For tourists, waterfalls in Massachusetts tend to take a backseat to the state’s seafood, professional sports, and Irish bars. You don’t have to go to New Hampshire or Maine, however, for a scenic outdoor experience. Massachusetts is home to an abundance of waterfalls, particularly in the Berkshires region out west. These tumbling cascades make the perfect cornerstone for any weekend hiking trip or road trip through the state’s more rural areas.
For travelers looking for more than just clam chowder, these are the best waterfalls in Massachusetts that you can see.
1. Bash Bish Falls, Mount Washington
Resist the urge to incorrectly pronounce it “Bish Bash” Falls and Massachusetts will welcome you with open arms. Bash Bish is the highest waterfall in Massachusetts, with a cascade that splits into two over a jutting rock before falling 80 feet into a pool. Located in the southwestern corner of the state, they falls are part of Bash Bish Falls State Park and are surrounded by scenic forests and hiking trails. The moderate difficulty trail to reach the falls is about half a mile one way, but it’s more than worth it.
2. Doane’s Falls, Royalston
Located in Doane’s Falls Reservation, these falls have a 175-foot total drop over a series of cascades that plunge over various rocky shelves. Lawrence Brook tumbles into Tully Lake, making for a dramatic viewing experience. To reach the falls, take a relatively easy hike to the lower part of the waterfalls and you can continue along the trail to further explore the area. Fishing, hiking, and picnicking are popular in the preserve, though keep in mind that swimming and wading are banned due to sometimes dangerous conditions.
3. Tannery Falls, Savoy
A series of tall, plunging cascades and slides, Tannery Falls is located in Savoy Mountain State Forest on the western side of the state. It’s accessible via a five-mile loop trail that’s rated as easy to moderate, and the best time to visit is between May and October when trail conditions are ideal, the weather is pleasant, and the waterfall looks its best. There’s an open area near the pool at the base of the falls where you can relax or even picnic. On the later side of the season, you may also catch some leaves changing color to combine your waterfall trip with a leaf-peeping trip.
4. Wahconah Falls, Dalton
Any trip out to western Massachusetts should include Wahconah Falls in Wahconah Falls State Park. With places to picnic, fish, and hike, you could have a full day in the park without even visiting the falls – but since you’re there, you might as well check out the 40-foot cascades fed by the Wahconah Falls Brook. As you hike a half-mile loop along the upper falls, you’ll be able to watch the water flow dramatically over multiple tiers of rock. Note that swimming is banned due to the dangerous nature of the rushing water.
5. Trap Falls, Ashby
Not nearly as sinister as it sounds, Trap Falls – located between Ahby and West Townsend – consists of three separate falls that plunge into a shallow pool. The highest waterfall of the three is just 12 feet high, but that doesn’t make them any less beautiful. You’ll find the secluded falls in the heart of Willard Brook State Forest, and they’re easily accessible via a .1-mile hike. The best time to visit is in autumn, when the forest’s foliage is most vibrant, but it’s even worth visiting in the winter when the falls freeze over.
6. Campbell Falls, Marlborough
A visit to Campbell Falls State Park in New Marlborough will bring you to one of the best waterfalls in Massachusetts. Campbell Falls, which empties from the Whiting River into small pools and gorges, has a 50-foot drop that gets more dramatic the more it rains. To reach the lower falls, hike an easy .2-mile trail, which is open year-round and is popular for both walking and trail running.
7. Slatestone Brook Falls, Sunderland
Located in Sunderland, just north of Springfield, the Slatestone Brook Falls might be the most convenient waterfall in the state. Visiting from the roadside, the falls have a 40-foot drop where you can see multiple streams of water trickling down the rocky mountainside. The water is highest from April through June, making spring the best time to visit. Since the falls are located on private property you can’t hike directly up to them, but you can get a clear view from the roadside.
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