Abs Mag:


 Beisel Rating:

3.54 (Class 4)


52 feet

 Tallest Drop:

20 feet

 # of Drops:





Joiner Brook






USGS Huntington 7 1/2"


Aerial Photography


45 K14



The falls from below in low water, click to enlarge

The lower tier from the adjacent ledge, click to enlarge

The lower tier from downstream, click to enlarge

The falls in November of 2003 in moderate flow, click to enlarge

The falls in November of 2003 in high flow, click to enlarge

The falls in full flood, click to enlarge

The falls in late June 2006, click to enlarge

The falls in late June 2006 from the east side, click to enlarge

A postcard image from the archive, click to enlarge



Bolton , Chittenden County, VT , USA


No Known Alternate Names



The falls from below in low water



In late July, 2007, I got an email from a local resident, quite understandably upset with visitors' behavior at the falls. For the record, these activities shouldn't be taking place at a swimming hole: Graffiti, vandalism, defecation, drinking, or drug use. A few bad apples are spoiling the place for everybody. Please people, show some courtesy and behave yourselves. Substance abuse (drugs or alcohol) lead to bad decision making processes. I'm not a prude by any stretch of the imagination, but leave your recreational pharmaceuticals at home. Ditto the booze. I don't want to step on broken glass, nor do I want to haul your dumb ass off the rocks because you thought a drunken backflip was a good idea. Don't leave your feces in the woods, you should be doing all your elimination at home, okay? This is a swimming hole, not a sewage treatment facility. Please be mindful of your behavior as it affects other people trying to enjoy the place. Whatever you bring in, bring out including trash, diapers, tampons, beer bottles, and other assorted litter and debris. Maybe a few dedicated visitors can carry out trash like I do when I'm there. Remember, your supposed to be responsible. If you ARE a responsible visitor, please disregard this rant. Thank you and God bless...sheesh... Joiner Brook is yet another Winooski River tributary that has a good waterfall. There are several schist formations that are intersected by every river and stream that drops into the Winooski River Valley. Huntington Gorge, Honey Hollow, Duck Brook, Crossett Brook, the Mad River, the Little River, all of them have either falls or gorges where they cut through these rock layers. Joiner Brook is one of the best. It has a fairly large drainage, it gets runoff from three different mountains, and the narrow valley funnels the water very quickly down off the slopes. The Potholes are a very popular swimming hole in the summer. Icy water isn't necessarily a deterrent. The middle pothole is about 6'-10' deep and about 40'-50' across. It is nearly perfectly round, and is a great shade of emerald green. There are rocks to dive from, rocks to sun on, and a good southwestern exposure makes the most of the sun. If you're in the area on a hot summer day, bring your swimsuit. A cautionary note: In the summer of 2004, a swimmer drowned here. The water was high at the time, and the swimmer became caught in a recycling current in the upper hole. Needless to say, swimming in any constricted feature in high water is dangerous. In low water, the falls are safe, and shouldn't be missed. I've seen a couple of antique photos that show a dam above the falls and a large penstock to the left of the falls, but happily, no remnants are visible today.


Geology and Bedrock Structure:

Like many other Winooski River tributaries, Joiner Brook intersects the Underhill Schist with interesting results. Schist is a relatively soft bedrock that is highly susceptible to water sculpture.



At one time, there was a considerable dam, with a large penstock and mill building present here. Happily, ot a trace remains.


Photography Notes:

The Bolton Potholes present many different and flattering angles to a photographer. Bring your tripod, warming filter, and polarizer. Since you'll be scrambling on the rocks, be sure to have appropriate footwear. 28-80mm in zoom should cover it.



IMPORTANT UPDATE:The town of Bolton has taken steps to insure safety at the Potholes. There is a small new parking area at the base of the road, parking is no longer allowed on the side of the road adjacent to the falls. Take Route 2 into Bolton, turn onto the Bolton Valley Access Road. There is a small parking area at the base of the road. Please park here and walk up the side of the road until you reach the falls. The falls are audible and less than 200' away through the woods. The parking restrictions might seem a bit harsh as the falls receive many visitors, but this will cut down on the number of visitors and hopefully those few who CAN visit the falls will be more respectful. The place has become an idiot magnet over the last 5 years in particular.