Bash Bish Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"With a truly dramatic 60-foot plunge, this is one of Massachusetts’s most well known and most visited waterfalls. A short, somewhat steep hike leads you down to the falls, where below the main pool a number of dramatic smaller falls continue downstream. A great view is located just above the parking lot."
--Eli Burakian, Hiking Waterfalls in New England (Falcon Guides).
"This trail is rugged, rocky, and steep, with a stream crossing and a spur trail to Bash Bish Falls."
--Peter Kick, AMC's Best Day Hikes in the Catskills and Hudson Valley (Appalachian Mountain Club Books).
"A tale of two trails: Choose either an easy stroll to Massachusetts’ most spectacular waterfall, and a short, steep climb for a fine view of Bash Bish Gorge, New York’s Harlem Valley, and the distant Catskill Mountains; or a strenuous loop hike made challenging by a stream ford and a steep ascent of Bash Bish Mountain. Both pay ample dividends.Walk down the gravel roadway bordered by more hemlocks and sugar maples. Tall autumn blooming witch hazel shrubs line both sides of the road as you follow Bash Bish Brook closely upstream. The frothy green water flows with a thunderous roar after rains or snowmelt. Shiny, platy schist protrudes from the roadway and lines the stream as you amble gently down to brook level for a closer look."
--Rene Laubach, AMC's Best Day Hikes in the Berkshires (Appalachian Mountain Club Books).
"This is a spectacular waterfall by anyone’s standards. At its most dramatic point, a huge boulder splits the river and sends the water plunging into a deep pool in a set of twin falls. Flat, poolside rocks and worn trails climbing alongside the falls provide several points from which to watch the cascading water. Although the falls may have a number of visitors when you arrive, it’s likely you’ll be one of the few who hiked 3 miles to get there, because it is also accessible from Bash Bish Road by an emergency vehicle road. Though the beginning of this hike is actually in New York, the falls itself is in Massachusetts. And the trail is so dramatic and so easily accessible to folks in Massachusetts that we’ve included it here."
--Cynthia Copeland, Thomas J. Lewis, & Emily Kerr, Best Hikes with Kids: Connecticut, Massachusetts, & Rhode Island (The Mountaineers Books).
"Not only does this easy trail end in a spectacular waterfall (always a crowd-pleaser) with great wading at the base, it goes through two states! This site is also very close to the northern end of Taconic State Park, where you can camp, swim, and picnic."
--Cynthia Copeland & Thomas Lewis, Best Hikes with Children in the Catskills & Hudson River Valley (The Mountaineers Books).
"Bash Bish Falls is a quick hike with a huge reward. Some say the 60-foot uninterrupted falls are Massachusetts’s most spectacular. The Bash Bish Brook cascades nearly 120 feet before making the 20-foot plunge to the stone pillar that splits the falls into two, with both then dropping nearly 60 feet to the pool below.Climbing and swimming around the falls is prohibited. AOL Travel named Bash Bish Falls one of the top ten most dangerous travel destinations. The falls have claimed the lives of more than twenty-five people, but if the rules and regulations are followed Bash Bish is as safe as any other hike in this book."
--Jim Bradley, Best Easy Day Hikes: Berkshires (Falcon Guides).
I've visited the falls multiple times and each time it's a joy. I would try to visit when the water levels are higher because the falls are a better sight. It's a short quick hike down to the falls where there are numerous area's to take photographs. The hike up is a bit more strenuous but it's a short and easy hike. I've only done the Falls in the fall & winter, I do see signs to watch out for rattlesnake's. That shouldn't deter you but it's something to watch out for if hiking during the warmer months.
My 10 year old son and I wanted to make a little bit more out of this hike than the trail guide includes. We added a trip up Alander to the prescribed loop and made it about 6 miles in total. We followed the route defined in the trail guide, but turned south on the Taconic rather than east on the Blue trail. Alander was peaceful and the views were OK on this hazy day. This portion of the hike was totally hands free. We returned to the blue trail and descended down to Bash Bish Falls. The descent on the blue trail is rigorous and certainly not a hands free descent. We were disappointed to find railings and posted signs keeping us out of the actual gorge. Once you ford Bash Bish brook, the ascent on the Blue Trail is fairly steep with a relatively steep descent on the north side of this unnamed hill. This brings you down to the pool, where No Swimming is well posted. Overall, I reduced the rating on this hike due to the commercialism and restrictions of the falls area. It would be a great hike if the falls were located a few miles away from the driving public.
A hot Sunday August afternoon is not a time to avoid crowds at the Falls. The rocks were covered. Still a really nice walk in the Berkshires is cooler than mowing the lawn at home. I would suggest an off-season visit.
DO NOT TAKE CHILDREN ON THIS HIKE. There are several 60 degree dirt slopes. The review fails to warn that you start off on the blue trail, but if you keep following it, you soon end up on a sheer expert path. Also, apparently for reasons of liablity, the writer says no body swims in the falls. What they fail to mention is that the falls will be filled with swimmers and people will be diving off the cliffs into the falls. This was possibly the worst trail write-up I've ever seen. It was like we signed up for the bunny trail and found ourselves on the expert slope.
Of course everyone goes to see the awesome waterfalls!!! It was AWESOME! The trails are very steep, rocky and can be very dangerous when wet! I would highly recommend this trail for the avid hiker, not for the weak!
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