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Flood Resources

Hamilton Falls Natural Area

Jamaica; Windham County 211 Acres

Hamilton Falls Natural Area

General Description:

Cobb Brook cascades 125 feet down a mountain slope, through a pine-hemlock woodland and into a series of large potholes. There are several falls, the most spectacular of which drops 40 to 50 feet into a large pool. Hamilton Falls is unique, dramatic, and dangerous. Do not take chances on the steep and slippery rocks.

Recreation Overview:

Hamilton Falls is a very popular swimming and picnicking area located within the natural area along Cobb Brook. Be careful, several people have lost their lives swimming here. The Hamilton Falls Trail provides access to the top and bottom of the falls and connects to the West River Trail within Jamaica State Park. 

Modified Access (from 5/14/2021 press release):

The Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation (FPR) has announced modified access to Hamilton Falls Natural Area. Hamilton Falls, a scenic waterfall owned and managed by FPR and located in Jamaica, Windham County, should be accessed via Jamaica State Park. This change is intended to help address parking challenges, manage crowds, and mitigate impacts to the natural area in response to increased visitation to Hamilton Falls.

Visitors to Hamilton Falls should park at Jamaica State Park and hike to the falls via the West River Trail and Switch Road Trails, a 3-mile one-way hike (please visit for route description). For visitors who are unable to make the hike from Jamaica State Park, FPR will maintain very limited parking immediately adjacent to the falls on West Windham Road. The access to the falls from both Jamaica State Park and West Windham Road includes steep, rocky sections of trail.

Jamaica State Park, which is now open for the 2021 season, offers camping, swimming and picnicking as well as hiking. The hike to the falls along the West River Trail offers scenic views of the river at a mild grade; the last section of the hike to the falls along the Switch Road Trail is steeper but offers a lovely view as a reward. There is a day use fee to access Jamaica State Park (see

An FPR Recreation Ranger will be at Hamilton Falls during peak visitation in summer 2021 to encourage visitors to practice Leave No Trace principles, reinforce parking restrictions, and educate visitors about the unique features of this State Natural Area as well as the dangers that Hamilton Falls poses.

Swimming at Hamilton Falls is very dangerous and not recommended. There are strong currents and slippery rocks. More than twelve people have died at this site as a result of injury from attempting access or exiting the upper and middle pools.

Hamilton Falls is a spectacular destination for a mid-summer hike. With appropriate caution around the falls, cooperation with parking changes, and a visitor commitment to help keep the site clean, Hamilton Falls will remain a place we can all continue to enjoy for its dramatic natural beauty.

For more information about Jamaica State Park and the Hamilton Falls Natural Area, please visit or call 802-874-4600. 

Planning Update:  

6/28/2024 - Hamilton Falls Natural Area (HFNA), nestled in Jamaica State Park, has seen a surge in visitors in recent years leading to erosion, safety concerns, lack of parking, and impacts to local residents. To sustainably manage the growing popularity of Hamilton Falls Natural Area FPR is developing a comprehensive master plan for the site, balancing preservation with recreational access. A draft of the master plan with three conceptual designs to manage use levels has been developed and has been issued for public input. 

The public comment period is open from June 28th to August 18th, 2024.

The draft master plan, information about the public informational meeting and details on how to submit comments can be found on the Jamaica State Park webpage.