HUNTINGTON GORGE


Richmond, Vermont



RATING: 4.0 / 5.0 stars (Excellent) Huntington Gorge, Vermont (see below for larger image and additional photographs)
STATE: Vermont
COUNTY: Chittenden County
TOWN: Richmond
PARK: n/a
PRIVATE PROPERTY: Unknown (most likely town-owned property)
TYPE: Horsetails and cascades
HEIGHT: Main plunge is 15 feet; 30-foot total drop
WATER SOURCE: Huntington River
WATERSHED SIZE: Large
TRAIL LENGTH: Less than 0.1 mile
TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy
HIKING TIME: Negligible
ALTITUDE GAIN: None
WHEN TO VISIT: May to October
SWIMMING: Great (although swimming here is almost always extremely dangerous; only swim in the lowest channel and during extremely low water conditions)
DELORME ATLAS: Page 45, K-12 (the falls are not marked on the VT atlas/map)
HANDICAP ACCESS: No
DOGS ALLOWED: Yes
COST TO VISIT: Free (as of 2016)
LENS TO BRING: Wide-angle (14-35mm) or standard (35-70mm)
ALTERNATE NAMES: None noted
GPS COORDINATES: To be determined
INCLUDED IN BOOK?: Yes, the falls are included as a full chapter within the guidebook
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THE FALLS

Huntington Gorge is as famous for its swimming holes as it is for its frightening death toll racked up in the last half-century. A sign at the falls indicates the tragic fates of eighteen visitors. As of 2016, twenty-six people have lost their lives here.

The gorge attracts some of the craziest personalities. On the average summer weekend, you'll see many young adults leaping off sloping gorge walls, and others diving into swimming pools that really aren't deep enough to warrant safe diving practices. Vermont has a plethora of fine swimming holes, so why risk it here? If you can, resist the tempation of the pools here and simply view the gorge and falls from a distance. If you must swim, stick to swimming in the large channel below the bottommost falls.

The rugged gorge here is quite neat, but but you'll have to safely navigate to a few different vantage points to see all of its intricacies. The main falls here a plunge that dumps into the head of the gorge.

The area also happens to be a little history regarding this waterfall. By 1802, a grist mill opened at the site, and operated continuously for over a century. The Richmond Light and Power Company converted the mill in 1903 to generate electricity for the nearby villages. Nowadays, the gorge lies in its natural state, with evidence of past use nearly non-existent. .

TRAIL INFORMATION

Trail information for this particular waterfall can be found in the latest edition of the guidebook: New England Waterfalls: 2nd Edition.

DIRECTIONS

Directions for this particular waterfall can be found in the latest edition of the guidebook: New England Waterfalls: 2nd Edition.

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

Updates to all of the waterfalls in the latest edition of the New England Waterfalls guidebook can always be found here: book updates

SPECIAL NOTES

None noted.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Huntington Gorge, Vermont
the upper gorge and falls at Huntington Gorge, Vermont

a grim reminder of the danger of swimming at Huntington Gorge, Vermont
a grim reminder of the danger of swimming at Huntington Gorge, Vermont

one of the lower falls and pools at Huntington Gorge, Vermont
one of the lower falls and pools at Huntington Gorge, Vermont

the upper falls at Huntington Gorge, Vermont
the upper falls at Huntington Gorge, Vermont

one of the pools at Huntington Gorge, Vermont
one of the pools at Huntington Gorge, Vermont

one of the pools at Huntington Gorge, Vermont
one of the pools at Huntington Gorge, Vermont

the lower falls at Huntington Gorge, Vermont
the lower falls at Huntington Gorge, Vermont

the lowest pool at Huntington Gorge, Vermont
the lowest pool at Huntington Gorge, Vermont

some early fall foliage at the upper falls of Huntington Gorge, Vermont
some early fall foliage at the upper falls of Huntington Gorge, Vermont

Huntington Gorge, Vermont
one of the lower pools and falls of Huntington Gorge, Vermont

The Round Church, Richmond, Vermont
you'll pass the famous Round Church of Richmond on your way to Huntington Gorge, Vermont

some early fall foliage at the upper falls of Huntington Gorge, Vermont
some early fall foliage at the upper falls of Huntington Gorge, Vermont

Huntington Gorge, Vermont
Huntington Gorge, Vermont

the lower falls at Huntington Gorge, Vermont
the lower falls at Huntington Gorge, 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

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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.
  • 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
       

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

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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!