This is one of the Best waterfalls in the Northeast



 Abs Mag:


 Beisel Rating:

1.5 (Class 2)


45 feet

 Tallest Drop:

25 feet

 # of Drops:





Old City Brook






USGS Vershire 7 1/2"


Aerial Photography


35 F12



The upper tier from the pool between the drops, click to enlarge

The falls from the base, click to enlarge

An old postcard image from the archive, click to enlarge



Strafford , Orange County, VT , USA


No Known Alternate Names



The upper tier from the pool between the drops



On the Justin Smith Morrill Highway, about 3/4 of a mile north of Strafford, there is a road called Old City Falls Road. Hmmmm. Coincidently, there happens to be a waterfall called Old City Falls. Imagine that. When you pull into the well indicated parking area for the falls, you'll find the town maintains a nice picnic area adjacent to the steep ravine that contains the falls. The trail runs downstream along the top of the ravine, descends a long flight of stairs, then cuts back at an angle to the bottom of the ravine and runs along the side of the stream. The top of the falls are easily visible through the foliage. When you see a sign that says, "End of Trail", keep going. A slightly tricky scramble will take you to the pool between the upper and lower drops. In July of 2002, this scramble was eroded and quite difficult. The falls occur at a contact between 2 different types of rock. The upper layer is obviously harder than the layer beneath and functions as a caprock. The falls drop about 25 feet at the upper falls, collect in a pool, and then slide down another 20 feet into the lower pool.


Geology and Bedrock Structure:

The falls drop over a ledge of the Waits River Formation (Quartzite)




Photography Notes:

This is a very scenic waterfall. You have a sneak preview of the falls as you approach from below. The only real drawback here is that the best views of the falls are to be had from the middle of the brook. Don't be afraid to get your feet wet. You'll need a tripod, a polarizer, and a warming filter. Focal ranges in the 35-105mm range should be sufficient. The falls are open to the southwest, so sun can be an issue here. Overcast days are the best.



Take the Justin Smith Morrill Highway (aka Tunbridge Road) north out of Strafford. In about 3/4 of a mile, turn east on Old City Falls Road. Follow the road to the top of the moderate grade, turning left as it crosses the brook at the head of the ravine. Turn left again after you cross the bridge into a well maintained town recreation area. The trail to the falls leaves the far end of the meadow.