At Warren Falls
By Will George
As the weather is getting warmer, I thought it would be nice to visit a swimming hole this past weekend. Warren Falls, the site that inspired Adventures with Will George, has a nice, hidden cliff jumping spot that you wouldn’t expect to be in the middle of the woods.
Warren Falls is along the Mad River, which runs through Warren, Waitsfield, and Moretown. My most recent trip to Warren Falls was the first time I’ve ever been there completely alone. It was a little too cold to jump into the water, but it was relaxing to hear the water flow through the river. Hopefully I’ll be back in the summer so I can actually do the cliff jumps.
There are three water holes you can swim in at Warren falls, but you have to be wary of people who are cliff jumping. Each cliff jumping spot varies in size. You can jump off a five foot ledge, or you could go all the way up to 65 at its highest spot. I’ve never jumped from the highest point, because I’ve never jumped from that high up before, and the landing spot is small for that jump. The most popular spot is about 15 feet high, and it’s at the center of all the pools. It has a wide open landing, and the water is deep enough that you don’t have to worry about hitting the bottom. The river has naturally formed these “slides” along the sides of the water holes that take you from one water hole to the next. You would be surprised how fast you can go because there is a small amount of water that flows over the “slides” and makes the rocks very slippery.
There are many things you must be cautious of if you plan to cliff jump. You need to make sure the water you’re jumping into is deep enough, your takeoff is stable, there’s no one in the water, and that a spotter is present in case something goes wrong. This is the bare minimum of preparation you need before cliff jumping. You wouldn’t want to find out that the water is too shallow when your knees buckle and you don’t have anyone to help you out of the water.
If you want to visit Warren Falls the address is 3919 VT-100. It is a 55 minute drive from campus, but it’s definitely worth it. The parking lot fills up fast because there’s only a handful of spots, so you might have to park on the main road. When you get there, you will have to walk down the path to get to the top section of the Falls. If you keep going, you can get to the bottom section, but you have to be careful because some spots can get steep.
After tiring yourself out at Warren Falls, I suggest visiting Waitsfield. Here, you can find plenty of restaurants like the Mad Taco or the original American Flatbread. You could also catch a movie at the Big Picture once it reopens. Warren is another great town to visit after swimming. It isn’t as big as Waitsfield, but the Warren Store is a cute local shop that was voted as one of the best Vermont Country Stores by Yankee Magazines. It has a convenient store in the front, deli in the back, and a boutique on the second floor.
Right now the water temperatures will be cold and the river tide is strong, if you decide to visit Warren Falls you should relax by the water’s edge. There are plenty of spots where the rock has naturally formed smooth pockets that you can sit in. Swimming and cliff jumping will have to wait until the water warms up and the river calms down in the summer.