About Moss Glen Falls (Stowe)
Moss Glen Falls was one of two waterfalls that we visited having the same name in the same state of Vermont on the same day. This one was located near the charming town of Stowe, which seemed to be a pretty popular place on the weekends as well as a bit of a winter ski resort. It was memorable to us because it seemed to have a bit of a Quebecois flavor to it, which in hindsight probably shouldn’t have been surprising given its relative close proximity to the Canadian border.
Unlike the other Moss Glen Waterfall, this one was significantly taller at a reported 125ft and a bit harder to access. We were able to view the falls from an overlook that offered a limited view between trees, but there really wasn’t much in the way of other viewing angles. So that picture you see at the top of this page was pretty much how you’re likely to see it if you hike to it.
The hike started off innocently enough at a fair-sized unpaved car park (see directions below) with a plaque and some signage indicating we were in the C.C. Putnam State Forest Burt Hollow Block. From there, a flat and somewhat narrow trail passed through a forested area before traversing a stretch of muddy terrain. Fortunately, most of the sloppiest parts of the trail had wooden planks acting as boardwalks.
After getting through the muddy stretch of trail, we then followed the Moss Glen Brook briefly before the trail then steeply climbed a short distance up to a narrow ridge. Since I was carrying our two-year-old on my back, I was a little nervous about the steepness of the trail and the dropoffs immediately on either side of the ridge. It was definitely not a place to let her roam free.
From the narrow ridge, we were able to get the nice frontal view of Moss Glen Falls where we could best appreciate its full height as the Moss Glen Brook fell in multiple tiers with one of the tiers having a bit of a fan shape to it. Julie and I observed that there was a very steep and slippery scramble leading down to the base of the falls from the ridge, but it looked way too dicey so we didn’t attempt it. We were also cognizant that an easier way to the base was from wading upstream in the Moss Glen into the gorge itself, but we just didn’t have the time nor will to do it as we visited this falls at the end of a very long driving day with daylight waning.
Beyond the view of the falls, we also saw other hikers continue further up the trail, which I’d imagine would’ve gone up to the top of the falls. We were content with the view and didn’t try to continue up the trail either. So overall, we spent about 40 minutes away from the car. It turned out that Moss Glen Falls was a bit of a look-but-don’t-touch experience, but we were still content with the visit despite our turning down the other opportunities at experiencing this waterfall more.
From the historical part of the town of Stowe, VT by the Hwy 108 and Hwy 100 junction, we headed east on the Hwy 100 (Main St) for about 3 miles. We then left the Hwy 100 and kept right onto Randolph Rd, where we then turned right onto the unpaved Moss Glen Road. Following this road for 0.6 miles, we then saw the car park to our left.
Something to consider when returning to Stowe was that getting back on VT-100 from Randolph Rd wasn’t easy or straightforward as it would appear on a map. That was because the high rate of traffic in both directions combined with the uncertainty of whether the oncoming traffic would keep left onto the highway or veer right to leave it made it a potentially dangerous junction as well as an exercise in patience.
To give you some geographical context, Stowe was 23 miles (30 minutes drive) northwest of Montepelier, 176 miles (over 3 hours drive) north of North Adams, MA, 112 miles (2.5 hours drive) southeast of Montreal, QC, Canada, and 199 miles (over 3 hours drive) northwest of Boston, MA.
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