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?

Goldmine Brook Falls, Massachusetts

Goldmine Brook Falls in August 2012

I randomly choose waterfalls to post about, and when I first stumbled upon Goldmine Brook Falls, I couldn’t really remember this waterfall. As I looked at the map, though, a few things started coming back to me, and I remember how much I liked this waterfall.

I should first start by saying I had visited a number of other waterfalls in the region, and had been somewhat disappointed. Bash Bish Falls, one of the more popular waterfalls, was just that…very popular and crowded. Many of the waterfalls didn’t have much water flowing in August. Goldmine Brook Falls probably doesn’t have much water flowing even at its peak, but it was much more than some of the other falls.

I also remember that it is pretty easy to visit. (Thanks to a reader for pointing out that my memory is a little bit off!) It is not that far from the road, being about 0.1 miles from the parking area. There’s a pull-off on US-20, you get out, walk up a small dirt path next to the creek, and arrive at the falls. Goldmine Brook Falls is really a small gem, and even though it’s only about 15-20′ tall, it’s easy to view. Sanderson Brook Falls is very close by, though it requires a longer hike to view the falls.

Directions:

  1. Once you find the two towns Goldmine Brook is between, it’s easy to find the falls. The two towns are rather small, though. The falls are found just off of US-20, northwest of Huntington and southeast of Chester.
  2. If you’re headed northwest from Huntington the falls will be on your left, but the parking area will be on your right, and will be before you see the creek. From Chester, they will be on your right, but the parking area will be on your left after you pass the falls. You’ll have to safely cross the road (either way) to see the falls. It is easier to recognize you’ve passed the creek if you’re headed southeast.
  3. After crossing the road, follow the small trail that is next to the creek about 0.1 miles to the falls.

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Distance of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip
Height: 15-20′

Where in the World is Goldmine Brook Falls?

Campbell Falls, Massachusetts

Campbell Falls in August 2012

I’ve always been interested in geography, so Campbell Falls was very intriguing to me. I had been weaving back and forth between Massachusetts and Connecticut to visit various waterfalls, and Campbell Falls might have been one of the later stops during the day. Many of the falls up to that point had been rather disappointing, most likely because it was later in the summer, when many falls dwindle down anyway. I really wasn’t sure what to expect with Campbell Falls.

I’m in Connecticut, and then I enter Massachusetts. The road to the falls is just past the border. I drive down the road, and at one point, I think I’ve entered Connecticut again. At the parking lot, there’s a post indicating what state you’re standing in. I start the short hike to the falls, and just about halfway there, there’s another one of these posts. I really wasn’t sure which state I was in at that point in time. The falls are extremely easy to find, luckily. I had to go back to the map later to find out I was officially in Massachusetts.

The falls probably ended up being my favorite that day and throughout the whole trip. Bash Bish Falls was honestly just too crowded for me. The other falls often suffered from low flow. During the whole 0.4 mile round trip hike, I was essentially the only person at Campbell Falls. Somebody arrived just as I was leaving.  It was really cool to have the whole place to myself. And it helps that the waterfall had relatively good flow and was very scenic. In late summer, this waterfall might be your best bet for enjoying nature in relative solitude.

Directions:

  1. The falls are found in between the towns (villages) of Norfolk, CT and New Marlborough, MA. From Norfolk headed north, the road is numbered as CT-272 (North Street). The road seems to be named Norfolk Road in Massachusetts.
  2. If you’re headed north, you will cross the border from CT to MA, and then Campbell Falls Road will be directly to your left. Turn onto Campbell Falls Road.
  3. Drive a short distance to the parking area for the falls, which is found in the Connecticut version of Campbell Falls State Park (I think).
  4. From there, follow the short trail to the falls. You should pass the sign into Massachusetts, otherwise you’re probably not at the right place!

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 50′
Length of Hike: 0.4 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Campbell Falls?

Bash Bish Falls, Massachusetts

Bash Bish Falls in August 2012

Bash Bish Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in Massachusetts, and well…I guess it’s understandable, though I wasn’t as impressed. Bash Bish Falls is found in the extreme southwest corner of the state, literally less than a mile from the New York border. One of the trails to the falls even starts on the New York side.

And yet, as I mentioned, it’s popular. I have nothing against popular, but in this case there were people everywhere! It wasn’t as busy as I had expected, considering I had read upwards of 3000 visitors per (nice) day, but it was still bustling. There wasn’t an easy way to get a photograph of the falls without others in view! This was in stark contrast to what was my favorite Massachusetts waterfall, the relatively nearby Campbell Falls, where I was the only person!

Add to that, I don’t think the falls were nearly as impressive as a few of the others in the area. Race Brook Falls was a big disappointment, and Bash Bish Falls doesn’t remotely approach that, but it just seemed underwhelming. I know I showed up in mid-August, when the flow is lower, but it didn’t have as much character as I had hoped.  For some reason, I just kept noticing that the rock hanging above the falls looked like a big nose. I’m not sure if that’s the memory you want to be left with.

The Massachusetts trail is short, but very steep. I took this trail, and it’s a good workout! If, on the other hand, you hope for something more peaceful and less brutal on the body, apparently the trail that starts on the New York side will be the better choice. As a side note, there is another brook with possible waterfalls on a creek right near the New York entrance. From that parking area, cross the road and to your left, you’ll notice a trail paralleling a brook. I very quickly decided not to go up this trail since there was virtually no water in the creek. In the spring, it might be a worthwhile venture.

Directions:

NY: Though I approached the falls from the Massachusetts side, it appears to be much easier to arrive at the falls going through New York. From NY-22 in the far east of NY, turn right on NY-344 in Copake Falls. Drive a few miles to the obvious parking area. It will be a 3/4 mile hike from that parking area. Continue along the curving road to get to the MA parking area, with the shorter (but steeper) hike.

MA: I felt like I wandered around on the Massachusetts side. There are signs as you get closer to the falls, but you have to pay very close attention! From MA-23 east of the NY/MA border, if you’re heading west, turn left onto Jug End Rd. Then turn right on Mt. Washington Road, and after a number of miles, turn right onto Falls Road, driving to the parking areas.

Accessibility: 4/10 (from the much shorter, steep path starting on the MA side)
Height: 80′
Length of Hike: 0.8 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Bash Bish Falls?