Royalston Falls in July 2015
It’s lucky I keep a list of the waterfalls I’ve visited, since I don’t seem to have any clear recollection of Royalston Falls. A little under two years ago, I found a few different waterfalls in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. I remember many of the waterfalls in Vermont and New Hampshire, but the Massachusetts waterfalls have seeped out of my memory!
From my timeline, I appeared to visit a number of waterfalls in a rather short time: Doane’s Falls, Spirit Falls, and Royalston Falls in Massachusetts, and then Chesterfield Gorge Falls in New Hampshire and Jelly Mill Falls in Vermont. My poor recollection could be due to seeing so many in one day.
Royalston Falls is 45′, and it is a pretty waterfall. After looking at the picture I took, I realized that I was standing above and to the right of the falls, which has the tendency to make the falls look smaller than they really are. Enough water was flowing over the falls to make it worth my while, but I just don’t remember much else. I can’t comment on the difficulty of the hike, as it’s not ringing a bell…
- There are two roads that will lead to the falls trailhead. I believe I used the Athol-Richmond Road (aka MA-32) starting point. This road goes between…Athol, MA and Richmond, NH, so you could start from either direction.
- You’re looking to arrive at the trailhead, which is right off of MA-32 about 1000 feet from the MA/NH border. If you were heading north along MA-32, you’d turn right into a parking area that has a cemetery in it.
- From the parking area, head east along the Tully Trail.
- You’ll head northeast along the trail for a bit, and then after crossing a bridge over the creek, you’ll take a rather sharp right, now heading south following the creek. (As I see the directions, parts of this become much clearer.)
- Just keep hiking…if you follow the creek, it’s almost impossible not to come upon the falls after a few minutes. The falls will be to your right (heading south). The trail was very quiet on the day I visited Royalston Falls. A map of the trail system can be found here.
Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Length of Hike: ~1.3 miles round-trip
Where in the World is Royalston Falls?
Hamilton Falls in July 2015
Most of Vermont has rather hilly terrain, and yet there don’t seem to be as many documented/listed waterfalls in southern Vermont as there are in northern and central Vermont. One of the taller waterfalls in southern Vermont is Hamilton Falls. (Two others, Jelly Mill Falls and Pikes Falls, are also easy to visit.)
While it may be a quicker hike from certain parking areas near the falls, the preferred method is starting from Jamaica State Park, and following trails which lead to Hamilton Falls. Please follow posted signs and be extremely careful.
What you’re rewarded with is an approximately 125′ waterfall, though you may not be able to see the top portion very well. I don’t know if this waterfall ever sees a significant amount of water flowing through, the evidence being the very specific way the water has carved through the rock, leaving specific trails for the water to follow. If you like the idea of swimming at the base of a waterfall, this one would be particularly ideal. There were a number of people swimming in the water pool at the base.
- In the Village of Jamaica along VT-100/VT-30, if you’re headed west, turn right onto Depot Street toward Jamaica State Park.
- Park in Jamaica State Park, and then follow the West River Trail (northeast), which follows the West River.
- Follow the West River Trail to the Switch Road Trail, which will lead to the Hamilton Falls Natural Area.
Length of Hike: 3.4 miles round trip
Where in the World is Hamilton Falls?
Jelly Mill Falls (or Old Jelly Mill Falls) isn’t a waterfall that I’d necessarily go out of my way to find. It’s not a particularly tall, wide, or memorable waterfall. Though maybe if I had been feeling better, it would have held a dearer place in my memory…though probably not.
Jelly Mill Falls is right off the road, which is definitely its redeeming quality. I wasn’t even sure I was going to visit the falls until I found out it was directly off of VT-30, which I was driving along anyway to get to my hotel for the night. Once you pull off the road, it’s a very short drive to a “parking area”, which is really just a small area alongside the road. I jumped out of the car and was at the falls in a matter of seconds. There are a number of drops, and it didn’t seem as if any one drop was the most significant. There wasn’t much water flowing over the falls, either, though I’m guessing there would be more in the spring.
If you’re passing by and like to “collect” waterfalls, this might be a good choice. As I’ve read, it also might be a good choice for a quick weekend trip with the family since it’s so easy to access. Still, even though it’s not a particularly tall waterfall, still be careful, especially with younger children.
- From Brattleboro, head northwest along VT-30 North. Drive about 5 miles along VT-30 North.
- After about 5 miles, you’ll come to Stickney Brook Road on your left. Turn left onto this road.
- To your right will be Stickney Brook, which the falls are located on. Find a place to park along the brook there. (If you reach an intersection with another road, then you’ve already gone too far. It’s a very short distance down Stickney Brook Road.)
Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Distance of Hike: N/A (roadside)
Height: ~8′ for tallest drop
The largest drop I observed for Jelly Mill Falls (in late July 2015)
Where in the World is Jelly Mill Falls?