Boston August 11, 2017
These 7 Breathtaking Waterfalls Are Hiding Around Boston
There’s nothing quite so soothing as the sound of gushing – or even trickling – water. While most of
Massachusetts’ waterfalls are clustered on the western side of the state, there are several falls in and around Boston as well, mostly created by damming. Artificial? Sure. But the relaxation you’ll experience is just as real.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Newton Upper Falls (Newton)
Newton was established as a mill town in the 17th century. To get a good overview of the falls, walk across Echo Bridge, an aqueduct in Hemlock Gorge that now serves as a pedestrian walkway. It’s accessible from the intersection of Chestnut Street and Summer Street.
2. The falls at South Natick Dam (Natick)
These gentle falls in Natick are located a brief 19 miles from the center of Boston. Relax in the shade at Grove Park, which directly overlooks the dam, the waterfall, and a tiny island.
Speaking of that island... Did you know that Harriet Beecher Stowe used Natick as the setting for her novel "Oldtown Folks," simply renaming it Oldtown? The island in the middle of the Charles River at South Natick Dam is called Horace Holyoke, after one of the novel’s characters!
3. The falls at Waltham Dam (also called Moody Street Dam)
It couldn’t be easier to reach these falls, just 12 miles from the heart of Boston, because they’re a block from the Waltham Commuter Rail Station on Moody Street. After viewing the falls, pop over to the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation, a fascinating place packed with vintage machinery, all housed inside an old factory. If you’re eager to get a closer look at the Charles, there are kayak rentals just across the street from the falls and the water in this portion of the river is pretty calm.
4. The falls at Canton Viaduct
The presence of the viaduct makes this petite waterfall unexpectedly picturesque. The granite viaduct, finished in 1835, was built to support tracks for the Boston and Providence Railroad. The arches on the sides of tumbling water make this destination, which is only 20 miles from downtown Boston, worth the drive.
5. The falls at Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark (Pawtucket, Rhode Island)
This charming waterfall next to the Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark is roughly 44 miles away (or 50 minutes in light traffic) from downtown Boston. Water from the Blackstone River powered the mill here, which was used to run a factory producing cotton thread. In 1793, this system was considered pretty innovative and it was used as a model for other factories in the area. Blend pretty scenery with a little history for an unforgettable day trip.
6. Albion Falls (Lincoln, Rhode Island)
Albion is a mill town that is part of Lincoln. It sits on banks of the Blackstone River, where you’ll find Albion Falls – admire the waterfall from the bridge on Albion Road. This lovely spot is a 46-mile drive away from downtown Boston (roughly 50 minutes with light traffic).
7. Trap Falls (Ashby, MA)
Trap Falls is hidden inside Willard Brook State Forest, 55 miles (roughly 1.5 hours from Boston). Day trip!
Although the waterfall is a mere 10-12 feet high, the wooded setting make this an idyllic spot for a picnic. A very short trail takes you to the falls from the parking lot, which is located off Route 119.
Where do you like to go when you just want to close your eyes and let the sound of running water soothe your soul? Tell us in the comments or on the
Only In Boston Facebook page.
You may also be interested in exploring these
9 Boston-area hiking spots.