Abs Mag:


 Beisel Rating:



750 feet

 Tallest Drop:

400 feet

 # of Drops:





unnamed watercourse






USGS South Mountain 7 1/2"


Aerial Photography


39 H10



A telephoto shot of the southern segment, click to enlarge

 A telephoto shot of the northern segment, click to enlarge



Bristol , Addison County, VT , USA


Also Known As:
Hells Half Acre Falls



A telephoto shot of the southern segment



This waterfall is actually 3 separate drops, side by side. There are two steep cascades that flank a horsetail formation. An unnamed watercourse drains off the western flank of South Mountain. When the streamlet encounters the Bristol Cliffs, a long descent is made. These slender watery threads are visible from Route 116 south of Bristol. It's possible to get closer to the base by driving on Carlstrom Road or Lower Notch Road, however, the clearest views are the farthest away. The view from the meadow on the right side of Carlstrom Road is about as good as you'll get. Lower Notch Road will get you within several hundred feet of the base, but the area is heavily wooded, and there are several homes in the immediate area.


Geology and Bedrock Structure:

The fall drop down the western side of the Hogback Mountains



Louis Varricchio offers this information: "The massive quartzite rockslide below the falls is the scene of one of New England's most fevered lost treasure hunts. A cache of Spanish gold and silver coins, buried by renegade sailors from Boston in the 1700s, is believed by some to be buried somewhere in the slide area. Treasure seekers have dug tunnels and pits in the area for over 200 years in search of the lost loot."


Photography Notes:

This waterfall mandates the use of a telephoto lens, 300mm or more. There really aren't a lot of compositional options here. Allowing for the distance between you and the falls, about a mile, a UV filter is recommended, along with the standard polarizer and warming filter. The falls drop down a large and open cliff face with a western exposure. The sun isn't a factor here, but would likely need a cooling filter to take the edge off the reds and yellows a strong afternoon sun would produce.



Take Route 116 south out of Bristol and follow it for about 3.5 miles. Shortly after you cross a one lane bridge over the New Haven River, take a left on Carlstrom Road. The road lines up directly with the falls on the tall cliff in front of you.