Worcester, Vermont 05682
North Branch Cascades Trail webpage
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The North Branch Cascades is a remarkable 1 mile stretch along the North Branch of the Winooski River beside Route 12. It is just south of Lake Elmore and is 14 miles north on Route 12 from Montpelier. It is characterized by seven stunning cascading waterfalls and numerous deep holes for swimming, boasting an unprecedented wheelchair accessible trail.
There are three access points along Route 12. One is at the south end, one in the middle, and one at the far northern end.
Among the unique attributes of this site is the riverine experience it offers for multiple uses. This site has a 1-mile nature trail along the North Branch, half of which is now wheelchair accessible. The walking trail offers a unique nature experience in a verdant, moist, and mature hardwood-hemlock-spruce forest along the cold, mountain waters of the North Branch. Ample opportunities abound for birdwatching, botanizing, hiking, fishing, swimming, and picnicking alike.
The newly constructed trail was opportunistic as it sits on the former Route 12 roadbed. In addition to improvements to make a wheelchair-accessible trail, six stone stairways have been constructed to provide easy access to the river at numerous swimming holes. A privy has also been constructed at the south end parking lot.
This site is truly special for natural history enthusiasts. Abundant Canada Yew and large diameter Hemlock and Red Spruce along portions of the trail suggest much of the riparian forest is mature and has had little human disturbance for a while, and it certainly feels that way!
From North Branch Cascades Trail webpage