In 1969, my parents took me to Bristol Memorial Park, a
small site on Baldwin Creek dedicated as a memorial to the
fallen of the Korean War. The park consists of a couple of
picnic tables, a short loop trail, and a footbridge over
a deep and narrow gorge containing a waterfall. It must have
made quite an impression on their 3 year old son.
A few years later, IBM transferred my father to California.
Not once or twice, but three times I was fortunate enough
to visit Yosemite National Park. The small seed that was
planted in 1969 grew out of control at the sight of the waterfalls
that adorn that amazing valley. In 1974, my father requested
a transfer back to Vermont. I’ve been here ever since.
We may not have any 2400 foot waterfalls within an easy day’s drive,
but that hasn’t diminished my appreciation one iota.
I began carrying a disposable camera as a way of grabbing
a memory, but the underexposed and grainy images yielded
by these cameras were beginning to bother me more and more.
Eventually, I got an old Canon AE1 and my learning curve
was put to the task. Many old rolls of film look pretty amateurish
now, but each roll of film that I poorly shot was another
lesson. By not replicating my mistakes, I eventually got
better. Trial and error has always been my preferred method
In 1996, I began to see other photographers and waterfall
enthusiasts online. Their sites spurred me to put up my own
site, and the first primitive version of this site was born.
Not long afterwards, I started to notice a growing trend
of improvement in the quality of other sites, both in terms
of content and function. The second version of the site was
the result. As time went by, I began to be more aware of
which of my photos were good and which were not. The time
had come to get a better camera with optics of a higher quality.
The result of this decision was a Canon Elan 7E. I dabbled
in medium format, then large format for a while, all the
time figuring out a little more about the art of photography.
Perhaps the best lessons came when I switched from Fuji Reala
(print film) to Fuji Velvia (slide film). At this time, I
really began to think about the way film "sees" a
certain image. In May of 2006, I finally made the leap to
digital format, replacing the trusty Canon Elan 7E with a Canon
20D. I largely re-equipped my glass, primarily to cover a greater range
of focal lengths. I've got 10-20mm, 18-55mm, 28-105mm, 75-300mm, and 420-800mm,
as well as a pair of teleconverters, 2x and 3x. If you count
the 1.6x magnification factor of the DSLR, I've got my focal ranges
covered from about 16mm to 7840mm of optical equivalent.
Needless to say, if I see a waterfall on a nearby mountainside, I'll be able
to get it.
I’m not certain just what quality a waterfall possesses
that intrigues me so, maybe I like the sound, maybe I like
the geometry, perhaps I am awed by the power water has over
rock, perhaps the negatively charged ions that remove impurities
from the air has something to do with it, I don’t know.
I can’t rationalize the addiction, but I can certainly
enjoy it, and the fruits it yields. I can also happily share
what I’ve uncovered in the hope that someone else might
derive as much satisfaction and happiness as I have.
The process of discovery was almost as much fun as the field
work involved. The information I present here came from many
sources. The initial group of waterfalls were derived from, “The
Vermont Atlas and Gazetteer,” "The New Hampshire
Atlas and Gazetteer," and "The Maine Atlas and
Gazetteer," all published by DeLorme Mapping. They supplied
me with the names and locations of 111 waterfalls. Some of
the locations given were somewhat incorrect which allowed
a higher “thrill of the chase” factor. As I learned
of new waterfalls, I added them to a master list that has
grown steadily through the last dozen years or so. Town histories
usually have a chapter devoted to a general description of
the municipality, including waterways, specifically potential
Mill sites. Talking with local residents will also frequently
yield information. Detailed study of USGS Topographical maps
will yield many potential waterfall sites. The Fish and Wildlife
surveys mention "barriers to upstream migration, usually
meaning a waterfall on a given watercourse.
Information comes from many places. I’ve no doubt
that there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of waterfalls that
I’ve not yet uncovered. Part of this lies in making
the determination of exactly what constitutes a waterfall.
To bypass this conundrum, I follow two criteria: the waterfall
must be either a named waterfall (historical, official, or
colloquial,) or 10 feet or more in height. The latter criteria
are still subjective, depending on where one determines the
top and bottom of a drop. I tend to mark the bottom and top
of a waterfall where its scenic values begin and end. Again,
this is purely subjective and others are sure to see things
differently. My philosophy is quite simple: If it looks like
a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.
The ultimate purpose of this site is to help you find and
safely enjoy the splendor of the waterfalls found in the
Northeastern United States.
Below the site title, you will find the navigation bar. The
various buttons and menus lead to the important pages featured
on this site:
Browse by State
This tab yields a drop-down menu listing several states (VT, NH,
ME, MA, NY, WA, OR) and an option for Other Regions. Selecting
any of these menu options will lead to a list of all the waterfalls
cataloged within each state. The "Other Regions" option
pulls up waterfalls which I've cataloged elsewhere across the
This tab contains two functions: Browse and Search. The Browse
option leads to a complete list of all entries in the database,
sorted alphabetically. The Search option leads to the Search
Page, where you can query the database for specific waterfalls.
Best of the Northeast
This tab leads to a page detailing my picks for the Top 20 Waterfalls
in the Northeastern United States. This is based on both
objective and subjective criteria including, but not limited
to, height, width, scenic setting, accessibility, and photogenics.
This tab links to the Postcard gallery, which includes several
This tab links to a gallery of my best work, of which prints can
This tab yields a drop-down menu which includes 5 options. The
Introduction option leads to this page. The Help option leads
to information about using this website, and understanding the
information contained therewithin. The Photography option
leads to information specifically catering to waterfall photography. The
Safety option leads to a page that offers suggestions, reminders,
and warnings regarding waterfalls. And finally, the Recent
Updates option leads to a page detailing what in the database has
been edited, and when.
This tab links to a page where you can contact me. I've received
emails from people all over the world, please don't hesitate
if you have any questions.