Waterfalls in Massachusetts For Hikes & Day Trips

Falls view at Bash Bish Falls State Park the Berkshires Massachusetts

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Wondering where the most majestic waterfalls in Massachusetts are located for day trips, road trip stops or hiking routes?

This guide dives (get it?!) into waterfalls near Boston and in wider Mass some of which you can swim in.

We’ll detail facts about each waterfall and everything you need to know about enjoying your time there.

You can also expect hikes in Massachusetts with waterfalls to add a little eye candy to your trails and maybe a wee dip of the feet to cool you down.

OK, let’s take a look at the best waterfalls in Massachusetts starting with the closest to Boston.

You may also like our guide to beaches in MA, ideal for outdoors fans.

Massachusetts Waterfalls Near Boston

The Cascade, Melrose

The Cascade is the perfect, easy day trip hike when it comes to waterfalls in Boston, MA.

It is is is located in Melrose, less than 30 minutes from Boston.

It offers 40 feet of waterfalls, including one 16-foot plunge fall.

The Cascade sits on the outer edge of the Middlesex Fells Reservation and has an abundance of forest and plant life, and is not to be mistaken with the Cascades, a series of waterfalls near Worchester.

The trail to the fall is less than a quarter-mile, taking under ten minutes for most travelers, so it’s perfect for a leisurely stroll.

There is no swimming, but if you want to escape the city without having to go too far, it offers exquisite forest to appreciate along the walk.

The best times to visit are especially after significant rainfall when the streams will have more flowing water for the falls.

Trap Falls, West Townsend

The Trap Falls waterfall (10-15 feet cascades) is one of Massachusetts’ most universally accessible waterfalls, with a short, quarter-mile trail and almost no elevation. 

The falls are located on the northern end of the Willard Brook State Forest in West Townsend, a short mile from the 119 highway and the parking lot. 

The short walk and easy trail, along with the numerous picnic benches and grills make it ideal for a short day trip at lunch to enjoy a picnic with family, kids, and older family members who may have a difficult time walking. 

Swimming is allowed at the Trap Falls, although the water is typically pretty shallow, making it one of the best waterfalls in MA for swimming for kids.

The warmer season is perfect for visiting, although anytime from April to late fall is recommended!

Doane’s Falls, Royalston

Doane’s Falls in MA is nestled in a sea of magical forest enchantment in Royalston.

Made up of a series of five cascading falls totaling 175 feet to the pool, Doane’s Falls is part of Lawrence Brooke, which is fed by Millers River. 

This easy and short hike trail is accessible year-round, has low elevation and easy-to-maneuver terrain, and generally takes around 15 minutes for most hikers. 

Because of the ease of the hike, it tends to be more crowded during weekends, and the best times to visit are the spring to fall months.

It is not swimmable, but it is a dog-friendly trail, which makes it perfect for a whole family adventure. 

Royalston Falls, Royalston

The Royalston Falls in MA are one of the longer and more challenging trails, at just under three miles in total to reach the hike. 

Named after its location in Royalston, Massachusetts, the falls are part of the Falls Brook and are also a tributary of the greater Millers River that runs through the state. 

The Tully Trail, which spans 22 miles through the Tully Valley, including Doane’s Falls, offers accessible trails to Royalston Falls. 

The terrain is a bit more challenging as well, with more inclines and rocks to navigate. 

With the hour and a half hike, visitors will discover the 45-50-foot single waterfall that drops into a basin of water, which is not swimmable and unsafe for those who attempt.

It’s one of Massachusetts’ falls that is rich with history, since the ancient granite gorge that sits at the fall was crafted naturally over time by prehistoric glacial meltwater.  

Spirit Falls, Royalston

Another Royalston, MA treasured waterfall, the Spirit Falls is located on the Jacob Hill Reservation near the border of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. 

Spirit Falls features dozens of short drops across a span of 150 feet, with water flowing down and across throughout the year. 

Although the spring (April-June) is the most ideal time to visit the area, it remains open all year round. 

Hikers will typically find a moderately challenging trail, taking about an hour to finish the 1.5-mile hike. 

The overall incline is a bit steeper than most hikes, which accounts for the need to be fully prepared to take on a challenge! 

Part of the trail to visit the Spirit Falls in Royalston, MA is the same that connects to Doane’s Falls – the Tully Trail. 

The shallow falls end with a small pool, but swimming is now allowed. 

Waterfalls in Western, Massachusetts

Slatestone Brook Falls, Sunderland

Slatestone Brook Falls, also known as the Whitmore Falls, is located in Sunderland, MA, just north of Amherst. 

Fed in large by the Connecticut River, the stunning Slatestone Falls features a series of small cascading steps totaling 40 feet of gently flowing water. 

It is important to note that the falls are located on private property and cannot be accessed up close. 

In order to appreciate the site, visitors can only view it while driving past, and there is no trail to hike or wander, and swimming and trespassing are equally prohibited. 

The perfect way to enjoy Slatestone Brooke Falls would be in the spring, while driving to hike somewhere else, like the Sunderland Caves. 

Salmon Falls, Shelburne Falls

Shelburne Falls is a historic town with a unique formation called the Glacial Potholes and Salmon Falls.

Most visitors put Shelburne on their Massachusetts bucket list to see the The Bridge of Flowers which is an old trolley bridge covered in beautiful flowers.

However, Salmond Falls and the Glacial Potholes at Deerfield River are worth a look too!

There is a sign indicating the Indian Fishing Treaty between the Mohawks and Penobscot from 1708-1758.

Twin Cascades, Florida

Named the Twin Cascades for a reason, the falls offer visitors a two-for-one with waterfalls with one 80-foot fall and one 60-foot fall feeding down together into a pool. 

The rocky cascading waterfalls do not allow swimming but offer an exhilarating 2.2-mile trail with mild elevation for hikers. 

Most travelers take under an hour to finish the trail, and enjoy picnics and various wildlife along the way. 

Located on the northern end of the state in Florida, MA, the Twin Cascades are fed from Cascade Brook, which branches off from the Deerfield River.

The trail to the waterfall includes walking by train tracks and Hoosac Tunnel which is said to be haunted.

Tannery Falls, Savoy

For those up for more of a challenge and looking for a rigorous, all-day hike, the trail to Tannery Falls may be just the fit. 

Tannery Falls is a more difficult trail, with an almost 5-mile loop with inclines, rough terrain, and muddy spots to work through. 

The waterfall sits in the northwestern corner of the state, in Savoy, Massachusetts. 

Surrounded by the Savoy Mountain State Forest, hikers will encounter rugged, rocky terrain that is as exquisitely difficult as it is beautiful. 

The water gracefully flows down 80 feet of rock into a narrowing flow that feeds into a small plunge pool, where swimming is technically allowed but rarely enjoyed, given the shallow pool of water.

Goldmine Brook Falls, Chester

Goldmine Brook Falls has multiple cascades leading to the main 45-foot falls and is located off Route 20.

While you can see the falls from the road you need to walk to the bridge and then alongside the falls.

There is a parking right across the street which is not too far in the woods.

Visitors say this is one of the best waterfalls in Massachusetts and a real hidden gem.

March Cataract Falls, Near Williamstown

Located in Mt. Greylock State Reservation, March Cataract Falls, is a 30-foot Western Mass waterfall.

Visit during rainfall in spring to see the falls flow at its best.

To get to the falls, you follow the trail for 2 miles, it can get a little rocky underfoot as there is not a designated path so dress accordingly.

Fun fact: Mt Greylock is the highest point in Massachusetts.

Wahconah Falls, Dalton

The Wahconah Falls are situated in the Wahconah Falls State Park in Dalton, Massachusetts. 

It’s named after the Native American, Wahconah, daughter of Chief Miahcoma, whose tribe originally resided in the area.

As a state park, it’s an ideal spot for visitors looking to make a day out of being outdoors, with plenty of picnic tables and facilities available to guests. 

Wahconah Falls is about 40 feet high, but there is no swimming allowed at the shallow pool sitting at the bottom of the falls. 

It’s fed by the Wahconah Falls Brook, which also features tons of giant river rocks for a unique and stunning view. 

The rocky terrain may make for a bit of a challenge, although as a whole, the trail is a relatively easy one for hikers of all ages and skills. 

At around a mile long with mild elevation, the trail takes just under half an hour to complete and the path is really easy to follow from the car park.

Best in April and May for the abundant rainwater that leaves the stream and waterfall full, it’s accessible year-round. 

Umpachene Falls, Near Marlborough

The trail to Umpachene Falls is an easy, short, and fairly leveled trail that takes the average traveler under ten minutes to finish. 

With a gradual height of 40 feet, most of the falls slide across rocky surfaces into a decent plunge pool that is swimmable!

Spring to fall is the most ideal time to go, making this a great spot for visitors looking for some easy adventure and a cooling off.  

Umpachene Falls is fed by the Umpachene River and is located in Umpachene Falls Park, New Marlborough. 

The falls, river, and park are named by the Native American Mohican sachem (similar to a chief), Aaron Umpachene. 

Campbell Falls, New Marlborough

Campbell Falls is another 50-foot falls this time located at New Marlborough.

It has two tiers and a plunge section to its falls which gives a nice variation for nature photographers.

This hike to the falls is only 1 mile.

Campbell Falls can get very slippy so watch your step and don’t be put off by winter conditions, the falls are said to be stunning when there is a frost.

Campbell State Park is actually in Connecticut, not Mass!

Bash Bish Falls, Mt Washington

Bash Bish Falls in Massachusetts is not only one of the state’s most iconic it is also the biggest waterfall in Massachusetts.

It sits nearly 200 feet high across multiple crawling cascades up the mountain. 

It’s nestled right near the border of Massachusetts and New York in the Taconic Mountains, and is easily one of the best waterfalls near Pittsfield, MA. 

The stunning waterfall is easily accessible to most hikers and travelers, with relatively easy terrain to navigate that ranges from just over half a mile to a mile and a half total, depending on where one starts. 

Once the waterfall is reached, hikers can enjoy a cool swim in the plunge pool that sits at the base of the falls, enjoy a picnic, and take in the sites. 

Bash Bish is also one of our favorite spots for a romantic thing to do in the Berkshires!

Sages Ravine Falls, Mt Washington & Mt Bear Trails

The Sages Ravine Falls is one of the state’s more tame waterfalls, sitting at just 10 feet at its highest drop. 

These falls are fed from the Sages Ravine Brook and are located in Mount Washington, MA. 

What adds to the unique nature of the terrain and trail leading to the Sages Ravine Falls is the fact that it sits on the Appalachian National Trail, making it especially popular to residents as well as visitors and an overall popular choice on weekends. 

Decorated with mossy boulders, cool waters from snowmelt, granite cliffs, and abundant greenery, the trail at Northwest Road takes most hikers just under two hours to finish, and sits at just under 4-miles, looping. 

There’s no swimming allowed at these falls, although they are dog and kid-friendly for those with families. 

The full loop is a more demanding hike, so proper shoes and packing should be considered to ensure travelers enjoy the day. 

The uphill inclines can present a challenge to those who aren’t used to more challenging trails, as well!

Chapel Brook Falls, Ashfield

The Chapel Brook Falls is another series of cascading falls located in Ashfield, Massachusetts.

The Chapel Ledge Trail offers adventurers a short yet visually stunning hike, as well as a longer hike to nearby Pony Mountain for more views and a more challenging hike. 

The drops range from 10 to 20 feet high, ending in a swimmable pool of cool waters, making it one of the best waterfalls in MA for swimming during the warmer months. 

One bonus of the Chapel Falls is that the sleek rock and gradual slope of the cascades make some of them perfect for using a slide to coast right into the plunge pool! 

It offers hikers a short, easy trail with a gradual climb and mostly smooth terrain, perfect for a casual family day trip with little ones. 

Massachusetts Waterfall Map

We’ve added the waterfalls to our Mass map which you can access here.

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