Top 10 Waterfalls in Massachusetts

Published on October 21st, 2021

From clam chowdah to baked beans and with plenty of American history you can’t find anywhere else, there are lots of reasons people visit Massachusetts. But even those who regularly make their way to the state’s seaboard may not realize how many stunning waterfalls they’re missing out on! The dense forests of western Massachusetts offer a multiplicity of breathtaking cascades. Here are the ten you absolutely can’t miss on your next visit.

Top 10 Waterfalls in Massachusetts

1. Bash Bish Falls

2. Umpachene Falls

3. Campbell Falls

4. Goldmine Brook Falls

5. Wahconah Falls

6. Tannery Falls

7. Royalston Falls

8. Doane’s Falls

9. The Bear’s Den

10. Trap Falls

Visiting Waterfalls in Massachusetts

Here are the ten most beautiful waterfalls in Massachusetts, along with all the details you need to get to them!

1. Bash Bish Falls

Bash Bish Falls into a green pool - a popular summer swimming hole in the Berkshires, and the tallest waterfalls in Massachusetts.

Tucked in the extreme western reaches of the state, right near the New York state border, Bash Bish Falls stands nearly 200 feet tall, cascading down in two stately plumes from the rocks beyond and behind them. The most direct way in is along Bash Bish Trail, which runs some two miles round-trip and sees about 500 feet of elevation change. Translation: you’ll definitely work up a sweat, but if you’re in decent shape, you’ll probably find it doable, and the falls at the end make the whole thing totally worth your while! Dogs are also welcome on this hiking trail, but must be well-behaved and leashed.

Things to do near Bash Bish Falls: As we’ll see as we move along this list, this part of Massachusetts actually boasts a number of beautiful waterfalls, and if you’re a strong hiker you may even be able to visit several in the same day! If you follow Bash Bish Brook long enough you’ll end up in New York’s Taconic State Park, and on the Massachusetts side there’s the Mount Washington State Forest nearby to explore and discover. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider for your stay.

2. Umpachene Falls

Umpachene Falls on the Umpachene River
By J. G. Coleman – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48675727

A short ways east of Bish Bash Falls, in the gorgeous forests of New Marlborough, Umpachene Falls waits tumbling along the Umpachene River, contained and preserved by Umpachene Falls Park. Although a shorter waterfall, this cascade is no less breathtaking than Bish Bash, running noisily over the many-layered rock formation behind it in several tiers. Additionally, the waters at the bottom of this gentle, 40-foot waterfall are some of the most popular for those looking for a summer swimming hole — but brace yourself, because the water’s almost always chilly!

Things to do near Umpachene Falls: The town of New Marlborough is a small one, but a beautiful one, filled with quaint countryside attractions like Gedney Farm and The Southfield Store. Of course, even just the simple act of driving around can be an incredibly good time, particularly if you’re in a comfortable RVshare rental.

3. Campbell Falls

Fall Foliage in Campbell Falls State Park

While Campbell Falls themselves are within Massachusetts proper, the state park that preserves and protects them straddles the line between this state and its neighbor Connecticut — whose Campbell Falls State Park is the one to plug into your GPS. You’ll start hiking in Connecticut and end up in Massachusetts — though you can also see the falls from the MA road of the same name. These falls tumble about 50 feet in total, swirling in a series of small pools at the bottom. The surrounding woods are beautiful and worth visiting in their own right, particularly in autumn when the leaves are changing.

Things to do near Campbell Falls: So here’s the real kicker: Massachusetts actually has its own state park named after this cascade, though it’s called Campbells Falls State Park, with an S. Either way, if you visit, you’ll be able to see the source of this waterfall in action: the Whiting River. If you’re after even more adventure, nearby Cookson State Forest has you covered. Here are some area RVshare rentals to stay in!

4. Goldmine Brook Falls

Goldmine Brook
By Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States – Savoy Mountain State Forest – Savoy, Massachusetts, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68372925

At just over 2,700 acres, the Chester-Blandford State Forest isn’t the largest natural preserve in the U.S. by a long shot — or even in Massachusetts. Still, it’s earned some bragging rights as the home of Goldmine Brook Falls, a lovely multi-tiered 45-foot cascade that’s well worth seeking out. Although it’s one of the more remote falls on our list, Goldmine Brook actually doesn’t require a whole day of hiking to get to; it’s just a short walk into the woods from the parking area, once you find the right spot along U.S. 20. Although the waterways are chilly, many visitors brave them and hop right in, though your mileage may vary.

Things to do near Goldmine Brook Falls: The Chester-Blandford State Forest is shot through with plenty of hiking trails to meander, along with several additional watercourses. Additionally, other area preserves like the Becket State Forest and Becket Quarry offer both natural and historical intrigue. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider.

5. Wahconah Falls

A view of Wahconah Falls in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts.

A cascade so well-loved, it’s warranted its very own state park, Wahconah Falls is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful in the state. Standing about 40 feet tall and fed by the Wahconah Falls Brook, which streams from the Windsor Reservoir, this waterfall is located close enough to the parking lot to hold a kid’s attention span, and is also a popular spot for people hoping to go fishing. Picnic tables and restrooms make it easy to pass a whole afternoon in comfort here, and given how beautiful the view is, you’re not likely to want to go anywhere.

Things to do near Wahconah Falls: The nearby mid-sized city of Pittsfield offers a wide range of resources to ensure you enjoy a comfortable vacation, and other natural wilderness areas, like Ashmere Lake State Park and the Pittsfield State Forest, aren’t too far away. Here are some area RVshare rentals to consider for those who want to stay and play as long as they like!

6. Tannery Falls

Tannery Falls, Western Massachusetts

One of the primary draws to northwestern Massachusetts’s Savoy Mountain State Forest, Tannery Falls is actually not one cascade, but a whole series, dropping a combined total of 80 feet along a delicately carved rock wall from their powerful source above. The hike in to see them is a moderate trail that wends about five miles altogether, seeing almost 700 feet of elevation gain along the way — which is to say, while it’s not the steepest trail in the nation, it’s certainly one that will raise your heart rate. Although the trail is easiest to complete during the warm months, it’s accessible year-round, and indeed, many people make their way in to see the falls when it’s all covered over in winter wonder. You may need to bring some snowshoes for the job, though — and if you’re bringing your canine friend, make sure he’s on a sturdy leash!

Things to do near Tannery Falls: The Savoy Mountain State Forest is a large and diverse one, with many outdoor activities to enjoy, such as hiking, swimming, fishing — and, of course, camping. In need of an RV so you can glamp with all the creature comforts of home? There are plenty of excellent RVshare rentals available on the peer-to-peer market in the area!

7. Royalston Falls

Taken in Royalston, Massachusetts.

If you go about as far north as you can in central Massachusetts, before you pass over the border into New Hampshire, you’ll find the jaw-dropping cascade known as Royalston Falls, which is easily one of the most iconic sights in the entire state. Falling in one free drop (though the rock wall behind the falls does create some spray in a few places), this 45-foot waterfall is located just north of the Royalston State Forest outside of the small Massachusetts town of — you guessed it — Royalston. Hikers can access Royalston Falls along the Tully Trail, which runs just shy of three miles altogether and sees a little more than 500 feet in elevation change. There’s even a small, primitive backwoods shelter not far from the falls — though there are certainly options in the area if you’d rather travel by camper.

Things to do near Royalston Falls: North-central Massachusetts is awash in outdoor recreation opportunities, from the aforementioned Royalston State Forest to the Millers River Wildlife Management Area, the Lawrence Brook Wildlife Management Area, and more. RVshare rentals in the area make it easy to take these many natural attractions at your own pace.

8. Doane’s Falls

Capturing the series of cascades of the Doane's Falls in Royalston, MA. Taken in the fall.

Only a few miles south of Royalston Falls, just off Tully Lake along the Lawrence Brook it feeds, Doane’s Falls make for another pristine stop in the north-central Massachusetts area, and one that doesn’t require very much footwork at all. Still, if you want to stretch your legs, you’ll be able to; while the falls are visible from the roadway, there’s a network of foot trails that give you the opportunity to get multiple up-close vantages of this cascade, which actually exists in several sections along its 175-foot total vertical drop. Even though it’s a well-developed hiking area, it’s recommended that you wear sturdy shoes and watch your footing. After all, where there are waterfalls, there’s likely to be some slick trail and rocky slope settings!

Things to do near Doane’s Falls: These waterfalls are nearly immediately adjacent to the Millers River Wildlife Management Area, which preserves and protects a wide range of Massachusetts wildlife including moose, deer, coyote, raccoons, snowshoe hares, grouse, and turkey. It also boasts an excellent network of hiking trails, just in case you have more adventure left in you after you’re done with the falls. Meanwhile, here are some area RVshare rentals to make for a pleasant and comfortable stay.

9. The Bear’s Den

Scenic Bear's Den Falls in New Salem, Massachusetts where the Swift River plunges through a rugged gorge filled with massive boulders.

Small, relatively easy to access, and absolutely worthwhile, the waterfall known as The Bear’s Den stands only 12 feet tall — but its magnificent spread tumbles scenically down along the Swift River through the dense vegetation and forestry behind it. Because of its relatively short walk and stunning scenery, this waterfall is a popular one for those looking for a quick place to have a picnic, and many hikers also bring their dog to the falls. It all makes for an excellent photo opp!

Things to do near The Bear’s Den: Located a few miles north of New Salem, The Bear’s Den is fairly far off the beaten path — which is exactly what makes it such an attractive destination. Nearby preserves like Wendell State Forest and Lake Wyola State Park make it easy to want to stay and explore this area for a good, long while — which is a whole lot more comfortable in an RVshare rental than a tent or even a hotel room!

10. Trap Falls

Cascading waterfalls at Trap Falls in the Willard Brook State Forest, in Townsend, Massachusetts. A favorite New England attraction.

Don’t let their name fool you — this waterfall is not a trap. Anything but! Standing a mere 12 feet tall, Trap Falls is one of the shortest waterfalls in the state, but also one of the most scenic… and thanks to its relatively easterly location, it’s one that might not require as long of a road trip for folks dwelling in major Massachusetts metro areas like Boston or Worcester. The falls are technically situated within the Willard Brook State Forest, though nearby Pearl Hill State Park is directly adjacent and chock full of worthy reasons to visit, especially for RVers. Case in point: the state park offers an excellent on-site campground, which doesn’t have hookups, but does have some of the best scenery around and great proximity to the falls, all for a very affordable nightly fee.

Things to do near Trap Falls: The nearby town of Townsend is a great place to stop for vacation necessities, and Townsend State Forest offers lots more outdoor recreation opportunities for those still eager to find more to do. Meanwhile, Boston and Cambridge are just about an hour away (pending traffic, of course); here are some excellent area RVshare rentals and also some of the best RV campgrounds in the greater Boston area.

Planning an RV Trip to Massachusetts

Whether you’re chasing waterfalls or drawn by one of its many other attractions, Massachusetts is an ideal state to visit by RV — that way, you have the ability to take to the road at your own pace and stay long enough to see it all.

When it comes to planning a perfect Massachusetts RV trip, we’ve got you covered: not only do we have the best peer-to-peer rental rigs in Massachusetts, but we’ve also written guides to its best state parks and campgrounds, not to mention its major metros.

So what are you waiting for? Time to hit the road!

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