|Moss Glen Falls in Vermont's Granville Gulf Reservation is accessible from Route 100 and has a boardwalk for visitors. (Globe Photo / Marty Basch)|
GRANVILLE, Vt. - Moss Glen Falls is one of Vermont's most visited waterfalls, and it's easy to see why.
Besides being dramatic and beautiful, it is easily accessible off a sinuous section of Route 100 north of rural Granville and south of Warren in the Mad River Valley. And the area around the falls, the Granville Gulf Reservation, hosts a prime muddy habitat favored by by those shy creatures, moose.
Not to be confused with another cascade of the same name located in Stowe, Moss Glen Falls begins as the tumbling waters of Deer Hollow Brook before plunging more than 30 feet through a narrow rock gap onto a stone face and into a large pool at the base. The cascades are an easy walk from the roadside along a boardwalk under a canopy of trees that leads visitors to a viewing area at the base of falls.
From the first few steps on the boardwalk, you can see another cascade deep in the woods. The thin horsetail of water set against slabs of rock flowing through a chute is Little Moss Glen Falls. As you explore the area, be aware that danger lurks on the slippery and steep rocks. A tattered sign by the pool tells the tales of those who have died or been severely injured at the site during the 1970s. The placard describes the fates of six young people who experienced misadventure while climbing around the falls. Two died, while four others received injuries ranging from skull fractures to a coma. It is a straightforward reminder to keep on the boardwalk and not tread on the rocks.
The falls are clearly the main attraction in the reservation. But for lovers of wildlife, there are those moose. Generally out at dawn and dusk, they frequent the area, with its bounty of beaver ponds and wet, swampy spots. In fact, signs in the reservation warn of moose crossings.
"Midday typically is not a good time of day to see moose," said Keith Gallant, game warden for the state's Department of Fish and Wildlife. "In the evening, overnight, and early morning, moose come down from the hills to bask there and get succulent vegetation in the beaver pond areas. Then they go back up and rest."
Seeing a moose from a motorized vehicle is always a reason to stop. There are several pullouts along the road near the muddy spots and where moose tracks are easily seen. The area also is home to deer and bear. At night, Gallant advises using caution as it can be difficult to see dark colored moose on a winding road only illuminated by a vehicle's headlights.
"Wild animals are wild and by nature are unpredictable," Gallant warned. "Don't get out to try and pet one. Keep your distance."
Marty Basch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.