About This Location
Nestled in Mount Washington, Massachusetts, within the picturesque Berkshire County, Bash Bish Falls stands as a true natural wonder. This spectacular waterfall, located along Bash Bish Brook, boasts a total height of nearly 200 feet and showcases a captivating display of nature's power. Bash Bish Brook flows most vigorously during the spring months when the snow begins to melt and after substantial rainfalls. While spring is the ideal season to witness the falls at their full, thundering force, Bash Bish Falls remains a magnificent destination year-round.
What sets Bash Bish Falls apart is its unique formation, consisting of two mesmerizing plunges. These cascades drop about 80 feet, earning Bash Bish Falls the distinction of being the site of the largest single plunge in the state. This waterfall is not just a geological marvel; it also harbors a fascinating and somewhat eerie history. While the highlight of the waterfall are its plunges, the rest of the waterfall is made up of small cascades.
Bash Bish Falls is reputed to be haunted, a reputation stemming from a series of unfortunate incidents. Tragically, 25 people have lost their lives, either from slipping while rock climbing near the falls or from ill-fated jumps into its deceptively shallow pools. Moreover, the falls are associated with a haunting legend involving a Mohican woman accused of adultery. Her punishment was a horrifying one: to be sent over the falls, bound to a canoe. As her vessel tipped over the precipice, an inexplicable halo of butterflies appeared. Her body was never recovered, and her daughter later followed in her footsteps, committing suicide by leaping from the same ledge.
Accessing the falls is made convenient by the well-marked trail system within the Bash Bish Falls State Park. This park, adjacent to Mount Washington State Forest in Massachusetts and Taconic State Park in New York, provides visitors with easy access to the falls. A beautifully constructed stairway guides you to the base of the falls, and an equally captivating overlook offers a different perspective on this natural spectacle.
Bash Bish Falls enjoys considerable attention and is featured prominently in many hiking guides for Massachusetts and beyond. Its popularity, however, can lead to large crowds on hot summer weekends. The upside is that Bash Bish Falls enjoys fewer visitors during the cooler days of early spring and late fall.
While in this remote corner of Massachusetts, consider exploring nearby attractions, such as Race Brook Falls and Campbell Falls. They are both absolutely beautiful!
There are two parking lots for the falls along Falls Road (also known as Route 344) in New York, and both offer free parking. The Massachusetts lot is small, accommodating up to 24 cars, but provides the shortest trail to the falls, just a third of a mile. The New York lot is more spacious and offers a 1.5-mile out-and-back trail to the waterfall known as Bash Bish Falls Trail. The park does welcome pets, but they must be kept on a leash at all times.
It's crucial to note that Bash Bish Falls' immense popularity has led to certain challenges. In recent years, litter has become a concerning issue in the area, with some visitors not properly disposing of their waste. Additionally, despite clear regulations prohibiting swimming, some individuals have disregarded these rules, posing risks to their safety. The dangerous currents below the waterfall have prompted state park officials to enforce a strict no-swimming policy enforced by rangers and security cameras. Large fines are given to anyone who litters or swims. As responsible stewards of this remarkable natural site, visitors must carry out whatever they bring and respect the rules in place to preserve this exceptional place for all to enjoy. These challenges have occasionally led to the closure of the stairway leading down to the waterfall.