Middle Doane’s Falls, Massachusetts

I had to do a bit of mental recall about Doane’s Falls in central Massachusetts, since I visited it three years ago and don’t distinctly remember all of the aspects of the falls. I posted about Upper Doane’s Falls soon after visiting, which helps remind me about a few things, but it’s still a bit fuzzy.

There are three main drops associated with Doane’s Falls, and this is the second. From my previous record, it seems that it can be difficult to photograph the second falls as there is a metal barrier that prevents exploration to get a better view. I’m fine with that, but it may explain why I’ve zoomed in so much on the falls and there’s not much view of the surroundings.

The hike to the falls does involve a bit of elevation loss (followed by elevation gain on the way back). The hike to see all three falls is relatively short at 0.6 miles round-trip.

Directions:

  1. From MA-2/US-202 heading west, take exit 18 heading north toward MA-2A. (Heading east, exit 17 may be easier.)
  2. Turn left onto MA-2A, which at some point combines with MA-32.
  3. Take this into the town of Athol. Once in Athol, take a right on MA-32 to continue heading north.
  4. Quickly after turning onto MA-32, take a right onto Chestnut Hill Avenue. (This will be shortly after crossing the bridge over Millers River.
  5. Drive along Chestnut Hill Avenue (which may change names to Athol Road at some point) for a few miles.
  6. You will come up to Doane Hill Road. Just before you would turn left onto Doane Hill Road (heading toward Tully Lake), you’ll find the small parking area clearly signed for Doane’s Falls.
  7. From the parking area, you’ll take a short hike to the Upper Falls.

Accessibility: 9/10 (Easy)
Distance of Hike: 0.6 mile round trip (for all three falls)
Height: ~5′

Middle Doanes

Middle Doane’s Falls in July 2015

Where in the World is Middle Doane’s Falls?

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Royalston Falls, Massachusetts

royalston

Royalston Falls in July 2015

It’s lucky I keep a list of the waterfalls I’ve visited, since I don’t seem to have any clear recollection of Royalston Falls. A little under two years ago, I found a few different waterfalls in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. I remember many of the waterfalls in Vermont and New Hampshire, but the Massachusetts waterfalls have seeped out of my memory!

From my timeline, I appeared to visit a number of waterfalls in a rather short time: Doane’s Falls, Spirit Falls, and Royalston Falls in Massachusetts, and then Chesterfield Gorge Falls in New Hampshire and Jelly Mill Falls in Vermont. My poor recollection could be due to seeing so many in one day.

Royalston Falls is 45′, and it is a pretty waterfall. After looking at the picture I took, I realized that I was standing above and to the right of the falls, which has the tendency to make the falls look smaller than they really are. Enough water was flowing over the falls to make it worth my while, but I just don’t remember much else. I can’t comment on the difficulty of the hike, as it’s not ringing a bell…

Directions:

  1. There are two roads that will lead to the falls trailhead. I believe I used the Athol-Richmond Road (aka MA-32) starting point. This road goes between…Athol, MA and Richmond, NH, so you could start from either direction.
  2. You’re looking to arrive at the trailhead, which is right off of MA-32 about 1000 feet from the MA/NH border. If you were heading north along MA-32, you’d turn right into a parking area that has a cemetery in it.
  3. From the parking area, head east along the Tully Trail.
  4. You’ll head northeast along the trail for a bit, and then after crossing a bridge over the creek, you’ll take a rather sharp right, now heading south following the creek. (As I see the directions, parts of this become much clearer.)
  5. Just keep hiking…if you follow the creek, it’s almost impossible not to come upon the falls after a few minutes. The falls will be to your right (heading south). The trail was very quiet on the day I visited Royalston Falls. A map of the trail system can be found here.

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Length of Hike: ~1.3 miles round-trip
Height: ~45′

Where in the World is Royalston Falls?

Upper Doane’s Falls, Massachusetts

Upper Doane’s Falls in late July 2015

I had the chance to find more waterfalls in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire this past weekend. The first waterfall I found was Doane’s Falls. Doane’s Falls consists of three separate drops, and each of them is far enough apart from the previous drop that I’ve decided to write about them as three separate waterfalls.

The first drop you’ll encounter along the river is the easiest to visit, since it is right near the road. You only have to walk a short distance along the trail to view the falls. I have to admit that I was a bit surprised to see the falls flowing so well in late July, but that’s a indication that this is probably a great year-round waterfall.

As with the middle of the three falls, the most difficult thing at Doane’s Falls seems to be photographing the whole falls. You might have better luck earlier in spring before any leaves are on the trees. As you may notice, the lower portion of this drop was partially blocked by a pine. And there was no way to get closer to the falls to avoid that, as the area was blocked off with metal ropes. It’s not a huge deal, but you’ll just have to accept you might not be able to get the falls in all of its glory.

Directions:

  1. From MA-2/US-202 heading west, take exit 18 heading north toward MA-2A. (Heading east, exit 17 may be easier.)
  2. Turn left onto MA-2A, which at some point combines with MA-32.
  3. Take this into the town of Athol. Once in Athol, take a right on MA-32 to continue heading north.
  4. Quickly after turning onto MA-32, take a right onto Chestnut Hill Avenue. (This will be shortly after crossing the bridge over Millers River.
  5. Drive along Chestnut Hill Avenue (which may change names to Athol Road at some point) for a few miles.
  6. You will come up to Doane Hill Road. Just before you would turn left onto Doane Hill Road (heading toward Tully Lake), you’ll find the small parking area clearly signed for Doane’s Falls.
  7. From the parking area, you’ll take a short hike to the Upper Falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Distance of Hike: 0.1 mile round trip (at most)
Height: ~15′ (there are more drops downstream)

Where in the World is Upper Doane’s Falls?