TOWN OF WARREN
Warren is a small town in Washington County, Vermont. It sits between the two ranges of the Green Mountains, with 25% of the town sitting inside the Green Mountain National Forest.
Vermont has a large number of well-preserved covered bridges, and the Warren Covered Bridge built in 1879 is certainly one of them. As the only covered bridge remaining in Warren, it’s a popular tourist attraction that still supports both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
If you should get hungry, be sure to stop by the Warren Store in town, a traditional Vermont country store that boasts an outstanding deli and bakery.
Warren Falls lies on the Mad River, which is a tributary to the Winooski River in Vermont. The Mad River Valley is also a popular region with tourists due to its picturesque scenery and two ski areas.
Warren Falls are among my favorite waterfalls in all of Vermont. The falls consist of several small plunges that meander along smooth gorge walls. The plunges may be modest in height, but the stunning gorge walls more than make up for their size. The sculptured rocks and green-tinted pools make this place very photogenic.
BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH
The best time to photograph Warren Falls is between May and October, although I prefer to come here at the peak of fall foliage for added color.
In summer, this place is a popular spot for cliff jumping and swimming in the clear green-tinted pools below the falls, so it would be more challenging to photograph here without getting people in the composition.
I also prefer to photograph Warren Falls when the water is lower, so I tend to avoid coming immediately after rainstorms or in the spring when the Mad River is running hard from the snow melt. I find excessive water to be less photogenic as the texture of the water, the narrow shape of the plunges, and the color in the pools all disappear under the rage of fast-moving water.
Warren Falls is located at 3919 on VT-100 in Vermont, so it’s easy to reach. From center Warren, drive about 3.5 miles south on VT-100 to the marked parking area on the right-hand side. This is not a very large parking lot, so if you come during peak foliage season, you may have to circle around the lot a few times for a spot.
Once parked, head north on the path until you reach the falls. I find that the best vantage point is from the cliffs at the upper end of the trail. From there, you can capture several small plunges in the same frame.
The dirt path to the falls can be wet and muddy at times, so I always wear waterproof boots when I come here. The boots can also be handy if you choose to step into the Mad River for a better composition down below the falls (only possible when the water level is low).
I would advise extreme caution when photographing here. There are no barriers along the cliffs and the river itself can run hard at times, so the usual water precautions are in order. People have drowned here due to narrow and rocky constrictions in the river that can trap swimmers. So, be careful when standing on the cliffs or stepping into the river for a photo. But most of all, enjoy the scenery and another of nature’s beautiful creations.