Abs Mag:


 Beisel Rating:

1.85 (Class 2)


14 feet

 Tallest Drop:

14 feet

 # of Drops:





New Haven River






USGS Bristol 7 1/2"


Aerial Photography


39 H10



Falls from downstream, click to enlarge

Falls from the south bank of the New Haven River, click to enlarge

The falls from the north side of the gorge, click to enlarge

The cave and the falls, click to enlarge

A closer look at the cave, click to enlarge

The falls from the middle of the pool, click to enlarge

Why kids enjoys the falls, click to enlarge

An old postcard image from the archive, click to enlarge



Bristol , Addison County, VT , USA


No Known Alternate Names



Falls from downstream



Bartlett Falls is the large waterfall in the gorge of the New Haven River as it descends into Bristol. It is also perhaps the most populous swimming hole in the entire state. The 14' falls plunges into a deep pool with many ledges for diving (for Heaven's sake, look where you are jumping!!) and a shallow end more than safe enough for small children. Unless you go during lousy weather, don't plan to have the place to yourself. Above the falls, the river slides over and around large, sloping bedrock ledges that span the width of the river. The locals call this Circle Current. These make nice waterslides in times of low water. In high water, the current rages over them. Besides, the falls are a short way downstream from here. As a bonus, there is a small feeder stream above the falls that makes a stairstep dash into the wild New Haven River.


Geology and Bedrock Structure:

Geologically speaking, this is one of the more interesting gorges I have been to. The rock is a layered bedrock, part of the cambrian Cheshire Quartzite and Forestdale Marble formations. The rock layers are exfoliating one layer at a time, leaving "benches" along the side of the pool immediately below the falls. There is a large cave behind the falls which is a dark cool spot from which to watch the falls, however, the rocks are very slippery, so use caution if you decide to explore the area.




Photography Notes:

This is a very camera-friendly waterfall. Good views and compositions can be had from both banks, but my favorite place to shoot from is in the pool below the falls. A tall tripod will be helpful. The falls face west, so shooting on an overcast day or early in the morning will yield good results. Since the falls face west, the effect of a polarizer is going to be minimized to a certain degree. I use a 28-300mm zoom lens...most of the focal lengths will yield some workable shots here. In the summer of 2005, some idiot tagger spray painted some of the rocks near the crest of the falls. There are still plenty of good shots to be made here, but I'm a firm believer that tagging is vandalism, NOT art. It's a form of expression that most certainly doesn't belong on the rocks adjacent to a waterfall.



Turn east on Lincoln Gap Road from Rt. 116 a mile north of Bristol. The falls are visible on the right side of the road about 1/4 mile from Rt. 116. There is abundant parking along the side of the road.