After 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.
From 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.
Imagine 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.