June 13, 2024
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Discover the Best Waterfalls in Vermont | Top Scenic Spots

In the summer, Vermont can get hot… really hot. So, people love to venture out and visit the waterfalls and swimming spots. While some might be tempted to take a quick dive, many of these places are not just for swimming. They also show off Vermont's beautiful outdoor scenes.

Vermont's waterfalls may not the biggest, but they are full of charm. They offer something special for everyone. You can find simple spots near the road or take a bit of a hike into the wild. This includes places like the Lye Brook Wilderness and Green Mountain National Forest. Hey, this is Vermont, so poking around a bit, you'll never know what hidden gems you might find!

Looking for a tough hike or an easy walk? No problem! Vermont has it all around its waterfalls. Plus, many have spots for swimming that are great for beating the summer heat. There are lots of waterfalls in the north, and the south hides some real treasures too.

Honey Hollow Falls
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Key Takeaways

  • Vermont is home to numerous breathtaking waterfalls and swimming holes, ideal for hiking and cooling off in the summer. Dig around a bit and you'll be surprised as to what “secret spots” you might stumble upon!
  • The state's waterfalls range from easily accessible roadside attractions to moderate hikes through wilderness areas.
  • Many waterfalls feature inviting swimming holes, popular with locals seeking relief from the summer heat.
  • While not the largest, each waterfall in Vermont offers a unique and worthwhile experience.
  • From the Lye Brook Wilderness to the Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont's waterfalls cater to adventurers of all skill levels.

Introduction to Vermont's Waterfalls

Vermont, the Green Mountain state, is a paradise for those who love waterfalls. It has many breathtaking cascades, like Moss Glen Falls and Bingham Falls. These beautiful waterfalls in Vermont allow people to enjoy the state's natural beauty. They also offer cool swimming spots in the warmer months.

A Brief Overview of Vermont Waterfalls

Vermont's waterfalls are not the biggest (Niagara they aren't), but they are easy to get to and very pretty. Most are near roads or have short hiking trails. This makes them great for a day trip or scenic adventure. With over nine waterfalls to visit, nature lovers have plenty to explore in Vermont.

Why Vermont's Swimming Holes are Exceptional

Vermont's waterfalls are loved for their awesome swimming holes. These natural spots offer deep pools for a great swim in summer. Places like Bingham Falls, Warren Falls, Bartlett Falls, Big Falls at Troy, Vermont and Bristol Falls are known for this. They're perfect for a combination of waterfall hikes and refreshing swims.

The swimming holes in Vermont are famous for their beauty and how easy they are to reach. They offer a way to enjoy the state's natural places and cool down in summer. No matter if you like a good hike or just a walk, these spots are a wonderful escape near the waterfalls.

Huntington Gorge – Beautiful But Potentially Hazardous

Nestled in the Green Mountains of central Vermont lies Huntington Gorge, a narrow chasm carved out of the bedrock by the Huntington River over thousands of years. While undeniably beautiful, this natural wonder has a dark history mired in tragedy for the many visitors unaware of its hazards.

Cliff Jumping in Vermont

Summer is coming and one of the more daring activities that people enjoy is cliff jumping. There seem to be no shortage of gorges, rocky cliffs and quarries for adventurous daredevils to choose from. The cool waters and hidden swimming holes of VT offer spectacular beauty in addition to some intriguing and potentially dangerous diving points.

The Best Time to Visit Waterfalls in Vermont

Vermont's waterfalls are a must-see all year round. Each season brings its own special view. This makes choosing the right time to visit very important. Though summer is the most popular time, people love to hike to falls in the autumn months and some hearty souls even do so in the winter.

Spring: For Gushing Falls and Moderate Temperatures

In spring, Vermont’s waterfalls are at their fullest. Snow melt and rain make them roar from April to June. The weather is nice for hiking. You can hike, feel the cool mist, and see beautiful places like Moss Glen Falls in Stowe and Bartlett Falls in Bristol.

Summer: For Swimming and Cooling Off

Summer is perfect for swimming in the falls. Everyone loves to cool off at places like Lye Brook Falls or Big Falls in Troy. It's a great way to enjoy the beautiful sites and escape the heat. Check out this huge list of waterfalls in Vermont for more info.

Fall: For Stunning Foliage Surroundings

Fall in Vermont is breathtaking for waterfall hikes. Especially in Stowe, where it's common to see the Mountain Road, lined with cars from every state (including Vermont). The colorful leaves of autumn in Vermont make the waterfalls even more beautiful. But, the water is cooler and paths can be slippery. Still, these sights in autumn are truly amazing.

WaterfallLocationKey Features
Moss Glen FallsStoweQuintessential Vermont waterfall, stunning free-falling cascade
Bingham FallsStowePicturesque waterfall, convenient half-mile trail
Moss Glen FallsGranvilleHidden gem, visually striking cascade, man-made lookout
Bartlett FallsBristolSparkling pool, popular spot with over 500 visitors on some days
Lye Brook FallsManchesterModerate 4.6-mile round-trip hike, scenic wilderness area
Buttermilk FallsLudlowEasy 0.2-mile trail, series of three cascades, swimming pools
Thundering Brook FallsKillington125-foot drop, universally accessible boardwalk, near Appalachian Trail
Honey Hollow FallsBoltonLocated in Bolton, VT at Preston Brook and a gorge flowing behind the Smilie Memorial Elementary School.

Safety Tips for Swimming at Vermont Waterfalls

Exploring Vermont's waterfalls is thrilling yet relatively safe. A bit of common sense goes a long way so just be careful and you should be fine. To enjoy your visit, follow these key tips.

Wear Proper Footwear

The trails near waterfalls are very slippery. Wear sturdy shoes, like hiking or water shoes, with good grip. This helps avoid falls and keeps you safe.

Respect the Current's Strength

Be cautious of strong currents at waterfalls. Check the flow and power of the water before getting in. Pay attention to warning signs and be careful if swimming near strong falls. The water's strength can be strong, which is why taking care is very important.

Never Swim Alone

Swimming solo at waterfalls is not recommended for safety. Invite friends or family to join you. Or choose areas with lifeguards when you go. If visiting remote falls, always let someone know. Swimming with others lowers risks and ensures help is close if needed.

About 8 deaths happen each year in Vermont from drowning3. After heavy rain, waters can be dangerous for several days3. Never swim alone for better safety4.

Safety TipDescription
Wear Proper FootwearSturdy hiking shoes or water shoes with good traction are essential for navigating slippery trails and rocks near waterfalls.
Respect the Current's StrengthAssess the flow and strength of the current before entering the water near any waterfall, and heed warning signs and advisories.
Never Swim AloneInvite friends or family members, or consider swimming in designated areas with lifeguards on duty. Let someone know your plans for remote waterfalls.

Many deaths at swimming holes are due to slippery rocks. It's risky to swim above or under waterfalls due to strong currents. Know your limits and be safe during outdoor fun.

Lye Brook Falls: A Moderate Hike in Manchester

In the Lye Brook Wilderness area of Manchester, Vermont, a beauty awaits. The Lye Brook Falls trail is a moderate challenge for nature fans. It's 4.6 miles round-trip, with 750 feet climb, perfect for those who love scenery.

Trail Details and Directions

Hikers can start their adventure from several spots. They may pick the Lye Brook Falls Road or Scenic Route 100's side trails. This trail is open to dogs, adding fun to the walk. You will see the upper falls and can explore around them.

People love the Lye Brook Falls Trail and have left a number of reviews on TrailLink. They mention the 2.2-mile trail, its gravel path, and activities like walking and skiing. They share it's both challenging and beautiful. Plus, they give tips on parking and finding your way.

Seasonal Flow and Best Viewing Times

Lye Brook Falls changes a lot by season. It's most full after spring's snow melts. At 125 feet, it's an amazing sight. Even if it's drier in August, the upper falls are still a nice visit. The view and the journey through nature are worth it.

It's best to go early or not on weekends to avoid the crowds. But no matter when you go, the falls will impress you. This hike is a must for anyone exploring the Green Mountains.

Hamilton Falls: A Picturesque Cascade in Jamaica

Hamilton Falls is a stunning set of small waterfalls on a valley slope in Jamaica, Vermont. It's inside Jamaica State Park and offers a beautiful hike, with the starting point reached by walking two miles on the West River Trail.

Access via Jamaica State Park

Jamaica State Park is where you start your adventure to the falls. It has campsites, a swimming hole, a playground, and picnic spots. Hikers walk two miles on the West River multi-use trail from the park's main lot to the Hamilton Falls trailhead, then another 1.1 miles to the falls.

Picnicking and Wading Opportunities

Nature's masterpiece, Cobb Brook, orchestrates a captivating symphony as it tumbles 125 feet down the mountainside, carving its path through a verdant pine-hemlock woodland. Each cascading droplet dances in perfect harmony, culminating in a series of awe-inspiring potholes that beckon the adventurous spirit.

Among the melodic falls, one stands out as the prima donna, a breathtaking 40 to 50-foot plunge into a crystalline pool, leaving onlookers spellbound. Hamilton Falls, a true marvel, demands equal measures of reverence and caution, for its dramatic beauty is matched only by the treacherous terrain of steep, slippery rocks that guard its secrets. Tread cautiously, and let the music of the falls transport you to a realm where nature's artistry reigns supreme.

Buttermilk Falls: An Easy Roadside Attraction in Ludlow

Buttermilk Falls lies near Ludlow, Vermont, in Okemo State Forest. It's a beautiful spot with three waterfalls. They are a great place to hike and cool off during hot weather. Accessing them is easy. You just have to walk a short 0.2-mile trail. This makes it perfect for everyone, regardless of age or ability.

Three Falls Along Branch Brook

The best part of Buttermilk Falls? Watching water flow down three falls into pools below. The upper and middle falls are wide and drop into these pools. You can get up close and see the water flow. This adds to the beauty and fun of visiting the falls.

Swimming-Friendly Pools

Buttermilk Falls is great for swimming. The upper and middle pools are deep but not too deep. So, it's safe and fun for swimming in the warm months. While you swim, you can enjoy the view of the falls. It's a great way to make lasting memories and feel close to nature.

In short, Buttermilk Falls is a top spot in Vermont. It offers a pretty hike, beautiful waterfalls, and a place to swim. It's easy to get to and perfect for families, nature lovers, and anyone wanting a peaceful time outdoors.

Thundering Brook Falls: Accessible from the Appalachian Trail

Thundering Brook Falls drops an impressive 125 feet. It's among Vermont's most beautiful falls. Located near the famous Appalachian Trail in Killington, it's easy to visit. A 0.2-mile boardwalk makes it accessible to everyone.

Boardwalk Access for All Abilities

The boardwalk lets you see the upper and middle falls along the Appalachian Trail. Most of the trail is flat, making it easy. But getting to the best view needs walking on some bumpy paths. This boardwalk shows Vermont's early work on wheelchair accessibility. It welcomes everyone to enjoy this beautiful place.

Combining with Kent Pond for Swimming

Although swimming isn't safe at the falls, you can swim at Kent Pond. Hikers can go to Gifford Woods State Park after seeing the falls. There, they can enjoy swimming. It's a great day trip for seeing the falls and swimming.

Waterfall DetailsInformation
Total Drop125 feet
Principal Waterfall80-foot lower falls
Upper FallsApproximately 22 feet
Trail Length0.4 miles
ParkingFree at bottom (River Rd Fork) and top (Thundering Brook Rd)

There are two spots to park near Thundering Brook Falls. River Rd Fork has special parking and a boardwalk. Thundering Brook Rd lets you park closer to the top falls and more. But, there are no bathroom facilities or places to change here. So, it's smart to be ready.

Where Are the Best Waterfalls in Vermont?

Vermont is full of amazing waterfalls. Each one is special and unforgettable. You can see well-known falls like Moss Glen falls in Stowe or the identically named Moss Glen falls in Granville. Or, you could find hidden treasures like Bolton Potholes. This state is a paradise of natural beauty just waiting for you to visit.

Moss Glen Falls in Stowe

Moss Glen Falls in Stowe is a top pick for nature lovers. It boasts a beautiful cascade that's a must-see. To get there, you'll enjoy a short hike that gets steep at the end. The falls are easy to see from the trail. They're especially stunning in the fall with the colorful leaves all around.

Moss Glen Falls in Granville

Moss Glen Falls in Granville is not as famous but just as stunning. You can take photos from a special lookout. Or, get up close by going down into the gorge. It's a quiet spot in central Vermont that offers peace away from the busy areas. Although it's easily accessible by the highway, the drive is a bit long and out in the wilderness.

Bolton Potholes in Bolton

The Bolton Potholes offer a different kind of waterfall fun. This place has beautiful, green potholes where visitors can swim and sunbathe in summer. It's a hidden gem in Vermont, perfect for those who love to explore.

Blake Falls in Woodbury

Blake Falls in Woodbury is a jewel waiting to be discovered. You need to explore along a creek to find it. The hike is easy and leads to this scenic waterfall. In Vermont, it's just one more stunning spot for those who love nature.

Bingham Falls in Stowe

Bingham Falls in Stowe is small but beautiful. It's close to Edson Hill, just a quick walk away. This makes it a great spot for a picnic or a swim. You can see it from across the road at the trailhead. Plus, the road to Route 100 has great views. Don't miss this lovely spot in Vermont.

Planning a Vermont Waterfall Road Trip

Vermont is home to stunning waterfalls that draw visitors on unforgettable road trips. These natural wonders are close together. This means you can see many in one day. For example, you can visit Falls of Lana, Texas Falls, Moss Glen Falls (Granville), Warren Falls, Bartlett Falls, and Vergennes Falls Park.

Combining Multiple Waterfalls in a Day

A Vermont waterfall road trip lets you see a variety of natural beauty. Moss Glen Falls in Stowe has a 125-foot drop and unique shapes. Just a 10-minute walk there is all it takes. Bingham Falls in Mt. Mansfield State Forest has a 25-foot drop. It's only a 20-minute hike away.

For an easy adventure, try the Bolton Potholes in Bolton. A quick 0.1-mile walk takes you to a 45-foot drop. Or visit Bristol Falls in Bristol. It's only a 10-15 minute walk away. The Falls of Lana in Salisbury are over 100 feet high. They have trails for every skill level.

Scenic Driving Routes and Maps

Plan your Vermont waterfall tour along beautiful scenic routes. Maps show you where to find waterfalls all over Vermont. This includes central Vermont and beyond.

Marshfield Falls in Marshfield is a 100-foot drop you can see from your car. It's also wheelchair-friendly. Jeudevine Falls in Hardwick can be visited at night and hosts events. Lower falls are 5 minutes away, and the upper falls are a 10-minute walk. You can see them from the road if you can't walk much.

With some planning, your Vermont waterfall tour will be amazing. You'll see why nature lovers pick Vermont as a top spot.

FAQ's

Q: What are the 10 best waterfalls to visit in Vermont?

A: The 10 best waterfalls in Vermont include Warren Falls, Texas Falls, Bartlett Falls in Bristol, Bingham Falls, Moss Glen Falls, Lye Brook Falls, Bristol Falls, Buttermilk Falls, Big Falls, and Old City Falls.

Q: How do I get to Warren Falls in VT?

A: Warren Falls is located on Scenic Route 100 in Warren, VT. It’s a very popular waterfall, easily accessible with a short hike. The falls are right near the parking area, so it’s perfect for a quick visit.

Q: Is there a hike to the falls for Texas Falls?

A: Yes, Texas Falls is a great place for a short hike. There is a loop trail that leads you around the falls and provides multiple viewing points.

Q: Can you swim at Bartlett Falls in Bristol?

A: Yes, Bartlett Falls in Bristol is a favorite swimming hole in the summer. The access to the bottom of the falls is easy, and the waters are refreshingly cool.

Q: What are some good hikes in Vermont that include waterfalls?

A: Some great hikes in Vermont that include waterfalls are the Bingham Falls Trail, the Moss Glen Falls hike, and the Lye Brook Falls Trail. These hikes in Vermont not only offer beautiful scenery but also the reward of stunning waterfalls at the end.

Q: Are there any picnic tables near Old City Falls?

A: Yes, there are picnic tables near Old City Falls. It’s a perfect spot to relax and enjoy a meal with the sound of the cascading water in the background.

Q: What makes Bingham Falls Trail in the Stowe area unique?

A: Bingham Falls Trail is unique because it offers a beautiful and relatively easy hike that leads to one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the Stowe area. The trail winds through lush forest and the sound of the falls grows louder as you approach the viewing area.

Q: Are there any waterfalls in Vermont that are great for a full-day trip?

A: Yes, Lye Brook Falls and Moss Glen Falls are among the waterfalls of Vermont that are worth the trip for a full-day outing. Both falls offer longer hikes and stunning views, making them perfect for a day of exploration.

Q: Where can I find the best places for viewing the waterfalls in Vermont?

A: The best places for viewing waterfalls in Vermont include Scenic Route 100, where you can find Warren Falls and Moss Glen Falls, and the areas around the falls at Lye Brook and Bingham Falls. These locations offer some of the most picturesque spots in the state.

Q: Is there a series of small waterfalls along any trails in Vermont?

A: Yes, Texas Falls features a series of small waterfalls along its loop trail. The trail provides various viewing points, making it an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

Conclusion

Vermont's waterfalls are nature's gift, letting folks discover wild beauty and flowing waters, all framed by amazing green mountain views. There's the mighty Moss Glen Falls and peaceful Bingham Falls, and lots between, each giving a special adventure. With hikes for all and pretty walks, there's a waterfall for everyone.

Ready and full of awe, checking out the best waterfalls in Vermont is a must for those who love the outdoors. Spring and fall stand out for beauty at places like Moss Glen Falls, with nice weather and colors that create magic. Kids or adults, easy walks to grand sights, Vermont's waterfalls welcome all.

So, get your gear and prepare for a journey to remember in the Vermont waterfalls, beloved for years. Plan well and be curious, finding stunning spots that make Vermont a haven for those who love waterfalls. Enjoy!

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