Abs Mag:


 Beisel Rating:

2.4 (Class 3)


47 feet

 Tallest Drop:

19 feet

 # of Drops:





Baldwin Creek






USGS Bristol 7 1/2"


Aerial Photography


39 G11



The main falls from the footbridge, click to enlarge

A telephoto isolation of the final drop, click to enlarge



Bristol , Addison County, VT , USA


Also Known As:
Bristol Memorial Park Falls, The Flume





The sign at the pullout says, "Bristol Memorial Forest Park". This was the first waterfall my parents ever took me to visit. I was about 2 1/2 years old. This is an old favorite. Whether it is called "The Flume", or the obsolete Burnham's Falls, this is a good waterfall to visit. Baldwin Creek flows through the steep valley alongside Route 17, sometimes called the McCullough Turnpike. The gravelly bottom gives way to the pale blue-green schist bedrock. The creek leaps over a few small waterfalls, then drops into deep and narrow gorge doing a sharp 90 degree turn in the process. The sideways path of the falling waters bring it into contact with the opposite wall of the gorge, where the waters of Baldwin Creek are trying to wear a hole in the rock. The trail exits the parking lot, descends a short and easy trail, drops down a flight of stairs and crosses a footbridge giving a great view of the falls. The updated height figure is due to laser measurement and trigonometric calculations.


Geology and Bedrock Structure:

This is a pretty interesting formation in geological terms. The stream cuts through the Fairfield Pond Member of the Underhill Schist, the Forestdale Marble, and the Pinnacle Greywacke.




Photography Notes:

This is one of the more difficult waterfalls to photograph well. Between the white of the falls and the darkness of the gorge walls, this one has proven challenging. My suggestion is to bracket your exposures over about a 5 stop range and maximize your chances. The wet walls of the gorge make a polarizer indispensable, but due to the amount of light it absorbs, a tripod is absolutely essential. Using ISO 100 film and a polarizer, a typical shot here on an overcast day at f22 will be 30-45 seconds. A warming filter is also advisable as the dark tones here can be rather gloomy. Zoom of 28-80mm should capture the falls nicely.



From Bristol, go about 4 miles north on Route 116. Turn right on Route 17. The parking area for the falls is well marked and obvious as you approach. Continuing across the footbridge, you'll find a somewhat uninspiring loop trail that followed a muddy logging road back to Route 17 above the parking area. I prefer to return the way I came and enjoy the stream.