Bristol Memorial Forest
Location: Bristol, VT Stream : Baldwin Creek Finding : Easy. Sign alongside the road. Access : Roadside Legal : Public land Swimming: No
Despite the name, there are actually waterfalls here. This spot is very easy to find. It's located on Rt. 17 only a mile or so East of its junction with Rt. 116 just North of Bristol. There is a sign by the road and a small parking area.
There is a trail going from the parking area down alongBaldwin Creek to the falls. As is typical for such a public spot, there are fences along the edge of the ravine to prevent the foolish from hurting themselves.
The falls themselves are quite interesting. Baldwin Creek flows first over a five or six foot drop and then over another slightly higher drop into a narrow channel only a couple of feet wide and with walls that are at least 20 feet high. The channel has many twisted potholes in it.
It's difficult to get a really good look at the lower falls because of the narrow ravine into which it flows. I climbed down to the bottom of the channel and scrambled over some rocks so that I could look up the channel. It was an interesting vantage point.
I returned to these falls today to see what they looked like in the winter months. This was my vacation week so it was easy enough to find the time to get out. However, it wasn't very wintery. We've had some unusually warm weather so most of the snow was melted.
Nevertheless the falls were well shaded and encased in ice. In fact, they really were not very interesting. You could only see a few hints of running water through the occasional hole in the ice. Mostly they looked like an ice and snow covered wall of rock.
The most interesting part of the experience was the sound. The usual waterfall sound was muffled to a faint swishing noise. It almost sounded like a large washing machine was running under the ice. It was strange.
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