|Catsbane Mill Falls|
Photographing the Falling Water Season
The snow is fading fast and, as we wait for the buds to explode into their exuberant range of greens, we are thoroughly into falling water season. Waterfalls are the main attraction this time of year. With the snow run-off and spring rains, streams that are normally a mere trickle become roaring torrents. What better time to share some of my favorite falls in my home territory of Cheshire County, New Hampshire. I would not pretend to know all the waterfalls in the county. Even after exploring the region for almost 35 years there are still locations about which I have only heard stories. Last week I talked about one waterfall that I have sought for several years. I'm still not certain that I have found Pulpit Falls in Winchester, NH, but I plan to go back soon to confirm the location.
|Chesterfield Gorge Flow|
Waterfall photography is not difficult. All you need is good boots, and a sturdy tripod to hold your camera for the long exposures that turn chaotic boiling water into the soft, cotton candy appearance that is so popular. Another essential is a number of clean lens cloths to keep the mist from fogging your lens. As I discussed in a previous article, getting the right exposure for your taste is always a matter of experimentation. So gear-up and let's go exploring.
1) Beaver Brook Falls, Keene
Beaver Brook Falls is located in a secluded spot about one half mile up a abandoned road which is a section of the old route that
|Beaver Brook Falls|
Directions: Take Washington Street north of Keene's Central Square. Just before the road rises to merge with Route 9, take a right on the Old Concord Road and then a quick left on the Washington Street Extension. This road ends shortly at metal gates. From here the falls is about a half mile walk up the gently rising abandoned road.
2) Forty Foot Falls, Surry
This water fall, which is part of Merriam Brook in Surry, NH, is one of the least well known in the region, but can be quite
|40 Foot Falls|
|40 Foot Falls, Downstream|
Directions: Take Court Street north from Central Square in Keene. At the second traffic circle bare right onto Route 12a. After 4.3 miles take a left on Joslyn Road. The turn off to the lower portion of the falls is on the left about 1/2 mile up Joslyn Road.
3) Chesterfield Gorge, Chesterfield
The Chesterfield Gorge Natural Area includes 13 acres located in
|Big Drop, Chesterfield Gorge|
Directions: The Gorge Natural Area is located on Route 9 west of Keene, NH. It is about 5.6 miles west of the intersection of Routes 101 and 9 in Keene. Look for the sign on the right side of the road. The area has a parking lot which accesses the trial. In recent years Chesterfield Gorge has been supported and maintained by a dedicated group of private citizens in the Friends of Chesterfield Gorge.
|Wilde Brook Cascade|
4) Ashuelot Falls, Keene
Directions: Heading west from Keene’s Central Square along West Street the River Park is across from the Colony Mill. Just pull into the parking lot and, in the summer, you can grab some ice cream from the truck stationed at the entrance.
|River Park Bridge|
5) Mt Wantastiquet Falls, Hinsdale
1335 foot summit is accessed by a switchback trail which begins across the bridge from Brattleboro behind the former Walmart building at the end of Mountain Road. At the beginning of the trail, just above the small parking lot, there is nice waterfall cascading down the long the corridor cut to provide electrical access to the summit. The falls can be viewed from the trail, but a closer approach involves negotiation of a very steep and often wet path along the edge. The waterfall varies in intensity depending on run-off and rainfall. Naming it Wantastiquet Falls is totally my own invention. You can call it whatever you like.
6) Catsbane Brook, Chesterfield
Directions: From Keene take a right on Brook Road which becomes River road in the village. Just watch for the Bridge on the left as you head northwest from the village.
Perkins Pond Falls, Troy
The view of Mt Monadnock from across Perkins Pond on Route 124 in Troy, New Hampshire is one of my favorites and perhaps the
|Perkins Pond Falls|
Directions : Take Route 124 south from Marlborough, New Hampshire. Turn right on Monadnock Street just after passing across Perkins Pond and then left onto a dirt road in 0.2 miles. This road ends quickly at a steel gate and just before a path to the left leads across a bridge and then along the stream to the falls.
This is a short list of only a few of my favorite local waterfalls. I plan to take advantage of this year’s falling water season to find some of the other cascades and falls in the region. I hope to see you out there.