Massachusetts’ tallest waterfall, Bash Bish Falls, is in the extreme southwestern corner of the state near the 4,169-acre Mount Washington State Forest.
This 60-foot waterfall has a very distinct look as Bash Bish Brook is parted by a large rock formation that resembles a horn before cascading down as two side-by-side drops. The crystal-clear waters below the falls collect in a large, deep pool that takes on a bluish color from the light reflecting the colors of the rocks. This pool is a tempting spot to go for a swim, but swimming is prohibited. Many tragic accidents have occurred here leading to the restriction.
There are two trails that lead to the falls: a shorter, steeper trail on the Massachusetts side, and a longer trail with easier grades that follows Bash Bish Brook up to the falls from the New York side. Many visitors to this area park in the large lot on the New York side so they can admire the brook as they make their way up the trail. The upper parking area is smaller, but it does offer a nice lookout.
The trail from the New York side begins with a slight decline that brings you level with the brook. You’ll immediately notice the clarity of the water and bluish tint it picks up from the coloration of the rocks.
The trail will begin to climb steadily at a slightly steeper grade for the second half. Along the way, hikers will cross the Massachusetts/New York border that is marked with a large sign. Not far beyond this sign is the viewing area for the main falls. A stairway leads down to the area around the pool and brook.
Just down from the main pool you will find several smaller cascades. Use caution as the rocks here can be very slippery along the edges.
Hikers will also see signs warning them to remain on the trails due to the presence of rattlesnakes. Rattlesnakes here are very rarely seen on or near the trail as they stay in the wooded areas to avoid human contact.