Sometimes you just need to sit and listen to the roar of water cascading down a rock face in the forest to find nirvana. Pull out a map of Massachusetts. Locate the Berkshires of western part of the state and you’ll find dozens of waterfall destinations to explore. However, 3 of the most fabulous waterfall hikes are right here in the Berkshires, not 20 minutes from the Staveleigh House Bed and Breakfast.
You don’t need to carry much with you on a waterfall hike. A pair of good hiking boots, plenty of water, maybe some bug spray, and a bag of trail mix and you’re off to a great start. Oh, and don’t forget your camera or smart phone to capture the beauty of these magnificent forces of nature.
Bash Bish Falls, perhaps the most famous out here in the Berkshires, is the state’s tallest, and quite frankly most visited. Located in the Mount Washington State Forest, the 20-minute moderately difficult trek to the falls follows Bash Bish Brook. You’ll hear the falls long before you see them. But once at the foot of the falls you’ll be mesmerized at the vision of two powerful flumes, split by an enormous boulder, spilling 80 feet down into a pool of crystal-clear water.
Campbell Falls, located in Campbell Falls State Park, resides in both Massachusetts and Connecticut. While the entrance to the park is in Norfolk, CT, the falls itself lies in Massachusetts. An easy walk of less than half a mile brings you to the foot of the main falls, where you’ll be greeted by a tumultuous spray of water cascading in zigzag fashion down a 50-foot drop of moss-covered rocks. In summer, the mist from the falls is a delightful treat on a warm day and the thunderous sound of water spilling into the pool below somehow soothing.
Race Brook Falls, our hometown Sheffield waterfall, is actually a series of 5 very scenic falls in multiple tiers. A short hike on an easy trail brings you to the first tier of falls, cascading 100 feet to a tree-shrouded pool. Though this spot in itself is awe-inspiring, if you continue up the path to the second set of falls you’ll witness the first of several more horsetail falls. If time and energy allow, onward and upward past a series of cascades, horsetails, and plunges, you’ll eventually meet up with a segment of the Appalachian Trail. While not requiring expert hiking skills, be aware that you will be traversing streams and scrambling up rocks in areas.
At the end of the day, after splashing in spring-fed pools and trying to capture the raw beauty of gushing water in digital form, you’ll be glad you booked a room at the Staveleigh House Bed and Breakfast. You’ve earned the luxury of a comfortable bed and the promise of a delightful homemade breakfast in the morning.