Pikes Falls, Vermont

I often don’t write about waterfalls until years after I’ve visited them. I try to hit a variety of different geographical regions along the way, but in the process I often forget about some waterfalls, at least certain details. I remember a bit about Pikes Falls, but other aspects are a bit fuzzy.

I visited in July 2015, and stayed near Stratton Mountain. It’s a beautiful area, though a bit quiet during the summer. On the way out, I had a few waterfalls on my list including Pikes Falls and Hamilton Falls. This was my first stop, as it’s not far from Stratton Mountain. The directions that others give are what tend to throw me off, as I approached it from the opposite direction. I remember the road being narrow but quiet, and I don’t remember there being much difficulty finding the parking area for the falls. I don’t recall much of the surroundings, nor the very short hike. (Sometimes short hikes are nice, but they stick in my head less than the tedious hikes!)

The falls are smaller, though there are definitely a number of different views to be had. Since the hike is easy and short, it’s worth your while to stop if you’re in the area. Otherwise, there are other larger falls in the area. Many people seem to enjoy this waterfall for the pool below, perfect for swimming.

Directions:

  1. From VT-100 in Jamaica, turn left on Pikes Falls Road.
  2. Drive for approximately 2.5 miles. You’ll then veer right over a bridge, staying on Pikes Falls Road.
  3. After another 2.5 miles, you’ll come to the parking area. It would be on the left if heading west. (There is also apparently a white house very close by, though I don’t recall this.)
  4. Follow the trail to the falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 20′ (total drop)
Length of Hike: 0.15 miles round-trip

pikes falls

Pikes Falls in July 2015

Where in the World is Pikes Falls?

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Hamilton Falls, Vermont

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.)

Hamilton Falls is a relatively easy drive, though you will be going along dirt roads for the last few miles of your drive to the falls. The roads seemed to be in relatively good condition, though. (I was driving in a compact car, and wasn’t concerned.) Once you arrive at the parking area for the falls (which is more abundant than I first expected), you have a short but somewhat steep downhill hike to get to the base of the falls. It’s worth it, though.

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.

Directions:

  1. In between the villages of Jamaica and Townshend along VT-30, you’re going to look for Windham Hill Road.
  2. If you are headed west along VT-30 from Townshend, you will turn right onto Windham Hill Road. Drive for just over 4 miles on this road, which is paved.
  3. Turn left onto Burbee Pond Road. You will pass by the beautiful Burbee Pond to your right. Drive for 0.9 miles on this road. (This may be a dirt road.)
  4. Turn left onto West Windham Road. I don’t remember if it was a very sharp left…I do believe there were signs pointing toward the falls, though. At this point, it is definitely a dirt road. Drive for 2.6 miles along W Windham Road.
  5. You will then veer left on Hamilton Falls Road. Drive about 0.2 miles to the parking area for the falls. The trail is on the left side of the road, and it will be relatively obvious. There is parking just ahead on the right if you can’t find any parking at the trail head.
  6. The hike down the falls is very straightforward. It’s downhill and there are signs…

Accessibility: 7/10 (it’s short but steep)
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round trip
Height: ~125′

Where in the World is Hamilton Falls?

Jelly Mill Falls, Vermont

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.

Directions:

  1. From Brattleboro, head northwest along VT-30 North. Drive about 5 miles along VT-30 North.
  2. After about 5 miles, you’ll come to Stickney Brook Road on your left. Turn left onto this road.
  3. 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?

Moss Glen Falls, Vermont

Moss Glen Falls at low water in September 2010

It’s interesting to me how some waterfalls are so clear in your mind, while others are a little more fuzzy. I actually remember Moss Glen Falls, as it was the background on my phone for a while. I also remember that it can be a fun waterfall to explore. I couldn’t recall how far it was to the falls, but after looking it up, it’s only about 0.2 miles to the falls, which might be why the hike is so forgettable? I think I was able to get some pretty good photographs of the hillside though, and while short, I feel like you do climb pretty quickly in that short distance.

Once at the falls, you can begin to explore. You’re actually pretty high above the river to start. The trail seems to lead uphill, following the stream, though the view of the falls deteriorates pretty quickly. There’s one specific point at which you’ll have the best views of the whole falls. To get closer to the falls, you can climb/slide down what I remember was a pretty steep incline. I was still able to get back to the trail ok, which is not always the case. Once you’re at the base of the falls, though, the upper half completely disappears from sight due to the angles. I think this picture was taken about half-way down the hill.

Directions:

  1. From Stowe, Vermont, head north on VT-100.
  2. At the intersection of VT-100 and Randolph Road, turn right on Randolph Road.
  3. After a very short distance, turn right onto Moss Glen Falls Road. Go for about one-half mile to a parking area for C.C. Putnam State Forest. The trail begins here.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 125′
Length of Hike: 0.4 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Moss Glen Falls?

Hancock Brook Falls, Vermont

Honestly, I have very little recollection of actually visiting Hancock Brook Falls. I do distinctly remember that I visited the falls later in the evening when the the sun was near setting. There was very little light around the falls, so I was lucky to even get a somewhat good picture.

Oh wait, it’s suddenly coming back to me as I jog my memory. This is where I got my rental car stuck while trying to turn around! The dirt road follows Hancock Brook, and you’ll slowly climb uphill. Parking wasn’t difficult, and getting down to the falls isn’t difficult, though they’re rather disappointing. As I was trying to turn around, the Mustang I was driving (which is not the right car for me, but I had no choice) got stuck in a groove after trying to back up. It took a lot of effort, but I finally was able to get out, though I imagined myself walking down Hancock Brook Rd. to get help! The road’s not bad, but I’d definitely not advise a Mustang :).

Directions:

  1. I think I may have come a different way, but you can get here from VT-12 out of Burlington. Head north on VT-12. VT-12 is also known as Elmore Rd.
  2. You’re going to turn left onto Hancock Brook Rd.
  3. You’ll go about 0.3 miles to the “parking” area, which is not so much parking, so it might be better to just stop on the road.
  4. From there, head down to the Hancock Brook, where you’ll find the falls.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 8′
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

Hancock Brook Falls in September 2010

Where in the World is Hancock Brook Falls?

Bingham Falls, Vermont

Bingham Falls in September 2010

Bingham Falls was the first set of waterfalls that I visited after arriving in Vermont. I arrived at the Burlington airport, and the falls are not terribly far from Burlington. They’re about 40 miles at the minimum, though that route may take longer. I took the longer route just to get a better view of Vermont instead of taking the interstate.

Bingham Falls is pretty, but I’m not sure that it goes into one of my favorite waterfalls. Bingham Fall is a very pretty set of cascades and other falls. There are actually numerous portions that make up Bingham Falls. To be honest, I was less drawn to the waterfalls than the interesting rock formations around the falls. I’m no geologist, but the rock near Bingham Falls must be very interesting. The water leads to erosion that seems to create these “islands” of rock that are intriguing. Still, I would go and check out Bingham Falls. It’s pretty easy to access, though since you hike down to the falls, you’ve got to hike on an upward slope back to the parking lot.

Directions:

  1. The falls are found of off VT-108 north of the junction between VT-108 and VT-100.
  2. I was headed in the opposite direction and my GPS was indicating Bingham Falls was elsewhere, so the best bet is to look for the Smugglers Notch state campground.
  3. The parking areas for the falls are not clearly marked, but they are about 0.1 miles SOUTH of the campground. There are parking areas on both sides of VT-108.
  4. From the parking areas, follow the trail to the falls.

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 25′
Length of Hike: 0.6 miles round-trip

Upper Bingham Falls in September 2010

Where in the World is Bingham Falls?