Monday, November 8, 2021

Lye Brook Falls and its Wilderness

Friday August 20, 2021                                           Most Recent Posts:
Camping on the Battenkill                                  Visit to the Sugar Shack
Arlington, Vermont                                              Kayaking Lake St. Catherine

IMG_9403After all that sugar (see post above) I needed to go on a good hike today so I headed out to Lye Brook Falls. The trail head is just outside of Manchester Vermont less than 10 miles from the campground.  Even though I was early on this Friday morning a few cars were in the small parking lot.

It’s seriously rocky from the parking lot to the information kiosk but then the path gets narrow and weedy .



The lovely orange is jewel weed, an antidote for poison ivy which you can bet is nearby.  I always consider it a marker to beware.


IMG_9417From there the trail follows Lye Brook into the 18,122 acre Lye Brook Wilderness which is part of the Green Mountain National Forest.  You know what wilderness means.  Thus there are downed trees and natural stream crossings.  Only hand tools can be used for trail maintenance.  A century ago this area had been heavily logged, with railroads, charcoal kilns, and sawmills in the landscape.  Luckily the land has reverted back to its natural state due to its protection. Yea for the Wilderness Act!


Hiking in a wilderness are is sometimes rough going.


IMG_9424Imagine my surprise to get to the “official” start of the wilderness area and find a road.   Turns out the trail heads up a steady gradual slope on old logging railroad grades and old woods roads.    Not sure why they were so nice in this area but it didn’t last.




These are your teeny tiny fungi for the day Paul.


If you are looking for a place to twist your ankle, this is it.  Do not come without hiking poles.



I came to the turn off for the falls and traded rocky road for narrow rocky path.  I took the low road.


If you’ve been following, you know it has rained and rained in Vermont.  The trails are wet, muddy and slippery but the rain has given me high hopes for the falls even though it is late summer.


Even the rock faces are dripping.  I took a 38 second video of how beautiful this was and sounds.  You can see it here.


The trail narrowed even further and started down after stepping off this rock face.



At this point I was wondering if I was going to drop off the mountain.  Thankfully seeing the people let me know I had reached the falls.   I do wonder how long this trail will remain before it slides right off the mountain and eliminates access to the falls.


These are some of the folks from the few cars in the lot this early in the morning.  As I always do, I waited them out and had the falls to myself for a while.

The falls are 125 feet tall made up of several tiers of cascades and horsetails.


Another bad selfie but at least I can remember I was here and what I looked like at that time in my life.


Quite a mess near the foot of the falls.  I assume all these things came tumbling down in torrential rains.   Here is a short video of the falls to give a sense of being there.  You can’t hear what I’m saying because of the noise of the water but it doesn’t matter.  The water is better.


I took this picture from the kiosk of the falls years ago.  The caption says spring but it looks like winter to me.  Do they look frozen to you?

These last two pictures were taken as I turned to leave the falls area.  Sue Malone is a western geologist so I’m not sure she’d know what these are but maybe she’ll give us an opinion or a guess.  You have to slip around them to get to the falls.  I hope they are stacked up there solidly.  The trail comes down on the far left.


Serious tenacity on the part of that tree.  Nature is amazing.


Back at the parking lot, cars were overflowing all down the road.  Compare it with my first picture.  Glad I came early.  I would definitely recommend this 5 mile round trip hike but be prepared for wilderness.  I had a great time.



  1. I would just like a chair and a beverage and I could sit and listen to the water dripping off the rocks or the falls. Such a relaxing sound. Getting there wasn't for the timid. That spot that was steep around the cliffs was scary. The jewel weed is very pretty. And I think that selfie of you is good- you look happy! xxxooo

    1. Couldn't agree more Pam with your sentiment about listening to water. I'm sure you love being in your chair with your beverage on the oceanfront they're in North Carolina and listening to the waves.

  2. Nice water fall. Kathy is trying to convince me to take a big hike today and I just want to sit on the porch. Weather feels great here in Guntersville Alabama.

    1. And here I thought you were still in Alaska Tom. But what are you doing in Alabama? I would expect you to be at your place in Florida

  3. You don't need Sue to tell you what those things are in that picture, I already know. They're rocks! :cD

    Looks like those orange fungi are Nature's Halloween decorations. Never saw any like that before. Leave it to you to once again find amazing things Mother Nature has made for us to enjoy.

    1. I can always count on you to give me a laugh Paul. Thank you so much. Those tiny little mushrooms do look like Nature's Halloween decorations with their bright orange color.

  4. Lovely trail and amazing video of the waterfall. You were lucky to have time to wait out the people there so you can get an unobstructive view.

    1. At this point in my life Laurie I have plenty of time. That's one of the things I enjoy most about being retired. I'm so glad you enjoyed the video. I feel like I should have learned by now how to take better ones

  5. Fantastic! Even if looking a little treacherous in places. The water sounds are magical.

    1. The sounds are magical Gaelyn and I knew I didn't want to post this without including them. It's one thing to look at a beautiful waterfall but quite another to hear it. Really glad you enjoyed it.

  6. Replies
    1. I hope you have a marvelous waterfalls where you are William. Thanks so much for the comment.

  7. Beautiful falls!! Those rocks and the trees growing amoung them are definitely amazing. Glad you had your hiking poles for this one! I think your selfie is quite good. Nice shot!

    1. Thank you sweetheart. Sometimes when I look at those selfies I wonder who is that old woman.

  8. Lovely trail! Hiking over rocks like that gets tiring, though.

  9. Luckily I didn't have to hike over any big rocks like those of you in the west are used to but it's tricky with all those tripable rocks on the trail. I have to pay clise attention given my concern about breaking my ankle for the third time. Thanks for the comment Gayle.

  10. Great hike. I'm not sure I'm recovered enough to do it. Looks pretty difficult. Glad you are still enjoying this challenge.

    1. Glad to hear you are recovered enough to do some hiking. When will I see you?

  11. Wow! That is a gorgeous waterfall! We were supposedly in the Land of Waterfalls in North Carolina, but I think your waterfall hikes are every bit as beautiful. I always love seeing jewelweed on the trail. Fortunately I haven't gotten into any poison ivy to need it, haha. And I think your selfie is cute.

    1. Thanks Laurel. I'm definitely going to have to spend some time in North Carolina checking out their falls. Wonder how many they have? Vermont has more than 100.

  12. If you are working hard at catching up with your writing, I am working almost as hard catching up with reading. The very few blog people that I follow closely have been quite prolific lately and I am getting behind!!! Great selfie, and lovely lovely waterfalls. I am horribly allergic to Poison Oak or Ivy so would steer very clear of anything that seemed even close to it. And ankle tripper trails are more of a no-no for me than ever in the past. I'll hobble along with my sticks on trails like that any more.


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