New England Waterfalls


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  1. #1

    New England Waterfalls

    Hello all. I was refered here by some folks over on a geocaching message board, and I'm hoping you can help me out. I'm planning on proposing to my girlfriend in the near future, and I want to do it at the base of a waterfall. I'm not sure where to find a waterfall that:

    a) is reasonably close to boston
    b) is picturesque (a friend of mine is going to hide in the woods w/a camera to take photos of the whole thing w/out her knowing)
    c) is an easy hike to get to - She loves waterfalls, but isn't into the hiking too much. The wider the trail, the better this would all work.
    d) has a place where i can get down on one knee and not fall into the stream/pond
    e) won't be too buggy (when does the buggy season start?)

    I'm hoping that there will be a couple of places that fit the bill...I'm going to spend some time the next couple of weekends scouting places, but I don't really have anything to go by. I have a book of new england waterfalls, but that didn't seem to help much. Any info that anybody could offer would be GREAT!


  2. #2
    Hi Dave, I was the one who suggested this board, thanks for stopping in.

    Come on guys, let's help Romeo out here. I suggested Bridal Veil on the other board, but that might be too long of a hike.


  3. #3
    Arethusa Falls is not too long of a death march for the non hiker. I would say it's an easier choice than Nancy Cascades.


    Put the toilet seat down!

  4. #4
    Ripley Falls is an even shorter hike (30 min) than Arethusa (60 min) off 302 in Crawford Notch. But if you want something closer to Boston, perhaps you should get ahold of a copy of "New England Waterfalls", and I'm sure it's gotta be available through the Gear link on this website.......

  5. #5
    Thanks for the replies so far...I really appreciate it! I actually have the New England Waterfalls book (came as a present from the hopefully-soon-to-be-fiance), but I was hoping for some first-hand opinions....especially about the hike to get to the waterfall and the ability to stash a friend w/a camera in the woods

    Of the waterfalls suggested so far, which one has the widest trail leading to it? the more path-like (as opposed to trail-like) it is, the better everything would go. Also, when does the bug season start up there? The last thing I need is a pic of her swatting a mosquita on my forehead while i'm on one knee

    Thanks again! And if anyone else has opinions/suggestions, throw 'em at me!


    ps - Have any of you been to Bash Bish? I've heard good things about the falls, but i'm not sure how it would work with my logistical requirements....

  6. #6
    Bash-Bish meets all of your listed requirements.

    Less than a 5 minute walk (downhill) to the base of the falls. Wide/easy trail from the parking area.

    Plenty of huge flat boulders to propose on at the pool near the base of the falls.

    Good luck!!

  7. #7
    Devil's Hopyard State Park, CT, it'a about a 2 minute walk to Chapman Falls

    Race Brook, either lower or upper falls, it's 10 - 30 minutes depending on the one you chose. In June with Mountain Laurel, it would be very nice. Bish Bash on other side of Taconics should also have Mt. Laurel

    No Waterfall, but just below the summit on the AT south of Greylock is a little Pond that I always thought was nice, quiet & might be an alternative place to pop the question.

    Catskills have a lot of nice waterfalls also. Kaaterskill, Peekamoose are two of the higher ones.

  8. #8
    a) there aren't many decent waterfalls closer than 2 hours from boston.
    b) all waterfalls are picturesque, i'll default to your other criteria
    c) in pinkham notch (~3 hour drive) glen ellis falls and crystal cascade a about a 5 minute walk without much elevation gain. although they'll likely both be busy with hiker traffic... i'm guessing you're looking for something with some privacy? perhaps a weekday. at glen ellis your friend could bushwhack up the other side of the brook if he's a real pal
    d) this is most falls i've been to.
    e) either go in the next month (strong possibility of snow) or wait a few months. what's your time frame? falls will be strongest currently with snow melt. late summer or early fall after a signifigant rain storm would hopefully be not buggy with good flow. late spring and early summer are pretty buggy though.

    Arethusa Falls i would rule out. as previously mentioned, it's an hour hike which seems long for your purposes. not exactly an super easy trail, though it's not that tough. a better option might be Bemis Brook Falls ( off the arethusa falls trailhead. a MUCH shorter hike, fairly flat, and nice falls. not sure about finding a place to stash your friend though, the woods are think if i remember. maybe he could be a pal and wade through one of the pools and bushwack up the side, hehe. doesn't seem ideal to your situation though.

    WAIT, I THINK I GOT IT!!! head up to franconia notch, basin parking lot and head up the Basin-Cascades trail. the basin is not your destination... Kinsman Falls is. it's not a especially dramatic fall, but it is a good sized drop and a BEAUTIFUL location. it's this ampitheatre type set up with a seating section of rocks surrounding a pool. hey, pics don't do it justice but fourth pic down at

    it's probably about 20-30 minute hike along a cascading brook over granite, a great hike. i'm not sure how the trail footing is as i ascended straight up the rock slide since it was dry. i think you'll find a place for your bud to hide in the woods. it's a straight shot up i93 at 2 hours from boston, so it's about as close as you'll get. good luck.
    -Steve "Skiing is not a sport, it is a way of life." - Otto Schniebs

  9. #9
    Another option that has a very wide and flat approach is Diana's Baths just outside North Conway. It's absolutely beautiful in times of high water (like now) and it's only 10 min from the parking lot to the baths. But - there will likely be a LOT of other touristas there with you if it's even a remotely nice day. Diana's Baths has to be one of the most popular spots in the Whites, but that's also because it's so beautiful...........Good Luck and Congratulations......

  10. #10
    And another site that's practically a sidewalk to get to is Sabbaday Falls, off the Kancamagus highway. Maybe a 15 minute walk at most?

    Another not-a-hike-but-a-tourist-walk is Ripley Falls in Crawford Notch.

    How wide is wide? It's an easy hike up the Falling Waters Trail to any of Stairs Falls, Swiftwater Falls, or Cloudland Falls.

    That all said - one of the finest spots I know isn't below a waterfall, but above, and that's at the hut at Zealand Falls. It's beautiful up top, there are fantastic views out and down, and if you have the bandwidth for a 16MB movie (mjpeg .avi), you can see the view from the outlook below the falls.
    Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face. - Dave Barry
    Waterville 11/30; Loon 12/7; Cannon 12/13, 1/17, 2/23; Sugarloaf 12/20, 21-22; Bretton Woods 1/3; Jay Peak 1/24-25; Heavenly 2/9; Squaw Valley 2/10-2/11; Wachusett 3/3; Sunday River 3/7-8

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