Trail Distance: 4.6 miles
Elevation Gain: ~900 ft
Terrain Rating: Easy
Time In: 10:30AM
Time Out: 1:15PM
Conditions: Slightly muddy, melted snow
Trailhead: Near Manchester, Vermont. From the intersection of US 7 and VT 11/30, drive on 11/30 E to East Manchester Road. Turn right and go down for 1.1 miles until Glen Road. Take a left at Glen Road and follow it down until you see the Dead End sign, which will lead you to the parking area.
Lye Brook Falls is one of the highest and most beautiful waterfalls in Vermont. It is a good, short dog-friendly day hike option. Located near Manchester, it is a nice hike in any season but especially winter if you want to get out of the downhill skiing routine. This hike was recommended to us by the Paw House Inn, located in West Rutland.
The trailhead is a bit confusing, as it's essentially split into 3 different signs. The first sign directs you to the Lye Brook Trail (2.3 miles!). The second saying the trail is open, and the third to the Lye Brook Wilderness. Just follow the well-defined trail paths and the light blue blazes. From the start, the trail is relatively flat and narrow. There was a ton of rain the past few days, so it was a bit muddy. Waterproof shoes recommended, generic sneakers not recommended!
There is 1 main stream crossing that was a bit tricky with the higher water levels, and 2 smaller stream crossings that are easy to navigate. The dogs had no issues hopping from rock to rock to get to the other side, but for humans it might be a bit tricky. About 2 miles in, you will pass a former mudslide area on your left. A few years ago this mudslide took down the entire cliffside, but it left a gorgeous area with exposed roots and loose rocks. Right after the mudslide, you will reach a fork in the road. Stay right and look for a sign that heads to the Falls.
The waterfall has two small lookouts - one on a large rock and one higher up by the cliffside. Both offer great views of the waterfall and are good picture opportunities. The dogs wanted to explore the area, one of them even tried to cross the top of the waterfall! We spent a few minutes here and then turned around. To get back to your car, just retrace your steps back! We passed a few people heading out in regular sneakers. There were some spots that were really muddy, so I'm not sure how far they got. All in all, a great Vermont day!
- 2L of water
- Granola bars and chex mix
- Wool socks
- 1 baselayer shirt and a snowboarding jacket
- Salomon Anka CS WP
- Athleta Power Lift pants
- Extra clothes packed away: fleece hat, light jacket
- Emergency Gear: Map & GPS, Headlamp, reduced First-Aid Kit, Swiss Army Knife