Cambridge, Vermont

RATING: 2.5 / 5.0 stars (Good) Brewster River Gorge, Vermont (see below for larger image and additional photographs)
STATE: Vermont
COUNTY: Lamoille
TOWN: Cambridge
PARK: None
PRIVATE PROPERTY: No (this is a property of the Brewster Uplands Conservation Trust)
TYPE: Horsetails and plunges
HEIGHT: 75-foot total drop
WATER SOURCE: Brewster River
WATERSHED SIZE: Small/medium
TRAIL LENGTH: To lower falls, 0.3 mile one-way; to upper falls, 0.5 mile one-way
TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy side of moderate
HIKING TIME: To lower falls, 10 minutes one-way; to upper falls, 15 minutes one-way
ALTITUDE GAIN: To lower falls, up 40 feet, down 20 feet; to upper falls, up 100 feet, down 20 feet
WHEN TO VISIT: May to October
SWIMMING: Lower falls: Poor
Upper falls: Not Possible
DELORME ATLAS: 2007: Page 46, B-1 (the falls are not marked on the VT atlas)
2015: Page 39, A-6 (the falls are not marked on the NH/VT atlas)
COST TO VISIT: Free (as of 2016)
LENS TO BRING: Wide-angle (14-35mm) and/or standard (35-70mm)
ALTERNATE NAMES: Jefferson Falls, Center Brook Falls, Brewster River Gorge & Falls
GPS-TRAILHEAD: Coming soon
GPS-WATERFALL: Coming soon
COMPASS: 205° excluding declination (the falls face northwest)
INCLUDED IN BOOK?: Yes, the falls are included as a full chapter within the guidebook
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Thanks to conservation efforts, your experience at Brewster River Gorge, sometimes called Jefferson Falls, is a simple and enjoyable experience. Years ago, it could take upwards of a half-hour to reach the waterfall, due mostly in part to a then-required river crossing, which typically meant taking off your shoes and rock-hopping across the river. Trails on the opposite side of the river now easily guide you to the lower and upper segments of the gorge.

The falls are best seen in high water conditions. From the base of the lower falls, the water picks its way through and around boulders that appear to have fallen on top of one another throughout the years. There are small greenish tinted pools at the base of several of these boulders. The river below the falls is quite wide with an extended riverbank, containing a mix of tough sand, soft grass, and small pebbles. There are lots of boulders to scramble over and play on here if you choose.

The upper viewpoint provides you with a look down into the wild and powerful gorge. There is no swimming here for obvious reasons. For those wishing to spend more time at this destination, a rough trail continues on a lovely river walk above the falls, offering many opportunities for children to wade or splash in small pools when the water levels permit.

If swimming is what you desire, there is a small set of cascades nearby, Jeff Falls, that offers much better opportunities than Brewster River Gorge. It is located on a short 250-foot trail that is 0.5 mile south of town on VT 108. Although currently located on private property, access to the general public is allowed under the condition that all visitors respect the natural surrounding and leave no trace of their visit.


Trail information and directions for this particular waterfall can be found in the latest edition of the guidebook: New England Waterfalls.


Trail information and directions for this particular waterfall can be found in the latest edition of the guidebook: New England Waterfalls.



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 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


None noted.


Brewster River Gorge, Vermont
Brewster River Gorge, Vermont

the covered bridge at the parking trailhead of Brewster River Gorge, Vermont
the covered bridge at the parking trailhead of Brewster River Gorge, Vermont

Brewster River Gorge, Vermont
Brewster River Gorge, Vermont


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

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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.


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


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


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.


Feel free to ask a question, leave a comment, and/or provide an update relevant to this waterfall below.
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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! 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!