The Legend of Deer Leap in Bristol

The Legend of Deer Leap in Bristol

Deer Leap Bristol
Deer Leap is a series of impressive south-facing cliffs that overlook the town of Bristol. With an elevation of 1,825-feet, its rocky facade is hard to miss as you travel into town. The area, not to be confused with Deer Leap Mountain in Killington, is part of the Hogback Range in Addison County.
Information about Deer Leap in Bristol is a bit hard to come by since it lacks mention in most guidebooks and road maps. Little did I know the fascinating lore of the cliffs.
According to local legend, Deer Leap has an interesting story or two behind its name. Native Americans used to hunt deer along the edge of the cliffs, and the deer would leap to their deaths as they were being chased. After the deer had fallen to the ground below, the hunters would then retrieve the carcasses for food.
Also, there’s a lesser-known tale with more of a Romeo and Juliet twist: two young lovers decided to leap from the cliffs because their parents didn’t approve of their romance. Apparently, the thought behind this story is that the doomed couple said to one another, “Dear, Leap.”
Compared to other Vermont peaks such as Mount Mansfield, Mount Equinox and Mount Abraham, Deer Leap is small in stature. But the legend and beauty of the cliffs make Deer Leap entirely unforgettable.

7 Comments
  • NCmountainwoman
    Posted at 01:11h, 17 October Reply

    Stunning photograph. I think every place like this has a legend about one or more lovers. Around here they usually involve Native American princesses.

  • matthew houskeeper
    Posted at 14:28h, 17 October Reply

    I did not even know this existed.

  • George Africa
    Posted at 10:18h, 28 October Reply

    Hello Erica;

    Thanks for the background information on this. Vermont is full of interesting places. I just found the granite marker describing Runaway Pond while en route to Glover the other day.Another interesting piece of history from around 1910.

    If you get a chance can you email me privately at bizplanr@hughes.net? Thanks.

    George Africa
    The Vermont Gardener

  • Victoria.
    Posted at 20:52h, 07 April Reply

    This picture had to have been taken in My backyard, Its the same exact view i have with the same trees and all. What a weird feeling.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 03:45h, 19 September Reply

    I just stumbled across this post – do you know of any hiking trails to the summit above the cliffs? I have hiked up the trail from the Bristol village side, and they only go up to a viewpoint on the west side. THanks.

  • Erica Houskeeper
    Posted at 03:14h, 21 September Reply

    anonymous – unfortunately I don’t. Try the Bristol town offices for info.

  • Pingback:Things to Do When Visiting Bristol Vermont
    Posted at 10:40h, 27 September Reply

    […] Deer Leap features fantastic views and involves a steep climb in some places. But the rewards are big when you reach the top. Deer Leap also has an interesting story or two behind its name. Native Americans used to hunt deer along the edge of the cliffs, and the deer would leap to their deaths as they were being chased. After the deer had fallen to the ground below, the hunters would then retrieve the carcasses for food. Another a lesser-known tale with more of a Romeo and Juliet twist: two young lovers decided to leap from the cliffs because their parents didn’t approve of their romance. Apparently, the thought behind this story is that the doomed couple said to one another, “Dear, Leap.” […]

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