Ellen's Falls, White Mountains – Ellen's Falls is a picturesque waterfall located on Hobbs Brook, about a mile upstream from its junction with the Kancamagus Highway in Albany, New Hampshire. And though I have read visiting these falls requires bushwhacking up the side of Hobbs Brook from the Kancamagus Highway, there is actually a gated Forest Road that can be used to reach the falls.
Hobbs Brook was probably named for one of Albany’s early settlers, Ruben Derban Hobbs who had a sawmill on the brook. But before Hobbs had his sawmill on the brook a man by the name of Ellen had a sawmill on the brook, and at the time locals referred to the brook as Ellen River. So it seems likely that Ellen’s Falls are named for him. At this point, I have found only one reference to Ellen.
Based on historical references this waterfall has been referred to as Ellen's Falls since at least 1877. It is interesting that the older history books refer to these falls as “Ellen’s Falls” but now in the twenty-first century the apostrophe has been dropped and its “Ellens Falls”. And it is also worth mentioning that a few history books have these falls as being on the Swift River. Got to love history.
Ellen’s Falls is a two stage waterfall, and both stages are impressive during spring snowmelt and after heavy rains. The top section (above) falls through a small chasm while the bottom section (below) looks more like a typical waterfall in the White Mountains.
Being one of the smaller waterfalls in the White Mountains Ellen's Falls often gets overlooked. I suspect visitors touring this region of the White Mountains are more interested in the easily accessible roadside waterfalls along the Kancamagus Highway.
For the photographers, I have photographed Ellen's Falls in various weather conditions and find the best times are during overcast and rainy days when the light is diffused (soft & balanced). Just the basic photography gear is needed to produce a pleasing image of Ellen's Falls (polarizing filter, solid tripod, & remote shutter switch). A Lee Big Stopper and Neutral density filters will be useful if you want to play around with slow shutter speeds.
There are some waterfalls in the White Mountains I can spend hours at, and Ellen's Falls is one of them. This is a great location to photograph after heavy rains (above). If you plan to visit Ellen’s Falls be forewarned the rocks around the falls are very slippery, even more so when it is raining.
To license any of the above images for usage in publications, click on the image. And you can view more waterfalls in the New Hampshire White Mountains here.
Happy image making..