The Mad River Valley is close to several spectacular waterfalls and scenic gaps through the Green Mountains.
This circle tour brings you to:
- Warren Falls
- Granville Gulf
- Moss Glen Falls
- Texas Falls
- Middlebury with its large waterfall in the town center
- An optional stop at the Lincoln Peak Winery
- The Lincoln or Appalachian Gaps
Be sure to stop and enjoy the views along the way! Take care near the falls, particularly in the winter months. If you do plan to go swimming, the Warren Falls and the falls along the road up to Lincoln are the only places. Please ask us for swimming towels, and don’t take the bath towels from your room! Swim at your own risk.
The photographs of the waterfalls are used with permission of Dean Goss, whose website contains beautiful photographs of waterfalls throughout New England and elsewhere.
Head down West Hill Road to Route 100. Turn right then watch for the parking area in about two and a half miles (3.5km)on your right. Park and look for the path to Warren Falls, a beautiful series of cascading pools and a favorite swimming hole. (Best to avoid this stop in icy conditions and in Mud Season.)
Then back in your car go a further five miles (8 km) through Granville Gulf (the watershed) and just over a mile (1.6kms) past the top after a long sweeping turn to the left you will arrive at Moss Glen Falls on your right. Take care – the parking area is just BEFORE the falls. Park and walk along the boardwalk to see one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Vermont. It splashes down 50 feet (16 meters) over the rocks into a big pool. Please don’t climb on the rocks or go into the water, as it is quite dangerous, even if you see other people doing this!
Continue going south on Route 100 for about another seven miles (11 km) passing through Granville. You may want to stop in that small town to admire the glasswork of Michael Egan, and the gift shop next door of the Granville Bowl Mill. (The Mill itself is unfortunately now closed).
When you arrive in Hancock then turn right onto scenic byway Route 125. Travel three miles (5 km) and turn right onto Texas Falls Road. Here you will find Texas Falls located within the Green Mountain National Forest. If you continue up the road you will find picnic tables. It’s a great spot to stop and enjoy a picnic lunch. There is a bridge over the falls and on the far side there are great walks around the falls in the warmer months, but take care when the falls are frozen as the path can be slippery.
Head back out to Route 125, turn right, travel thirteen miles then turn right onto Route 125N and 7N. This will take you into the town of Middlebury, home to Middlebury College and another beautiful, quintessential Vermont town. Look for the spectacular Middlebury Waterfall right in the center. Enjoy the coffee shops, restaurants and stores – this is one of the prettiest towns in the State.
Continue on Route 125N and 7N then about 3 miles (5 km) north of Middlebury turn right onto River Road. If you have the time stop into the Lincoln Peak Winery for a tasting. (We sell their wine glasses at the B&B and if you take them with you you’ll get a free tasting!) After about 5 miles (8km) River Road merges onto Route 116 where you will keep to the left and head north for two miles (3km) then right onto Route 17/Route 116 at the flashing stop light.
Stop in Bristol to admire this beautiful little town and have some coffee and fresh baking at the Bristol Bakery. Just north of Bristol you will see the turn to the right to the Lincoln Gap Road. This road is open only from May till October but if it is open it is the prettiest, and shortest, route back to West Hill House B&B. (Parts of it are gravel. Note the 30 mph speed limit for many miles through Lincoln.) There are also some waterfalls you can stop at along this road as you head up to the little village of Lincoln. When you come across the gap and down the steep windy road, you will see West Hill Road on your left about a mile or so after the road flattens out.
If the Lincoln Gap is closed continue another mile or so on Route 17/Route 116 to where Route 17 turns of to the right and you will drive over the Appalachian Gap. Take care, as both are windy and steep roads! You will pass the Mad River Glen Ski area on the east side of the Gap, then watch out for German Flat Roads on your right about 3 miles (5km) further down. (If you come to the Hyde Away Restaurant you have gone just too far!) Take German Flats Road past the Mt Ellen Ski area all the way to the “T” intersection with the Sugarbush Access Road. Turn right and head up to the Lincoln Peak area of Sugarbush. There is no stop sign here but you will be facing the EXIT from their parking lot! Turn left on Inferno Road and go one mile (1.6km) to West Hill Road where you will turn right and be back at West Hill House B&B.
* A Col is another word for a pass between two summits – a term used by the Scots and the French.