Along the Way: Buttermilk Falls – Ludlow, VT

Along the Way: Buttermilk Falls – Ludlow, VT

We were passing through Ludlow, Vermont on our trip there last October when we saw a small street sign that read “Buttermilk Falls” with an arrow. We had no set agenda for the day and decided to turn off the main road to check out the local scenery. What a treasure we found!

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Buttermilk Falls is a series of waterfalls and popular swimming holes on the Branch Brook. There is a large pool below both the lower and upper falls, each being deep enough for complete submersion. The lower falls (shown above) flow into a deep 25-foot-wide pool of clear water which serves as a swimming hole in warmer weather.

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We had a grand time hiking all around (and in some cases through) the waterfall and the shallow streams that would be much more intimidating in the spring. And the autumn foliage made it especially pretty.

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My daughter especially loved it, which I thought was funny because if I’d told her we were going for a hike she would have balked. Sometimes it’s all in the wording.

What I didn’t know about the site when we visited was that when the land around the falls came up for sale, the Vermont River Conservancy purchased Buttermilk Falls, then donated the property to the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation to ensure that the property can never be developed. That way, the state will always allow public access to the site for swimming and enjoyment of natural resources. You can read more about the efforts to preserve the site for the use of the public, including how local residents chipped in $14,500 to help cover the cost, here.

To get to Buttermilk Falls from the center of Ludlow, VT, take Route 100 north. Turn left on Rt. 103. Buttermilk Falls Road is approximately 1.5 miles further on the right. Turn onto Buttermilk Falls Road and proceed to the end. The falls and Branch Brook are along the abandoned stretch of old Route 103.

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