If you’re looking for something to do next weekend, this is it. We’ve put together the perfect itinerary for two or three days exploring the most majestic waterfalls this state has to offer, as well as stops at an amazing waterfall restaurant and a waterfall inn. You won’t be able to get the sound of running water out of our head for days, and that’s a great thing.
This trip includes about six hours of drive time round-trip, but that’s broken up by an overnight stay and a tasty pit-stop. Pack plenty of snacks for the road (there’s nothing like a waterfall picnic!) and you should be all set to head out and explore. Check out the interactive map
here for the exact route and driving directions.
Bear's Den Falls, New Salem
This charming waterfall looks like something out of a picture book. Created by Middle Branch of the Swift River as it cascades into a sparkling woodland pool, this waterfall is one of the most romantic spots on this list. If you follow the stream to the left, you'll come across the ruins of an old mill. Locals have even been known to use the slick, smooth rocks of the cascade as a waterslide, though this is obviously highly risky and not recommended. Hiking to this spot involves a 0.25-mile trek, so it's highly accessible.
The Cascades, North Adams
This 40-foot cascading waterfall is located along the Notch Brook in North Adams. You'll have a decent hike ahead of you when visiting this waterfall (about 1.5 hours on the trail), but it's all worth it. Pro tip: head into town and leave your car at a local business that allows parking. There's only room for 1-2 cars at the trail entrance.
The Old Mill Inn, Hatfield
The Old Mill Inn is located in a restored 1870 mill house and offers elegant accommodations without all the fussy formality. This place is oozing with quaint New England charm. Antique furnishings fill the 9 rooms, which also come with free wifi and fireplaces. The pleasant sounds of water cascading over the falls will guarantee a delightful night's rest under lovely linens.
Bash Bish Falls, Mount Greylock
Bash Bish Falls is the mother of all Massachusetts waterfalls. It's the tallest cascade in the state, and definitely the most popular. Sitting right on our border with New York, this epic waterfall plummets nearly 200 feet, and breaks into two twin cascades before it roars into a sparkling pool. Swimming isn't allowed here for safety reasons, but you can get extremely close to the falls by just perching on the nearby rocks. Though it is pretty far from most everything else in the state, this is the one waterfall you won't want to miss.
Campbell Falls, New Marlborough
These falls are about 50 feet high. One reason they're a fan favorite is the way the water twists as it tumbles down the cliff face, creating the illusion that this waterfall is much larger than it actually is. It's a very photogenic cascade, so you should definitely pack your camera. Hiking to this waterfall will only take you around 20 minutes round-trip. You'll have plenty of time to enjoy the view.
Goldmine Brook Falls, Chester
This is a great waterfall to visit in the spring and autumn. The water will be flowing at its peak at these times, and you'll likely have the spot to yourself. The waterfall is between Huntington and Chester, so you can stop along the way to grab a quick bite or stretch your legs. You'll only need to hike for a measly 0.1 miles from the parking area to reach these falls, so this stop is an easy way to sate your waterfall thirst.
1761 Old Mill Restaurant, Westminster
Yes, you'll be stopping at two places called "The Old Mill." This amazing restaurant is known for two things: the impeccable food, and the astounding waterfall view.
Built in (you guessed it) 1761, the building that now houses the restaurant was once a working mill. These days, it serves classic New England cuisine within feet of a mill dam waterfall. Feast on sticky pecan rolls, perfectly cooked steak and steaming mashed potatoes as you gaze out over the water. The restaurant will even provide you with day-old bread to feed the ducks!
Of course, these aren’t the only spectacular waterfalls in Massachusetts check out our full list of the
18 most beautiful waterfalls in the state.