Magnitude:

39

 Abs Mag:

55

 Beisel Rating:

5.54 (Class 6)

 Height:

30 feet

 Tallest Drop:

30 feet

 # of Drops:

2

 Type:

Segmented

 Stream:

Otter Creek

 Latitude:

44.052

 Longitude:

73.1775

 Maps:

USGS Middlebury 7 1/2"

 

Aerial Photography

 Delormes:

38 K7

 

 

The narrow gorge on the western segment, click to enlarge

Both segments taken from the fishing access, click to enlarge


The western segment, click to enlarge


The gorge and footbridge over the western segment, click to enlarge


The dam from downstream, click to enlarge


Adjacent to the small falls in the western segment, click to enlarge


The small falls in the western segment from the opposite bank, click to enlarge

 

 

Middlebury , Addison County, VT , USA

 

No Known Alternate Names

 

 

The narrow gorge on the western segment

 

Details:

Beldens Falls is a rather interesting waterfall despite the presence of a large hydroproject. Otter Creek divides into two segments. The western segment slides over a short dam, then drops into a very tight crevice in the rock. In low water, this segment usually runs dry, but in flood, it's rather interesting and certainly unique. Below the cleft, the western segment moves through a narrow gorge, then divides and drops around a rocky island. The eastern segment is more visually affected by the dam because this segment is where the large powerhouse is located. There is a trail that crosses two bouncy suspension bridges above the falls, and the loop hike is nice. There is also a well maintained picnic facility adjacent to the parking area. A good view of the falls on the western segment is had by walking down the stairs of the canoe portage adjacent to the parking area.

 

Geology and Bedrock Structure:

This waterfall has dug a tight gorge into the Chipman Formation, which is primarily composed of marble and dolomite.

 

History:

 

Photography Notes:

Due to the wide open nature of the falls, sun won't be a critical issue here. As always, bring a polarizing filter, and because the view of the falls on the western segment is fairly distant, a UV filter will help cut haze. The Polarizer isn't going to have maximum effect because the falls don't face 90 degrees to the sun, but it will cut some of the glare from the water. The presence of the large powerhouse next to the eastern segment will require careful composition to obtain a decent shot. The western segment requires a little off trail exploration to fully appreciate. A word of caution: The marble bedrock in the area can be quite slippery. Please take care when exploring as a slip would be very bad. A telephoto lens, preferably zoom, will aid in composing your shot without undesired visual elements.

 

Directions:

Beldens Falls Road is off Route 7 about 3 miles north of Middlebury. Follow this road to the parking area adjacent to the hydropower facility.