style peanut noodles. They also offer American comfort foods like burgers and mac & cheese for those with a taste for the familiar. Open for lunch and dinner, reservations recommended in the evening.

Gordi’s Fish and Steak House

Depot Shopping Center, 260 Main St, Lincoln, NH
Open for lunch seasonally, check website for updated hours.

All of Gordi’s menu items are available for takeout, so if you’re not ready to head inside, order the fish and chips to go and picnic in one of the nearby state parks. Gordi’s runs the gamut from seafood shack favorites to classic surf and turf, so if you’re there to indulge, try their maple horseradish sirloin. Open for lunch seasonally so call ahead, reservations recommended in the evening.