Bash. Me.

I clearly remember when I first realized it was “Bash Bish Falls,” and not “Bish Bash Falls…because it was last Sunday, the same day I finally got there after hearing about this spot for what must be years. Perched on the border of N.Y. and MA, the highest waterfall in the Commonwealth is an ideal location for a stroll, Sunday or otherwise.

If you haven’t been to Bash Bish before and find yourself with an open afternoon, I highly recommend taking the drive southeast. I’ve wanted to check it out for ages, but had been hesitant because I heard it could be quite crowded and that’s not really my scene, particularly after the lightly populated trails I had recently experienced in California.

What ultimately inspired me to make the trip was the weather – the forecast was favorable and the heavy rains we had experienced just a couple of nights earlier had me thinking the falls would be raging, which they were.

While I expected the falls to be roaring, I hadn’t anticipated the show the forsythia were putting on. They were absolutely spectacular. I took a wrong turn or two along the way and was rewarded by early spring blooms at their absolute peak, confirming my theory that it really is about the journey as much as the destination.

Back to that – the primary parking lot on the NY side of the park was nearly full when I arrived at about 1:30 but I squeezed into a spot near the road and hit the trail. It’s .75 miles of easy walking from the lot to main attraction, all of it along the stream that flows from the pool below the falls. I was surprised to see a number of signs reading “No Swimming,” because I’m pretty sure I’ve heard people talk about going there expressly to cool off on hot summer days. Maybe you know something about that?

The path at times as a mild incline, but it is definitely more a walk than a hike, in my opinion. Even with the rains of the prior week the stream was the sort that invites one to clamber down, claim a rock and relax to the sound of gurgling water. I encountered quite a few families and groups of people during my walk. Most wore masks.

As the roar of the falls grew louder, the trail wound to the right revealing two separate paths taken down the rocky slope by the torrent of water. Stone stairs, divided by a handrail into up and down, led to an area which I found to be kind of crowded. It was an excellent vantage point and folks were understandably gathered for photos. I imagine in warmer weather it would be even more populated by admirers. On the nearby large rocks, college kids, some wearing flip flops, gathered to hang out and enjoy a relaxing afternoon during a pandemic which has most certainly altered their lives. It was nice to see them outdoors enjoying what is a very pretty spot.

When I returned to my car the lot was far less full. I noticed a number of trails which invited future exploration. This might have been my first visit, but I suspect it won’t be my last. Maybe you’ve been there and might suggest specific paths for my return visit?

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