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Awesome hike. Took 1:15 to hike in, and an hour to hike out. Plus whatever time you spend at the falls. Waterfall is gorgeous. We went right after a good rain, so it was running really well. Go early, or on a weekday if possible... seems like it’s a really popular spot. Moderate rating appropriate. Incline towards falls went on for a while... not just a “walk in the woods”. All four members of my family say “five stars!!!!”

Great hike.

Nice trail, a little heavily traveled, nice water views with waterfalls, good for kids and families.

This trail is definitely worth the trip! Easy start with a relatively flat forest path that quickly turns into a steep climb over rocks and streams. I would recommend wearing water or durable hiking shoes as your feet are likely to get wet crossing some small streams. The waterfall is stunning!

Great trail. Lots of variety although the rock slides could be daunting for some. Fabulous falls! At the end of the access road ( which has some fun potholes) on the way back out of the “park” is a clever sign telling you there is a speed bump! Hard to tell with all the potholes...good for a chuckle.

Going up was a workout, but to me it got a little easier once I made it to the springs. Not really any lookout points as you’re going up, but some great views at the top. Going down was super fast.

Great mushroom finds this year! Since we had tons of rain, a bit muddy going but nice to see the brooks and creeks filled and flowing.

Nice hike first 2 miles along river smooth dirt road like path. last mile up to falls a true hiking trail, a little steep an rocky definitely worth it.

Great hike all-around. Impeccably maintained, well-marked, and plenty of overflow parking. Only disappointment was the crowd at the top that had driven up from the toll road. The view was a bit better from the Summit than the overlook, but definitely more solitude. There's also a spring about halfway up to cool down at. Challenging but not brutal.

hiking
10 days ago

Great trail, well blazed with a fantastic falls at the end.

The view of the falls is definitely well worth the hike.

Steep hike with faster elevation gain. Totally worth the views on top. Very little crowd thanks to the hot day and yesterday’s rain. Bring water and snacks as people mentioned earlier.. loved the hike and the views

Headed up after a torrential rain the evening before. Trail was solid and well drained for first two-thirds - graded and small gravel underfoot. Took a head dip in the Spring - a must. Then headed up the narrower rougher last section. Here it was just a river from all the high mountain springs. Need the trail crew with picks and shovels to put in 25-30 sluices. I built a few with my bare hands which helped but gave up a half mile from the summit. Turned away about 100 hikers on way back - the trail was completely impassable.

After 9 inches of rain, the West River was amazing. I knew the falls would be great but they more than fantastic today. The hike down Ball Mountain Dam is always fun with great views but the spray from the release was the best ever.
So, the best part was, just when the hike finished there was a great rainbow!!!

Coming down is a lot faster.

Going up you climb over 750 ft to the falls. Awesome view at the end

The road to the trail is not paved and has very deep holes (so get in an SUV) and you will find a round about to park at. The trailhead is marked by a wooden sign that shows you where to go. You get to hear the waterfalls throughout the walk and sometimes have to walk on rocks to cross streams so wear good grip shoes for that. The trail is well maintained and there is a lookout of the river abt. 5min after the trailhead area. This is fairly flat at the beginning then it gets steeper about .5/1 mile into the hike. The only thing is that about 2 miles into the hike, the area closer to the waterfalls is not very well maintained. the bushes cover the trail so I would make sure you wear long pants and long sleeves so you don't get bugs on you. This area is also steep and you are sometimes walking close to a steep edge. Finally, the waterfalls at the end are beautiful and you actually should go down a little bit (instead of going left to go up near the falls) so that you can then go up but on the lower level of the falls. Oh and while others have claimed this is well marked, it's not really. You're on the blue trail at the start then near the waterfalls you are on the grey trail (no idea what happens in between) but you can't get lost. There is only 1 other trail that crosses path (7 miles) and the divergence in the road tells you the waterfalls is on your right so you can't get lost.

1st two miles were a fairly level, shaded walk along the river. Flowing water sound the whole way. Did not take the left fork to Ball Mountain Dam. The right path is immediately steeper and goes a mile to the top of the falls. Really pretty view. On the way back we took the side trip down to the lower end of the falls. Great 2 1/2 hours of exercise in peaceful scenery.

We came in late so started from the backside at Bald Mountain dam. There’s a small parking lot there. You shave off a mile or so. Nice sounds of the river all along the way.

Absolutely a beautiful hike!! The waterfall end was just amazing!!! One I would Definetly love to do over and over again. Peaceful. Quiet. The sound of the water on the way to and back just relaxing. Nice crisp refreshing water. Love love love this hike!

The directions took us to the additional parking lot which is about .2 miles from the start of the trail. If you continue past the additional parking you come to the actual parking lot but there is limited spacing.

Hike was steep but the terrain wasn’t difficult. The hike up and down alone is about 6.2 miles without a stop at the extra lookouts.Took two experienced hikers about 3 hours round trip with about a half hour stop at the top submit. There was an observation building at the submit that has clean bathrooms.

Great view at the top! Would recommend for moderate to advance hikers.

Almost all vertical hiking. but it is well worth it. gorgeous view at the top.

great hike in and out

hiking
24 days ago

Easy hike, very little incline, well marked with beautiful views of the falls. Highly recommend for all ages

Great hike and quite challenging. The first 2 miles were a breeze. Then it got steep. Trail was well marked and maintained. Last 1/4 mile after Coopers lodge to the peak was super steep and had large boulders to climb. The hike was worth every step as the views from the peak are amazing! I highly recommend the climb!

Definitely a hard hike. Really rocky and super steep at the end. Every bit of 8 miles round trip. Roaring brooks, a waterfall, Coopers Lodge, a cool summit and absolutely amazing views from the top. Fairly challenging and definitely fun.

on Merck Forest Trail

1 month ago

Loved this. Network of trails criss-crossing above a well- maintained farm and berry patches. Yes it’s perfect for families with little kids and olds, but grown solo and couple hikers will absolutely love this too. Hat aloft to the keepers of the Merck forest and farm, beautiful job.

Awesome views at the top.

As written before, the trail has a dual personality. After around 2.1 miles, you've hiked about 60 percent of the distance but only about 25 percent of the elevation. Once you start climbing, it's a slow grind to the top.

The only views are at the top, so I wouldn't recommend hiking if it's foggy or the top is in the clouds. That would be a long and hard hike not to see anything.

Awesome hike, gorgeous trail. This is well maintained and it being my 1st Vermont hike was impressed by how well maintained the trail was. A very accessible trail head makes the start of the day even better. Well done Vermont. Tent platforms above Cooper Lodge makes it a nice play to say as well.

Loved the hike! My wife and I are always looking for a challenging workout. First 2.2 miles were gently rolling. The next 1.4 miles to Long Trail were strenuous, but enjoyable. It was great looking through the trees to Pico and Ramshead peaks as we gained elevation. Cooper Lodge was neat... never been to it before. The last part of the hike was interesting... steep, but not very long, and plenty of foot holds. Views were fantastic. 360 degree views. Gorgeous.

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