The Mad River harbors a collection of first-class swimming holes, including our absolute favorite in Vermont, Warren Falls. We have had the pleasure of swimming in dozens of waterfalls in the state, and this one is simply unmatched in our opinion. The pools below the falls are spacious and full of clear green-tinted water. Cliff jumping is a true past-time here, and you would be hard-pressed to find a safer spot to partake in this activity. Of course, this sport always carries a high degree of risk, so use caution if you decide to join the conga-line of jumpers.
The falls themselves, a series of several small plunges, are not particularly exciting and, as a result, are mostly overshadowed by the allure of the pools. Our original guidebook made no mention of Warren Falls or its pools because it only recently surfaced in our research. Although it is certainly not a private or secluded place, the falls would likely be exponentially more popular if there was actually sign on the highway indicating its location. We ponder if the U.S. Forest Service intentionally leaves the parking pull off unmarked to keep the falls in their natural state and the area clean. Despite the crowds that are still likely to be here on weekends, there is always enough room for all to savor this jewel of an attraction.
From the parking area, head into the woods on an obvious trail and bear right at an informational billboard containing information about the falls. After about 250 feet, you will reach a fork. If you take the left fork, you will reach the top of the uppermost falls. If you take the right fork, the trail will guide you to additional viewpoints along the river and ultimately down to the base of the falls. The trail down to the base of the falls (and the gorgeous swimming hole!) is a bit steep, so take caution here.
Directions for this particular waterfall are not posted online. Please see directions in our published guidebook, New England Waterfalls: A Guide to More Than 400 Cascades And Waterfalls, or you can email us and we will happily provide them to you. When requesting directions via email, please remember to specify which particular waterfall(s) you are looking for directions to.
SPECIAL NOTES / UPDATES SINCE THE 2ND EDITION:
Check www.511vt.com to make sure that VT 100 is open. This highway was severely affected by Hurricane Irene and there may be closures in effect through Spring 2012 (or potentially even longer than that).