Attractions

14 Magnificent Vermont Waterfalls You Should Totally Visit

Vermont is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Hiking, biking, camping, rock climbing, hunting, swimming, fishing, kayaking, and winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding are popular, with Vermont’s mountains, lakes, forests, and various other natural features, including waterfalls. Check out this list of the most scenic, highest, captivating Vermont waterfalls.

Northern Vermont Waterfalls

Northern Vermont is a popular destination all year round, with big-city amenities set in acres of natural beauty, with plenty of food, art, and history to enjoy.

1. Moss Glen Falls – Stowe

Moss Glen Falls Stowe
Photo Credit: Vermont Scribes

Tucked in Eastern Stowe, Moss Glen Falls features a stunning 125-foot drop through a gorge created by Moss Glen Brook, journeying down several levels of small drops before the ultimate 75-foot drop into the waters below.

The entrance is a 5-minute drive from the town of Stowe, via Route 100 and onto Randolph Road. You’ll need to hike along the Moss Glen Falls Trail for 3 miles.

Essential Information
Trailhead Address: 369-615 Moss Glen Falls Rd, Stowe, VT 05672
Swimming: Not recommended
Dog-friendly? Yes, on a leash
Best time to visit: May to October
Where to stay: Stowe, VT; nearby campgrounds
Nearby places of interest: CC Putnam State Forest, Mount Mansfield State Forest
More information: Moss Glen Falls | Go Stowe

2. Bingham Falls – Stowe

Bingham Falls
Photo Credit: Dougtone

Yes, we have two waterfalls in Stowe, VT on this list. But they equally deserve a place on this list.

Bingham Falls’ spectacular 40-foot cascading waterfall lands into deep pools and gorges that are lovely to swim in for more experienced swimmers.

The falls are around 6 miles north of Stowe along Route 108. The hike itself is a quarter-mile down from the parking area, but it is steeper at the bottom and often can be wet and slippery, so wear proper hiking shoes and don’t take smaller children.

Alternatively, you can take Mill Trail Hike in Smugglers’ Notch State Park to access the top of Bingham Falls and get a bird’s eye view.

Essential Information
Trailhead Address: 6524-6892, Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT 05672
Swimming: Yes, when water levels are low
Dog-friendly? Yes, on a leash
Best time to visit: May to October
Where to stay: Stowe, VT; nearby campgrounds
Nearby places of interest: Smugglers’ Notch State Park, Mount Mansfield State Forest
More information: Bingham Falls | Go Stowe

3. Big Falls – Troy

Big Falls isn’t just a name; it’s the largest undeveloped waterfalls in the state of Vermont.

Sourced by the Missisquoi River, Big Falls features a 35-foot waterfall, rushing between a narrow gorge creating thundering, whitewater falls.

The pool below the falls is surrounded by scenic forests are a great place to swim and fish in the summer.

The nearest town is North Troy, which is a stone’s throw away from Canada.

Essential Information
Address: Big Falls State Park, 1382 River Rd, North Troy, VT 05859
Swimming: Yes
Dog-friendly? Yes, on a leash
Best time to visit: May to October
Where to stay: North Troy, VT; nearby campgrounds
Nearby places of interest: Big Falls State Park
More information: Big Falls State Park

4. Bolton Potholes – Bolton

Bolton Potholes
Photo Credit: wesleymiles

The potholes are a favorite of Bolton locals to spend time with their families during the summer.

The falls are sourced by Joiner Brook, plunging 45 feet and emptying into the potholes. At the base of the falls, there’s a shallow, sandy area perfect for young kids to splash and swim. The bathing areas are sunny but the water in the pools is cool, and the views are fantastic.

The property is actually privately owned, but public access is currently allowed, which is dependent on visitors taking care of the surroundings.

The falls can be accessed through the Bolton Valley Access Road.

Essential Information
Address: 1 Bolton Valley Access Rd, Bolton, VT 05676
Swimming: Yes
Dog-friendly? Yes, on a leash
Best time to visit: May to October
Where to stay: Bolton, VT; Waterbury, VT; nearby campgrounds
Nearby places of interest: Little River State Park, Camel’s Hump State Park
More information: Bolton Potholes

5. Huntington Gorge – Richmond

05 Huntington Gorge - Richmond, Vermont
Photo Credit: Mfwills

Huntington Gorge is a dramatic waterfall formed by a narrow gap in the bedrock underlying the Huntington River as it flows toward the Winooski River.

Locals and tourists alike are attracted to the interesting rock formations towering above the Huntington River.

Huntington River at the top is deceptively calm. Technically, swimming is allowed here, but it’s so dangerous that there is a sign memorializing the deaths of eighteen visitors. As of 2020, a total of 26 people has lost their lives by being caught by strong currents that pulled them over the falls.

05 Huntington Gorge List of Deaths - Richmond, Vermont
Photo Credit: HystericalMark

Essential Information
Address: Dugway Rd, Richmond, VT 05477
Swimming: Not recommended
Dog-friendly? Yes, on a leash
Best time to visit: May to October
Where to stay: Richmond, VT; nearby campgrounds
More information: Huntington Gorge

Central Vermont Waterfalls

Central Vermont is famous for its picturesque towns, lovely landscapes, marble and granite quarries, the only national park in Vermont, and the scenic byways that crisscross the region.

6. Bartlett Falls – Bristol

Bartlett Falls is the perfect place to chill during the summer. With lovely 15-foot falls emptying into a calm swimming hole that’s 40 feet wide and 120 feet long and a bonus cave behind the falls, both locals and tourists love these waterfalls.

It’s also known as Bristol Falls, New Haven River Gorge, and The Toaster.

New Haven River is also a popular kayaking destination, so you may witness some kayakers going over the falls.

Essential Information
Address: 23-655 Lincoln Rd, Bristol, VT 05443
Swimming: Yes
Dog-friendly? Yes, on a leash
Best time to visit: May to October
Where to stay: Bristol, VT; nearby campgrounds
Nearby places of interest: Winona Lake, Bristol Memorial Park, Mount Abraham, Green Mountain National Forest

7. Falls of Lana – Salisbury

Falls of Lana

With over a 100-foot drop, Falls of Lana offers plenty of vantage points, making these falls one of the most photogenic Vermont waterfalls.

It’s also known as the Sucker Brook Falls, after the brook that sources the waterfall.

The top horsetail snakes down through a gorge into a stunning, sunny swimming pool, and the lower horsetail cascades into another lovely pool.

Essential Information
Address: VT 53/Lake Dunmore Road, Brandon, VT 05769
Swimming: Yes
Dog-friendly? Yes, on a leash
Best time to visit: May to October
Where to stay: Salisbury, VT; nearby campgrounds
Nearby places of interest: Moosalamoo National Recreation Area, Branbury State Park, Lake Dunmore, Silver Lake

8. Texas Falls – Hancock

Texas Falls
Photo Credit: andyarthur

Texas Falls is yet another photogenic waterfall created by glacial meltwater. There are various observation sites for the falls along the Texas Falls Nature Trail, and the best one is from the bridge that crosses over the Texas Brook. From this view, you can see two plunges with a blue-green pool in between.

The 35-foot total drop is made of numerous punchbowls and cascades to what was once a favorite swimming hole. It is now prohibited to swim here because of multiple injuries.

Essential Information
Address: 23-709 Texas Falls Rd, Hancock, VT 05748
Swimming: Prohibited
Dog-friendly? Yes, on a leash
Best time to visit: May to October
Where to stay: Hancock, VT; nearby campgrounds
Nearby places of interest: Texas Falls Recreation Area, Green Mountain National Forest
More information: Texas Falls Recreation Area

9. Moss Glen Falls – Granville

Moss Glenn Falls
Photo Credit: jjandames

Yes, there is a Moss Glen Falls in Stowe and another one in Granville.

This Moss Glen Falls in Granville has a total drop of 35 feet before widening out and gathering into a wide, shallow pool. When there is enough rain in spring, another small waterfall can develop near the parking area, commonly referred to as Little Moss Glen Falls.

The way to Moss Glen Falls is through Route 100, which is one of the most scenic routes in Vermont. The falls are located right on the highway and can be accessed by a very short boardwalk.

Essential Information
Address: 8015 VT-100, Granville, VT 05747
Swimming: Prohibited
Dog-friendly? Yes, on a leash
Best time to visit: April to November
Where to stay: Granville, VT; nearby campgrounds
Nearby places of interest: Granville Gulf Reservation, Branbury State Park, Green Mountain National Forest
More information: Granville Gulf Reservation

10. Warren Falls – Warren

Warren Falls
Photo Credit: Qfamily

Warren Falls is a short drive north from Moss Glen Falls (Granville) along scenic Route 100 as well.

Mad River supplies Warren Falls with rushing water that drops 20 feet into a swimming hole. The cool green water provides a striking contrast to the surrounding gray boulders.

Because it is so accessible, this is a popular summer recreation place, so expect a crowd when visiting.

Essential Information
Address: 3919 VT-100, Warren, VT 05674
Swimming: Yes
Dog-friendly? Yes, on a leash
Best time to visit: May to October
Where to stay: Warren, VT; nearby campgrounds
Nearby places of interest: Roxbury State Forest, Blueberry Lake, Green Mountain National Forest

Southern Vermont Waterfalls

Southern Vermont has everything: fall foliage, ski resorts, shopping, historic covered bridges, and of course, a few waterfalls.

Here are a few waterfalls in Southern Vermont that you must check out.

11. Hamilton Falls – Jamaica

Hamilton Falls is one of the tallest Vermont waterfalls.

Cobb Brook slices sideways over a 125-foot total drop through deeply cut gorge walls before landing in the wading pools at the base of the formation.

There is a deep pothole at the top of the falls, but swimming is prohibited here because of the danger. In fact, at least 12 casualties have been reported over the years and an emergency ladder has been installed in case someone slips and falls over the rock ledges into the pothole.

The base of the falls is much safer for swimming for families.

Access to these falls is through the Hamilton Falls Natural Area within Jamaica State Park. It’s a short but steep hike via the Hamilton Falls Trail, or alternatively, via the West River Trail and Switch Road Trails.

Essential Information
Address: Hamilton Falls Rd, Jamaica, VT 05343
Swimming: Yes, at the base of the falls; Not recommended at the top
Dog-friendly? Yes, on a leash
Best time to visit: May to October
Where to stay: Jamaica, VT; nearby campgrounds
Nearby places of interest: Hamilton Falls Natural Area, Jamaica State Park, Ball Mountain State Recreation Area
More information: Hamilton Falls Natural Area

12. Pikes Falls – Jamaica

While Pikes Fall only drops 20 feet, the water from North Branch Brook constantly running strong has created a large yet shallow swimming hole, with a large rocky beach along the edges.

It’s a great spot to spend on a sunny day for families with kids. There’s even a 10-foot long natural rock slide into a pool.

To reach the falls from the nearest town of Jamaica, go on Pikes Falls Road, find the trailhead into the woods, and hike down toward the bottom of the falls.

Essential Information
Address: Pikes Falls Rd, Jamaica, VT 05343
Swimming: Yes
Dog-friendly? Yes, on a leash
Best time to visit: May to October
Where to stay: Jamaica, VT; nearby campgrounds
Nearby places of interest: Stratton Mountain, Winhall Municipal Forest

13. Lye Brook Falls – Manchester

13 Lye Brook Falls - Manchester, Vermont
Photo Credit: Doug Kerr

Once called Trestle Cascade, Lye Brook Falls is a steep waterfall dropping over hundreds of tiered rocks that look like miniature steps and over six or seven major tiers, making sharp turns along the way.

This impressive 150-foot waterfall is well worth the strenuous 2-mile hike through the Lye Brook Wilderness Area.

However, the water dries up in the summer, so springtime after the snow melts is really the only window to visit the falls at their best.

From Manchester, travel east on Route 11/30 to East Manchester Road, left on Glen Road, bear right and go into the Lye Brook Access Road. At the end of the road is the head of the Lye Brook Falls Trail. Hike for less than two miles to access the falls.

Essential Information
Address: Lye Brook Falls Trail, Manchester Center, VT 05255
Swimming: Prohibited
Dog-friendly? Yes, on a leash
Best time to visit: April to June
Where to stay: Manchester, VT; nearby campgrounds
Nearby places of interest: Lye Brook Wilderness Area, Green Mountain National Forest, Bromley Mountain
More information: Lye Brook Falls Trail

14. Buttermilk Falls – Ludlow

14 Buttermilk Falls - Ludlow, Vermont
Photo Credit: Doug Kerr

Buttermilk Falls consists of 3 portions, with upper, middle, and lower falls.

The upper falls, sometimes called the Bridal Veil Falls, is around 15 feet tall and flows into a swimming pool with clear water. The middle falls is around 20 feet tall and flows into a 25-foot-wide pool of olive-tinted water.

These two pools are more popular than the one where the lower falls flow, but this pool is generally less crowded than the other two. There are also rocky ledges along the falls you can sit on to admire the view from.

It’s no surprise that Buttermilk Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in Southern Vermont.

To reach the falls from Ludlow, take Route 100 north then turn left on Route 103. Turn right on Buttermilk Falls Road and follow it to the end to get to the Buttermilk Falls Trailhead. Hike around half a mile to get to the falls.

Essential Information
Address: Buttermilk Falls Rd, Ludlow, VT 05149
Swimming: Yes (upper and middle pools recommended)
Dog-friendly? Yes, on a leash
Best time to visit: May to October
Where to stay: Ludlow, VT; nearby campgrounds
Nearby places of interest: Okemo State Forest, Okemo Mountain, Lake Rescue, Echo Lake, Camp Plymouth State Park
More information: Buttermilk Falls | Vermont River Conservancy

Tips When Visiting Vermont Waterfalls

Here are some tips to ensure that your trip to Vermont’s waterfalls and swimming holes will be memorable, safe, and enjoyable:

Consider buying water shoes for hiking. You’re going to be hiking through wet, muddy trails to get to the waterfalls. Plus, once you get to the waterfalls, chances are the rocks are going to be slippery.

You’ll want to wear shoes with a firm sole, good treads, reliable traction, and most importantly, can get wet without being damaged.

Hiking sandals such as Tevas or Chacos are made for this type of terrain. If you can splurge, there are also water shoes that are specifically made for hiking on wet ground. Don’t wear hiking boots that are not designed to get wet.

Pack lightly but don’t forget the essentials. Your sunscreen, water bottle, bug spray, mini first aid kit, garbage bags, camera, and offline trail maps should all be in your hiking pack.

Always practice Leave No Trace. Litter can spoil the natural beauty of these waterfalls and damage plants and animals that are in the environment. Learn the seven principles of Leave No Trace to keep the waterfalls pristine.

Think twice before waterfall jumping. Regardless of the height from the swimming hole, waterfall jumping is dangerous and may cause serious injuries and death. Furthermore, most of these waterfalls are isolated, so lifeguards and rescue teams aren’t readily available.

People should be allowed to make their own risk assessments, so do your research and think hard about whether it’s worth the risk.

Don’t rely on your GPS to get you to the waterfall. Downloading the trail maps on your smartphone (so you can access them offline) or buying an updated trail map is much more advisable. Again, most of these waterfalls are isolated and covered with trees, and the GPS on your tracker or smartphone may not always work.

Start Planning a Trip to One of These Vermont Waterfalls!

As you may have learned by now, Vermont has no shortage of waterfalls. From giant cascades to small rapids, there are plenty of places to see and hear the beauty of tumbling water.

No matter how many photos I post or how many words I use to describe them, they can’t capture how gorgeous and wondrous these waterfalls are.

So get out there and experience them for yourself!

Other things to do in Vermont

Vermont has a lot more to offer, especially if you’re visiting in the fall.

Aside from their famous cheddar cheese, maple syrup, and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, Vermont is famous for its cider.

You can visit the Vermont Cider Trail and sample the best craft cider in the state.

Woodstock, Vermont is also one of the best places to see fall colors in the country.

Planning to visit one or a few Vermont waterfalls soon? Which one looks interesting? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

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