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Valley Falls Park's Other Falls

Fairy Bridge
Bridge over the second spillway

Valley Falls Park is named for the falls that tumble down from the pond as Railroad Brook continues its journey from Bolton Pond to the Tankerhoosen River. But there is a second falls carrying water from the pond to the brook that few people are aware of or have ever seen.

The pond was created by an earthen dam that blocks the flow of Railroad Brook. The dam and pond were created to provide water for the mills located there, some of the first in Vernon. During most of the year the flow goes through the primary spillway and over the familiar falls. However, when the water level rises due to a large snow melt in the spring or a heavy rain much of the flow goes over a second falls at the southern end of dam.

A bridge leading to the stairs, overlook and path to the Rail Trail crosses the secondary spillway, which is usually dry as it is a foot higher than the primary spillway. When water does go through the concrete spillway it disappears out-of-site as there is no easy access to view the falls. Also during the growing season trees and brush further obscure the area, yet when Railroad Brook is high the falls are quite impressive.

The dam at the secondary location is about 15 feet wide and the vertical drop is from 8 to 11 1/2 feet. It is supported by a wet and dry masonry wall. (Reference: Valley Falls Dam Inspection Report, October 1997)

The photos shown were taken in December 2011 after the two inch rain that broke the annual rainfall record for the area. Click on photo for larger size.

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