I've taken Route 23 west out to Bash Bish Falls State Park the two times I've visited, my latest visit this past Sunday, which turned out to be a beautiful day for leaf peeping. What was nicer is that my brother drove, allowing me to..well, I can't say relax, because of his driving habits...but at least look around more than I would normally get to do had I been behind the wheel myself. Maybe my eyes wide with terror helped soak more of the scenery in, who knows? (Just kidding, bro'!) What is scarier upon reflection is the realization that now, traveling the same roads we used to barrel down and around on our way to party in the western woods as youngsters, we pull over to let the faster traffic pass, and it is normal and certainly prudent. We are no longer the muscle car pushing from behind, but the sedan out for a Sunday drive. We have reached the Autumn of our years. Ah, melancholy.
For more information about and directions to Bash Bish Falls State Park, check out the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation's (DCR) web page at:
Here are some photos of last Sunday's excursion.
The rocky bed of Bash Bish Brook is canopied by October trees below the Falls. The brook is fed by Wright and City Brooks to the east and Hill Brook to the south, as well as other brooks and springs scattered throughout the mountains and valleys of the area.
It was a gorgeous day for a walk. There's nothing quite like scuffing your feet through a kaleidoscope of leaves as others whisper their way to the forest floor around you, holding hands with someone you love.
Brilliant blue sky accompanied us on our journey west. Anyone who has seen the vivid and vibrant colors of late-year New England up close knows that no camera can capture the magic of the changing of the leaves. Experienced firsthand, the palette is a marvel.
Greens and golds and slender silhouettes...
We parked at New York's Taconic State Park to get to the Falls. There is an access point and parking further down Falls Road in Massachusetts, but it is a steeper and more taxing hike from that location. If you're looking for what the DCR web site considers a "moderate difficulty" walk, park at Taconic, if you're up for some adventure and a just plain "difficulty" walk, go to the Massachusetts lot. I have done both now. I must say I prefer "moderate difficulty," if indeed, "difficulty" must be involved at all. Plus, if you walk in from the Taconic State Park side, you get to cross the New York - Massachusetts border on foot. Twice. (Again, for directions, take a look at the DCR web site above.)
Another reason I'm glad to be a New Englander in Western Massachusetts.
Bash Bish Falls from above. There are stone steps leading down to the basin. The folks down below in the photo give a good indication of the height of the Falls. Although swimming is forbidden, when we visited last summer, folks were splashing around and jumping in and sunbathing on the rocks and just generally having a good old time. The water is sure a lot more inviting in July than in late October.
My sore legs were screaming at me the next day, but I hoofed it down the stairs to snap this photo of the Falls from brook-level. Heck, if my older brother can do it after walking about a mile mostly uphill, so can I! Right...
For more fall in Western Massachusetts posts here at EWM, check out Motoring the Mohawk , October 1941 and Photographs: A Fall Farm Stand in Franklin County, October, 1941.
As always, thanks for stopping by, and take care!