BRANCH BROOK FALLS


Mount Holly, Vermont



RATING: 1.5 / 5.0 stars (Fair) Branch Brook Falls, Vermont
(see below for larger image and additional photographs)
STATE: Vermont
COUNTY: Rutland
TOWN: Mount Holly
PARK: Okemo State Forest
PRIVATE PROPERTY: No
TYPE: Horsetail and cascades
HEIGHT: 7-foot main drop plus 12-feet of cascades below it
WATER SOURCE: Branch Brook
WATERSHED SIZE: Low
TRAIL LENGTH: 0.6 mile one-way
TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Moderate
HIKING TIME: 20 minutes one-way
ALTITUDE GAIN: +300 feet
WHEN TO VISIT: May to June
SWIMMING: Not Possible and/or Prohibited
DELORME ATLAS: 2007: Page 30, J-3 (the falls are not marked on the VT atlas)
2015: Page 64, C-1 (the falls are not marked on the NH/VT atlas)
HANDICAP ACCESS: No
DOGS ALLOWED: Yes
COST TO VISIT: Free (as of 2017)
LENS TO BRING: Wide-angle (14-35mm) and/or standard (35-70mm)
ALTERNATE NAMES: None noted
GPS-TRAILHEAD: 43.432500, -72.761833
GPS-WATERFALL: 43.426833, -72.754333
COMPASS: 210° excluding declination (the falls face northwest)
INCLUDED IN BOOK?: No, the falls are not currently included within the guidebook
Share this page / follow New England Waterfalls on Facebook!

/

THE FALLS

Sometimes big mountains produce big waterfalls, and sometimes they don't. Based on my rating above, I think you can decipher which category these small falls fit into. I shouldn't bash these falls too much though - they have some charm and they can be a quick diversion as part of a longer hike up Mt. Okemo. The main falls are the upper falls, and they drop 7-foot in a horsetail formation. The brook dances over several dumps during its decent. Below the horsetail, the brook continues to cascade as it makes its way downstream. The brook is seasonal and very narrow, so the forest canopy encroaches more than most photographers tend to like when visiting falls. Since this is a 1.2 mile round-trip hike, the payoff is indeed a bit low here.

TRAIL INFORMATION

You'll be hiking the Healdville Trail the entire way to the falls. Follow the blue-blazed trail from the trailhead as it at first gradually ascends on a wide and easy- to-follow path. After hiking for 0.2 mile, you'll reach a footbridge. A 4-foot tall falls can be seen upstream and there's another 4-foot falls that is 30 feet downstream that's worth a look. Scramble downstream to see those falls plus a peculiar thin rock that's jutting up towards the sky. The rock almost looks like a giant tooth.

To continue to the main falls, fork right after the bridge to continue hiking on the Healdville Trail. The trail climbs more intensely from this point forward. About 0.4 mile mile beyond the footbridge, you'll see a 7-foot horsetail that dumps into a shallow pool. Step 20 feet right off of the trail to reach the base of it. Once you are in the streambed, you will notice that the brook drops another 12 feet or so below you in several tiers of cascades. The upper 7-foot falls is the finest of drops you'll see here.

DIRECTIONS

From the northern junction of VT 100 and VT 103 in the section of Ludlow known as Grahamville, take VT 103 north (heading in a mostly westerly direction) for 2.7 miles and turn left onto Station Rd. Follow Station Rd south for 0.6 mile and turn left immediately after crossing over a set of train tracks. Drive 400 feet further and park at the end of the road. This is the trailhead for the Healdville Trail.

To get Grahamville, take I-91 south from White River Junction to exit 8. Follow VT 131 west to VT 103 north.

UPDATES SINCE THE 2ND EDITION

NONE NOTED.

If you know of any updates to this waterfall, or notice any errors either on this website and/or within the New England Waterfalls guidebook, please send me an email at gparsons66@hotmail.com or leave a Facebook comment at the bottom of this page. Updates to all of the waterfalls in the latest edition of the guidebook can always be found here: book updates

OPTIONAL HIKES

The Healdville Trail eventually climbs to the summit of Mt. Okemo. Round trip, it's a 6.0 mile hike with nearly 2,000 feet of elevation gain.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Branch Brook Falls, Vermont
the main falls of Branch Brook Falls, Vermont

Branch Brook Falls, Vermont
the lower cascades of Branch Brook Falls, Vermont

Branch Brook Falls, Vermont
the main falls of Branch Brook Falls, Vermont

Branch Brook Falls, Vermont
the lower cascades of Branch Brook Falls, Vermont

INTERESTED IN VISITING MORE WATERFALLS IN NEW ENGLAND?

Our 376-page New England Waterfalls: 2nd Edition guidebook contains detailed information on over 400 waterfalls throughout New England. Click on the image below to read reviews and/or purchase the guidebook on Amazon.com.



New England Waterfalls

Over 20,000 Copies Sold!


also available on...


TIPS FOR VISITING WATERFALLS & SWIMMING HOLES

Here are some tips to help ensure that your trip to New England's waterfalls and swimming holes will be a safe and enjoyable one:
  • DON'T FORGET THE ESSENTIALS - When you visit waterfalls, you should consider bringing all of the following: (a) bug spray; (b) food/snacks; (c) water/sports drinks; (d) camera/smart-phone; (e) guidebook/trail map; (f) daypack/backpack; and (g) hiking shoes, hiking boots or watershoes. A full day hiking packing list can be found here.
  • CONSIDER BUYING WATER SHOES - You won't see too many people using them, but watershoes are fantastic pieces of equipment that can make your trip to waterfalls and swimming holes safer and more enjoyable. Merrill and Keen make some fantastic watershoes (here are some great ones from Merrill: womens / mens).
  • LEAVE NO TRACE - When you visit waterfalls and swimming holes, you'll often see some trash and sometimes you'll even find clothing left behind by others. It's really, really sad, and it irks the heck out of us. Won't you consider carrying out some of trash and clothing left by others when you leave? That would leave the spot more beautiful for the next person. Bring a trash bag and be a hero!
  • PRIVATE PROPERTY - Many waterfalls and swimming holes are located on private property and so we are truly fortunate that many landowners allow us to enjoy them. If you want to ensure that they stay open to the public, please do your best to leave no trace. If you see a sign that says 'Private Property', turn around and find another waterfall to visit or a different place to swim.
  • BRING A DSLR CAMERA AND TRIPOD WITH YOU - If you want to take high-quality photographs of waterfalls, your smart-phone just won't cut it. Get a DSLR camera, a tripod, and learn to master the art of waterfall photography.
  • SCOUT FIRST, SWIM SECOND - Never enter a swimming hole without first scouting it, even if you see somebody else swimming in it. Stop and access the risks based upon the depth of water, the power of the current, evidence of slippery rocks, and other safety factors.
  • CLIFF JUMPING - Cliff jumping is dangerous. Like, seriously dangerous. Understand the risks before you partake in this activity. Many have died from doing this in New England. Here is a list of all known deaths at waterfalls and swimming holes in New England.
  • PLEASE DON'T BUILD ROCK CAIRNS - Please do not build new rock cairns at waterfalls or swimming holes. Cairns are a strong reminder of human presence, and don't we all want to see waterfalls in their natural state and glory? Photographers get particularly annoyed at seeing cairns, so please resist the urge to build them.
  • DON'T RELY ON YOUR GPS TO GET YOU TO THE TRAILHEAD - Waterfalls don't have addresses, so relying on your GPS to get you to a trailhead is great way to get yourself lost. You need a guidebook, a road atlas, and/or a hiking map to visit the vast majority of waterfalls in New England. Also keep in mind that waterfalls are often located in wild areas, where smart-phone map apps and car GPS units may not work at all.
  • WATERFALLS IN SPRING - The best time to visit waterfalls is generally in the spring during the annual snowmelt (which is April to June). However, most waterfalls will often look great for several days after a significant rain storm.
  • HELP KEEP THE ULTRA-SECRET SWIMMING HOLES A SECRET (FOREVER) - If you find some ultra-secret swimming holes, please do your best to keep them a secret. Do not post their locations online or wildly share directions or photos with others. All of the swimming holes that are included in the guidebook and online through this website are the well-known swimming spots. There are many more holes that are much further off the beaten path, but they deserve a chance to stay wild and pristine.
  • DON'T SCRAMBLE UP WATERFALLS - So many people been seriously injured and killed in the waterfalls of New England. Many of these folks got too close to a waterfall and slipped and fell. Don't become a statistic: stay far back from the edge.
  • WEAR TRACTION IF YOU VISIT WATERFALLS IN WINTER - Visiting waterfalls in winter can be rewarding, but there is often a higher element of danger. You may need crampons, snowshoes, and/or some other form of traction (like Microspikes) in order to safely hike to waterfalls in winter.
  • SUPPORT NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS THAT CONSERVE WATERFALLS & SWIMMING HOLES - There are some organizations in New England that work diligently to conserve and maintain waterfalls and swimming holes. Please consider supporting these organizations, either with their trail maintenance projects or with monetary donations. Here are three excellent organizations engaged in this extremely important mission: the Trustees of Reservations, the Vermont River Conservancy and the Nature Conservancy.

HELPFUL LINKS

Here are some helpful links to help you explore and enjoy more waterfalls and hikes throughout New England:
  • Waterfalls of Connecticut = link
  • Waterfalls of Maine = link
  • Waterfalls of Massachusetts = link
  • Waterfalls of New Hampshire = link
  • Waterfalls of Rhode Island = link
  • Waterfalls of Vermont = link
  • Best Waterfalls in New England = link
  • Best Swimming Holes in New England = link
  • Top 25 Day Hikes in New England = link
  • Top 25 Family-Friendly Day Hikes in New England = link
  • Waterfalls Near Boston, Massachusetts = link
  • Waterfalls Near Lincoln, New Hampshire = link
  • Waterfalls Near North Conway, New Hampshire = link
  • Waterfalls Near Stowe, Vermont = link
  • Waterfall Photography Tips = link

OTHER WATERFALL GUIDEBOOKS

In addition to the New England Waterfalls guidebook, there are several other guidebooks that can help you find waterfalls and swimming holes:
  • Vermont Waterfalls (1st Edition: 2015) = link
  • Hiking Waterfalls in New England: A Guide to the Region's Best Waterfall Hikes (1st Edition: 2015) = link
  • Waterfalls of the White Mountains: 30 Hikes to 100 Waterfalls (2nd Edition: 1999) = link
  • Connecticut Waterfalls (1st Edition: 2014) = link
  • Rodrick's Guide to Vermont Waterfalls, Cascades & Gorges (1st Edition: 2014) = link
       

WATERFALLS ON FACEBOOK

Join the growing communities of waterfall aficionados on Facebook! You can share your photographs, follow the adventures of other waterfall hunters, and find new places to explore:

  • Request to join the "New England Waterfalls" community > link
  • Request to join the "New Hampshire Waterfalls" community > link
  • Request to join the "Northeastern Waterfalls" community > link
  • Request to join the "Vermont Waterfalls" community > link
  • Request to join the "Waterfalls of the United States" community > link

And if you'd like to follow the New England Waterfalls page on Facebook, click here.

ASK A QUESTION / LEAVE A COMMENT / PROVIDE AN UPDATE:

Feel free to ask a question, leave a comment, and/or provide an update relevant to this waterfall below.
(your desktop/laptop browser may block this section - try your smartphone or tablet if you don't see a comment section below)

EXPLORE MORE OF NEW ENGLAND!
Connecticut /  Maine /  Massachusetts /  New Hampshire  /  Rhode Island  /  Vermont
Home Page /  About the Book /  Book Updates /  Top 40 Waterfalls /  Swimming Holes /  How To Use This Guide /  Contact Us
Waterfall Photography /  Top 25 New England Hikes /  4000 Footers of NH /  NH Cabin for Rent /  Bigroads.com

© newenglandwaterfalls.com
photographs/images may not be used without permission
Waterfalls, swimming holes, and hiking can be extremely dangerous. Hundreds of people have been injured or killed in the waterfalls and swimming holes of New England over the years. Never swim in strong water currents. Don't jump into a swimming hole without scouting it first. Do not climb up or along the side of waterfalls. Be weary of slippery rocks. Never swim in pools above waterfalls. Use of this website and all of its information is at your own risk! Newenglandwaterfalls.com and the authors of the New England Waterfalls guidebook will not be held liable for your actions. Be safe out there - and always use common sense!