Abs Mag:


 Beisel Rating:

4.35 (Class 5)


21 feet

 Tallest Drop:

9 feet

 # of Drops:





Mad River






USGS Warren 7 1/2"


Aerial Photography


40 J1



The upper tier in low water, click to enlarge

The third tier from the top, click to enlarge

Looking down the falls in very high water, click to enlarge

The tree choked second drop and third drop with Misty atop the cliff, click to enlarge

The intense deep aqua lower pool, click to enlarge

The upper and second drops, click to enlarge

An unusually sculpted rock formation downstream, click to enlarge

The falls from the wall of the gorge in high water, click to enlarge

The middle drops from above, click to enlarge

The lower pool from the riverbank, click to enlarge

A wide angle view of the entire formation, click to enlarge

An old postcard image from the archive, click to enlarge



Warren , Washington County, VT , USA


Also Known As:
Carleton Falls



The upper tier in low water



Until a several years ago, Warren Falls was posted. I suppose the owners of the property were concerned with the standard issues surrounding popular waterfalls: liability, noise, vandalism, and littering. I'm sure this place generated all of that. Narrow and rocky constrictions tend to trap logs which in turn tend to trap swimmers. There have been several drownings here. It's a well-used place, with a relatively large number of visitors. Happily, apart from the occasional fire-ring or empty beer can, not much evidence of the high usage can be seen. The water sculpture here is among the best examples in the state, but the most amazing feature of the falls is the color of the lowest pool (provided you don't catch it in high water). The lower pool is the most intense deep blue green color. Simply unbelievable. The falls themselves are small, mostly small drops in a well carved gorge. The total drop of the formation is only about 20', but I recommend a visit by all means. Mad River comes to a river wide schist ledge, drops 5', slides into a tight cleft, drops 5' and makes a nearly 180 degree turn. The river then separates around a smooth rock ledge dropping 7' gathering in a shallow pale aqua pool. The final drop of 3' pours into a very deep, intense deep teal pool. It has to be seen to be believed. I'd comfortably say the lower pool is over 20' deep beneath the falls. The name Carleton Falls was in use in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but hasn't been in use for about 100 years.


Geology and Bedrock Structure:

The falls have cut a great gorge with small falls through the Granville member of the Pinney Hollow Schist.



The name "Carleton Falls" has been out of use for over a hundred years.


Photography Notes:

There is a great deal to photograph here, you just need to make sure conditions are ideal. If the water is too high, you'll lose the colors in the pools. Ideally, you'll go late on a cool, clear day. Warm days attract swimmers, so a cool day is a must. Overcast days don't seem to provide the light that saturates the colors in the pools. If you are looking for color, be here during sweet light in a period of low water, this is critical. Have your tripod, polarizer, and a warming filter. Be sure to eye check the warming filter to see how it affects the colors as the color tones here are very cool, particularly during sweetlight. Focal lengths in the 28-105mm range should capture most everything you'll see here, though longer lenses will allow you to isolate portions of the falls.



Take Route 100 south out of Warren. In 3.4 miles, you'll see a large dirt turnout on the right. Follow the trail on the right into the woods and towards the river. As you approach the falls, you'll encounter well smoothed schistose bedrock. This can be slick, particularly for those who don't wear the right footwear. In order to reach the pool below, there is a steep root ladder to the edge of the lower pool. You'll want to take care here, but it's not that difficult to descend.