CHEEVER FALLS


Walden, Vermont



RATING: 3.5 / 5.0 stars (Great) Cheever Falls, Vermont (see below for larger image and additional photographs)
STATE: Vermont
COUNTY: Caledonia
TOWN: Walden
PARK: Steam Mill Brook Wildlife Management Area
PRIVATE PROPERTY: No
TYPE: Plunges
HEIGHT: 25-foot total drop
WATER SOURCE: Steam Mill Brook
WATERSHED SIZE: Medium
TRAIL LENGTH: 0.7 mile one-way
TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Moderate to top and middle of falls; moderate side of difficult to base of falls
HIKING TIME: 20 minutes one-way
ALTITUDE GAIN: Down 130 feet, up 10 feet
WHEN TO VISIT: May to October
SWIMMING: Fair (although the water is murky and there were some bubbly surfactants present)
DELORME ATLAS: 2007: Page 48, G-1 (the falls are not marked on the VT atlas)
2015: Page 41, C-5 (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: 44.481195, -72.232953
GPS-WATERFALL: 44.481500, -72.223333
COMPASS: 280° excluding declination (the falls face southwest)
INCLUDED IN BOOK?: No, the falls are not currently included within the guidebook
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THE FALLS

Wildlife management areas typically cater to hunters and fishermen, but hikers and sightseers are usually welcome too. At the Steam Mill Brook Wildlife Management Area, there are at least two waterfalls you can visit. Goslants Falls is a nondescript series of low angle cascades on Joe's Brook that can be seen from roadside on nearby Rock Rd. Cheever Falls is more substantial, dropping at least 25-foot in two distinct tiers. The upper half of the falls drops about 15 feet and there are typically several paths from which the waters flow. The bottom half is about 10 feet tall, and it is split by a large rock island. A few downed trees can typically be seen lying across the lower falls. A mix of hemlocks and deciduous trees tower over portions of the falls. Stone block ruins from a historic sawmill can be seen on one side of the brook adjacent to the falls. This is from one of at least several sawmills that have been in operation here over the years.

TRAIL INFORMATION

Follow the trail in front of the parking area, which resembles an old road at first but gets progressively narrower and a bit rougher as you approach the brook. Although the trail i is easy to follow, it is not maintained to the same standards as a state park would be. There is often a fair amount of mud on the trail, and you cross some marshy areas that could benefit from some bog bridges. After hiking mostly gradually downhill for 0.6 mile, you'll hear the brook and reach a fork. Fork right to stay on the main path, which will head downstream with the brook on your left. About 300 feet later, you'll reach the top of the falls. Turn right to continue down a steep and rough path to the base of the falls. An 8-foot scramble is required to reach the base of the falls. Another fairly easy path just above this scrambly section visits the brook between the two tiers of the falls.

DIRECTIONS

From the junction of VT 15 and VT 215 in Walden, take VT 15 east for 1.7 miles and take a wide left turn onto Noyestar Rd. Follow Noyestar Rd north for 2.2 miles and turn right onto a road called Hines Place Trail. Drive 0.5 mile on Hines Place Trail and park in a small parking area on the right. A sign for "Cheever Falls" is currently in place on a tree about 30 feet in front of the parking area.

To get Walden, take exit 21 off I-91 in St. Johnsbury and follow US-2 west to VT 15 west.

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

None noted.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Cheever Falls, Vermont
the upper tier of falls at Cheever Falls, Vermont

Cheever Falls, Vermont
the upper tier of falls at Cheever Falls, Vermont

Cheever Falls, Vermont
Cheever Falls, Vermont

Cheever Falls, Vermont
Cheever Falls, Vermont

Cheever Falls, Vermont
Cheever 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.



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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
       

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  • Request to join the "Northeastern Waterfalls" community > link
  • Request to join the "Vermont Waterfalls" community > link
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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! 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!