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New England Waterfalls

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maverickdave

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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!

Thanks,
-Dave
 

Stephen

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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.

-Stephen
 

cantdog

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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.

PS

Put the toilet seat down!
 

ChileMass

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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.......
 
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maverickdave

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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 :-D

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

-Dave

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....
 

Jaytrek57

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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!!
 

Mike P.

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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.
 

riverc0il

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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 (http://www.netway.com/~theway/hiking/2003/arethusa.htm) 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 http://www.stormloader.com/theway/pictures/kinsman/basincascade.htm

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.
 

ChileMass

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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...... :beer:
 

MichaelJ

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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.
 

gparsons66

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Waterfall To Propose At

Hey Dave,

I'm actually one of the authors of New England Waterfalls, and I think I have a few great waterfalls in mind for you. Before I make some suggestions, I want to urge you to check out the waterfall a few days before you pop the question (the day before would be IDEAL). They are very unpredictable, and some waterfalls could actually still be surrounded by ice, the trails to the falls could be extremely muddy because of the rains, among other factors.

Out of the 400 waterfalls I've seen in New England, here are some of options I would choose if I were going to ask someone to marry me:

In Massachusetts:
1. Bash Bish Falls is OUTSTANDING, but definitely go very early (8am-ish) or very late (1hr before sunseet) if you want to avoid the normal 3-5 people that are there at any point during the middle of the day.

2. Tannery Falls is one of my top five favorites in New England, and is the spot I think I will recommend most. It's a 0.6 mile hike down to the base of the falls, but waterfalls do not come any more beautiful than this one. It's also very private (early morning or late afternoon, you could potentially have this place to yourself for hours during the spring months.

In New Hampshire:
1. Waterville Cascades is by far the best waterfall in the White Mountains that combines a picturesque waterfall with an extremely private setting. It's a 3.4 mile round trip hike (elevation gain about 600ft), so it's not a simple, short hike. However, I can guarantee this waterfall will leave a lasting impression on both of you. This is one of my favorite 10 falls in New England.

2. Arethusa Falls is one of everybody's old time favorites, but I must warn you of the popularity of the place. I've seen this waterfall 10 times, and I've never seen less than 20 people on my way there or at the falls. If you don't mind the crowds, this is one of the waterfalls I will recommend the most. I also want to warn you that the trail description in my book has changed since printing, and you will need to research the new trail instructions. Also, Arethusa's access trail is EXTREMELY muddy until June-ish usually.

Maine
1. Moxie Falls is a 4hr drive each way from Boston, but it's one of the most powerful, most secluded of all waterfalls in New England. It is popular though, but if you can withstand that, the 0.6 mile hike is EASY as anything, and the waterfall is extraordinarily rugged and scenic.

I invite you to email me with any more questions if you have any.... gparsons@babson.edu. You can also check out my website at newenglandwaterfalls.com

Good luck with this!
-Greg Parsons
 

cantdog

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If you are willing to compromise the 2 hour criteria for the easy walk, try Grafton Notch State Park. Screw Auger Falls is right on route 26 as is Mother Walker Falls(5-10 minute walk from road) and you can visit Sunday River Brewery when you're done.
 

smitty77

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Way to go Dave!
One place you may want to check is Doane's Falls and Royalston Falls in Royalston, MA. Doanes is a series of 4 20-foot cascades, and Royalston Falls is one cascade. They're not terribly high, but I hear it's a nice place and it's under an hour and a half from Boston, about 40 minutes west of Fitchburg/Leominster, MA. I don't know how crowded it gets, but Royalston is off the beaten path in north central MA, so it shouldn't be too bad. I believe the walk from the road is under a half mile for both falls. I wish I could give you more info, but I just moved into the Athol/Royalston area this winter and have yet to get to the falls.

Here are a few sites to check:
Doanes Site # 1
Doanes Site # 2
Royalston Falls Site # 1
Royalston Falls Site # 2

Hope this helps.
Smitty
 

skican

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Man I love you guys. This is the best board ever. Maverickdave welcome and congrats. Great idea and she is gonna love it. I have always been partial to the Franconia Notch area. Very beautiful! Good Luck.

Cantdog makes it to the board. Welcome and good to see your name again. I wondered when someone from the Sugarloaf board would make it here. Was wondering if you were Parrot Weekend at the River? We are still talking about it here at work.

I printed off all the falls information provided. Awesome! The skis are away and I am ready to hike. When are we all going an organized hike?
 
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maverickdave

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ok, let me start this by saying that you are all *awesome* for posting all of this info. You have no idea how much I appreciate it.

Trying to organize all of my thoughts....

***I sent my camera-buddy to this site to see the responses (and see when he could go hiking w/me to check some of them out), and this conversation happened on IM:

(08:51:18 ) Troy: wtf---
maybe he could be a pal and wade through one of the pools and bushwack up the side, hehe
(08:51:20) Troy: These guys are insane
(08:51:31) Troy: you're going to end up engaged, and I'm going to end up in a hospital
(08:51:40) Me: hahahaha

***Stephen, thanks a ton for recommending I come over here. I got a few responses on the geocaching board (including a link to this database, which is awesome: http://www.aria-database.com/waterfall/), but this board was definitely better suited to my questions.

***cantdog, I'm already being trained on the toilet seat issue...it's taking some time, but I'm getting better :D

***Greg, thanks for the info...I'll probably send you an email at some point today. Also, your book is great! I've used it to find falls to go to with Gina...I needed some more details for this particular decision, though :)

***Smitty, you scared the &^%$! out of me. I've been trying to keep this whole process as quiet as possible (especially at work). My manager, who is an avid outdoorsman, is nicknamed "Smitty". I saw your name there, and thought my cover was blown!

I'm going to try to get away for one of the days this weekend and go do some research. Hopefully I can hit a couple of falls in one day, and make the decision. I'll keep you all posted!
 

Stephen

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Make sure you post a pic when it happens, too!

And invite us to the wedding... ah scratch that... invite us to the bachelor party!!!!

:p :beer: :beer: :dunce: :beer: :roll: :beer: :lol: 8) :wink:
:beer: :beer: :beer: :dunce: :dunce: :beer:
:dunce: :idea: :dunce: :beer: :flame: :puke: :flag:
:smash: :uzi: :idea: :beer: :beer: :dunce:
 

SilentCal

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Lots of great choices to choose from. Sabbaday Falls off the Kangamangus would be a nice setting. How about one of those perches that look down at that lower set of falls at the Flume in Franconia Notch. The exact name of the falls escapes me but it's the one that has the Sentinal Bridge that goes over it. Bash Bish is also a great spot. Good Luck!
 

riverc0il

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greg, glad to see you join the discussion forums. you're post in my "review" thread of your book was excellent ;) i especially enjoyed taking a peak at your web site and will very likely buy your book simply because of the pictures and description of race falls and bash bish which has been tossed around here. i wasn't even aware the berkshires had decent falls! just wanted to be sure you know that posting such info for free use on your web site probably earns you more sales. in the age of digital piracy, i love pointing out whenever this happens.

also, i'm surprised to read on your web page that Arethusa Falls (as you mentioned in your post) is among your favorite falls! out of all the falls i have seen, this high drop was perhaps the one that inspired me the least. i was impressed by the rock cliff itself, but the waterfall itself i'd rank low against all others i've seen. it's a wonderful thing how people's preferences on such things differ! :cheers:

dave, i had to laugh when i read your IM post. hope you and your 'pal' both got the tongue in cheek on my post, heheh. those would be good photo opps from accross the river, but in high water both those crossing and 'wacks won't be easy ;)
 

MtnMagic

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The bugs come out in the Southern Whites about May 10. In the Northern Whites about May 14.

Cantdog is right on with Screw Auger Falls. It is massively beautiful and also popular. When in the area of Old Speck, very less visited falls are Cascade Brook Falls, and two at Step Falls about 2 miles from Screw Auger.
 
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maverickdave

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awesome, I'm going to go scout a few Falls this weekend, then probably do the deed the weekend of 5/1 or 5/8...I'll let everyone know what I decide on monday 8)
 
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