Overview: Falls in a narrow gorge. Only visible from above. Location: Cambridge, VT Stream : Brewster River Finding : Easy Access : Short, easy hike Basking : Several locations along the stream below and above the falls Privacy : Swimming in river below falls. Unofficial nudist swimming area above the falls Legal : Open to public. Land conserved by the Vermont Land Trust & town of Cambridge
Take Vermont Rt. 108 south toward Smuggler's Notch. A short distance from town, after the road begins to run alongside the river, look for Canyon Road forking to the left. Canyon road immediately dips downward, making the intersection a little tricky to notice. It occurs as the embankment on the right side of Rt. 108 (heading south) rises steeply upward. Also, be aware that another, minor road forks to the left immediately before Canyon Road, and could easily be confused for Canyon Road.
Canyon Road almost immediately comes to the Grist Mill Covered Bridge. Right before crossing the bridge there is a parking area on the right. This is the Brewster River Park, a public area where people swim in the river and bask on the rocks and grass. You can park there, or, alternatively, cross the bridge and park along the road immediately on the other side.
The trail, officially called the Alden Bryan Brewster River Trail (ABBRT) starts on the north side of Canyon Road immediately after crossing the bridge. It is a wide, mostly level path. Follow the trail for maybe 0.5 miles until it ascends moderately to the top of a rise. On the right there is an obvious side trail that leads to an overlook where you can view down into the Brewster River Gorge and see the falls. Be aware that there are a couple of other side trails on the way to the falls. The correct one is short and obvious.
The river flows through a very narrow gorge and the only view is from almost directly above. The gorge is interesting, but it is difficult to get a good view of the falls. Despite this, it is still an enjoyable place to visit. The walk to the falls is not long nor difficult, yet gives one an opportunity to approach a natural waterfall through the woods. The trail never veers far from the stream.
It was a lovely, sunny day. The temperature was warm, but not hot. Quite a few people were swimming at the park, and I met some others who were swimming upstream from the park, but downstream from the falls. I did not see anyone above the falls although I did hike some distance further along the trail to explore the area. There were almost no bugs.
The river was relatively low today, in a seasonable way. The falls were still reasonably well filled, but I didn't take any pictures of them because of the poor vantage point (almost directly from above).
Return to the list of waterfalls.