Parking: There are several parking lots at the Greater Worcester Land Trust which the Cascading Waters is part of. The closest lot to the Cascading Waters is small with only room for about half a dozen cars. You can also drive up to Cascading Waters via Cataract St and park on the dirt road there.
One of the great things about Worcester (pronounced “Woo-stah”) is its diversity of people and places. One moment you could be in the heart of the city and only ten minutes later you could be at a grand waterfall. It remind me a lot of Boston in this regard.
I found myself at one of the natural wonders of Worcester, Cascading Falls, Saturday.
Located about an hour west of Boston, Cascading Falls is known for its beauty and trails. There are both hiking and biking trails at the main parking area. I chose the most direct hiking route to the falls. The trail is pretty flat and straight with some pretty views. I also noticed some greenery sprouting on the eve of the first day of Spring. it’s about half a mile to the Cascading Waters from the parking area.
There is a trail to the right of the falls with a fairly steep incline. The trail leads to the top of the falls. You can go to the top of the waters. The views are pretty sweet.
There are also interesting rocks, pools of water and streams at the top of Cascading Waters.
Although the sun was out and the temperatures did increase, it was still relatively cold as this branch shows.
The waterfall leads to a stream just under and behind the trail.
Cascading Waters is a great place to take your dog for a walk. I met two golden retrievers; Wilson (on the left ) and Tucker, while I was there.
Below are two videos of Cascading Waters from the trail view and view from the top of the falls.
Every year during the holidays, I make my annual trip to Yankee Candle Village in Deerfield, MA.
The flagship shop of New England, the Yankee Candle Village is known for his decorative and at times eccentric displays. But, during the holidays they go the extra mile.
From the moment you walk onto the property, the Yankee Candle Village welcomes you with holiday cheer and some unique decorations.
Inside the store, there is an assortment of holiday decorations and not just holiday decorations. Wizard of Oz statues, model cars and other displays can be found throughout the shop.
There are Christmas trees galore. Every where you look it seems there is a tree decorated in a unique way.
There are also Christmas village light up displays located in one room. They also have a Halloween village set up.
There is also a stream with koi fish
Try as we might, we could not find Santa. He wasn’t at his regular place
He wasn’t at his desk either
Finally, I found him in the shopping area
There is also an area where customers can make their own candles with the colors and scents they choose. They can also have a candle made in the form of their hands whether it be a fist, peace sign or index finger extended (no middle fingers allowed)
There is also a fountain in the shopping area and a mechanized band that plays for the children. It looks kinda creepy to me, though.
As I left the shop and day turned into night, the lights from the trees and decorations outside lit up the area. It was raining pretty hard so some of the images produced spots that almost look like snow. Sadly, it was only raindrops. There will not be any snow on Christmas for us this year.
There are also many automated attractions at the shop. For instance, in the front of the store there is a toy train that runs along the wall.
Every 4 minutes, it “snows” at the Snowplace Factory in the North Pole of the store.
To get a full appreciation of the light display, I am including a short video showing off all the lights outside the store.
As fall made one more last gasp, I took advantage of the unseasonably warm (50 degrees) weather and made my way up north to the picturesque Pawtuckaway State Park in Nottingham, New Hampshire.
Located about an hour and a half north of Boston, MA, Pawtuckaway is a 5,000 acre preserve with a camp site, lakes, a beach, a spectacular view of the Pawtuckaway Mountains and 15 miles of trails. The parking lot is pretty big so parking shouldn’t be a problem if you get there early in the day during the spring and summer. There were only 4 cars there when I went in December. It costs $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 6-11. It is free when it is not staffed (from 11/2 until 5/1). The park hours are 8 am-7 pm.
The trails can be challenging not so much because of their inclines, which can be tricky at parts, but because of the rocks which are randomly placed throughout the trails. They can come in handy, though, when you have to cross the puddles along the trails.
I arrived at Pawtuckaway early in the morning. Mist and frost was still visible on the way to the lake.
Looking into the pond was like looking into a mirror.
The views from the rocks trail on the Fire Tower make the long ascent (about 3 miles from the entrance) worthwhile.
The fire tower is located a short distance (about a quarter of a mile) from the rocky ledge with all of the beautiful views.
While I preferred the views from the ledge, the fire tower offered views from every angle and both sides of the vista.
There were also many pretty trees at Pawtuckaway.
There is also a beach at Pawtuckaway. I got there just in time for the sunset.
Pawtuckaway is said to have been derived from a Native American word meaning, “big buck.” I didn’t see any bucks but I did some dogs! From top to bottom Artie, Lulu (on the left), Rooster (on the right), Tucker and Duke.
Video from the fire tower at Pawtuckaway. As you can tell by the audio it was quite a windy day.
Video from the rocky ledge it was less windy there)