Where We Went : Wahconah Falls State Park - Dalton, MA
When We Went : April 2019
Difficulty (Boots 1 - 5) : 2 Boots
Trail Length : 0.6 miles up and back / 45 minutes to 1 hour
How Long it Took Us : 2 hours
Overview : A wide, unmarked road leads to the base of Wahconah Falls, a 40-foot tall cascading waterfall that sits on Wahconah Falls Brook. From there an unblazed but well-worn footpath leads uphill along the brook to the top of the lower falls. It's a short walk to the upper falls and the jumble of boulders that make it up. A few yards east are the ruins of the Booth Talc Mill, built in the early 1800s. Follow the path along the stream back to the lower falls. Wahconah Falls are named for a Pequot Native American maiden and her tragic legend. Click here to read her story. I spent some of our walk retelling a Disney version of Wahconah's tale (they've seen The Lion King, sooo..) and answering the (endless) questions it provoked.
What We Dug : The recent snowmelt had the falls raging and the deafening roar impressed us all. It's short walk to the upper falls and the mill remnants. Our 2 year old loved the other spot we walked to. Follow the lower falls downstream to a tiny beach with calmer waters. perfect for skipping stones. It was a cold April day, (it snowed while we were there!) but on a summer afternoon it is a terrific place to dip your toes. Check out the gallery below for the treasure we stumbled upon while there. Pause and build a cairn, have a snack, or pack some rocks of your own to hide!
What We Could Do Without : Litter makes us sad :(
Keep Your Eyes Peeled For : Cathedral pine & hemlock groves, soapstone boulders, Canada yew, remains of old Booth Talc Mill, glacial erratics, chickadees, blue jay, hermit thrush, black-and-white warblers, yellow birch, red trillium, giant horsetail, false Solomon's seal.
Must Know Before You Go’s : No trail maps on site or blazes on trails. Bathroom facilities unreliable. Rocks in and around the falls can be slippery, use caution. Swimming is prohibited, so be careful if you decide to take a dip! Dogs allowed.
Directions : From the junction of Routes 8 and 9 in Dalton, bear left onto Route 9. Follow for 2.9 miles to North Road. Turn right onto North Road and drive for 0.1 mile to where Wahconah Falls Road bears right. Follow for 0.3 mile to the parking area on the right.
Resources : Check out this great book New England Waterfalls: A Guide to More than 500 Cascades and Waterfalls for more info on New England water features!