Moss Glen Falls (Stowe)

CC Putnam State Forest / Stowe, Vermont, USA

About Moss Glen Falls (Stowe)


Hiking Distance: 1/2-mile round trip
Suggested Time: 45 minutes

Date first visited: 2013-09-30
Date last visited: 2013-09-30

Waterfall Latitude: 44.482
Waterfall Longitude: -72.62403

Moss Glen Falls was the other of two waterfalls that we visited having the same name in the 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.

Moss_Glen_Falls_Stowe_024_09302013 - Moss Glen Falls near Stowe, VT
Moss Glen Falls near Stowe, VT

This waterfall was memorable to us because it seemed to have a bit of a Quebecois flavor to it.

In hindsight, this probably shouldn’t have been surprising given its close proximity to the Canadian border.

Unlike the other Moss Glen Waterfall in Granville, this one near Stowe was significantly taller at a reported 125ft.

However, it was a bit harder to access as we needed to hike to it in order to see it from an overlook that offered a limited view between trees (as you see pictured above).

Hiking to Moss Glen Falls

Moss_Glen_Falls_Stowe_003_09302013 - Boardwalks were set up to traverse some of the muddier sections of the trail to the Moss Glen Falls
Boardwalks were set up to traverse some of the muddier sections of the trail to the Moss Glen Falls

The hike started off innocently enough at a fair-sized unpaved parking lot (see directions below).

At this parking area, there was a plaque and some signage indicating that 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.

Moss_Glen_Falls_Stowe_005_09302013 - Julie on the trail to Moss Glen Falls as the path followed along the creek
Julie on the trail to Moss Glen Falls as the path followed along the creek

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.

The view allowed us to witness where 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.

Moss_Glen_Falls_Stowe_013_09302013 - Julie climbing up to the ridge that ultimately yielded the best view of the Moss Glen Falls
Julie climbing up to the ridge that ultimately yielded the best view of the Moss Glen Falls

However, 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.

However, we had neither the time nor the will to get wet and sloppy with the stream scramble, especially in light of a very long driving day with daylight waning.

Beyond the view of the Moss Glen Falls, we also saw other hikers continue further up the trail.

I’d imagine that they ended up going up to the top of the falls.

Moss_Glen_Falls_Stowe_021_09302013 - Context of the very steep scramble leading down to the base of the Moss Glen Falls from the ridge where we got the best view of the waterfall
Context of the very steep scramble leading down to the base of the Moss Glen Falls from the ridge where we got the best view of the waterfall

In any case, we were content with the view and didn’t try to continue up that trail either.

So overall, we spent about 40 minutes away from the car.

As a result of us turning down other opportunities to experience Moss Glen Falls in other ways, we wound up with a bit of a look-but-don’t-touch experience.

Authorities

Moss Glen Falls resides in the C.C. Putnam State Forest near Stowe in Lamoille County, Vermont. It is administered by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Moss_Glen_Falls_Stowe_002_09302013 - Looking towards the Moss Glen Falls Trailhead. Note the child carrier was about to be loaded with our daughter and I was about to carry her on the hike
Moss_Glen_Falls_Stowe_004_09302013 - Some parts of the Moss Glen Falls Trail were so muddy that even parts of the wooden planks seemed to be rotting and succumbing to the moisture
Moss_Glen_Falls_Stowe_010_09302013 - After getting past the swampy parts and then the creekside part, the Moss Glen Falls Trail then briefly entered a lightly wooded forest
Moss_Glen_Falls_Stowe_017_09302013 - Making it up to the top of the ridge where we got this partially overgrown view of the Moss Glen Falls near Stowe, VT
Moss_Glen_Falls_Stowe_026_09302013 - Heading back towards the Moss Glen Falls Trailhead as we descended from the ridge after having our fill of the falls
Moss_Glen_Falls_Stowe_029_09302013 - Julie making it back to the trailhead for the Moss Glen Falls near Stowe

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To get to Moss Glen Falls 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 trailhead parking to our left.

Moss_Glen_Falls_Stowe_001_09302013 - The trailhead parking situation for Moss Glen Falls near Stowe, VT
The trailhead parking situation for Moss Glen Falls near Stowe, VT

Something to consider when returning to Stowe was that getting back on VT-100 from Randolph Rd was neither easy nor as straightforward as it would appear on the 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.

Zoomed in top down sweep of the falls before zooming out (with some Quebecois guys having a conversation)

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Tagged with: stowe, cc putnam, state forest, lamoille, vermont, waterfall, new england, waterbury, burt hollow, moss glen, waterbury, ben and jerrys



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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