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The Cascades Trail is a short, beautiful river walk following the Notch Brook in North Adams from the end of Marion Avenue to a popular cascading waterfall. A hidden in-town gem, this trail is minutes away from downtown areas of North Adams and Williamstown and short enough to attempt on a whim for those of you who may be seeking to squeeze a nice hike into a limited amount of time. Although technically an extension of Marion Avenue, this trail has been protected from motorized vehicle traffic for many years, and is now maintained by the Trustees of Reservations of Western Massachusetts for hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, fishing and swimming. The entire hike takes about an hour and a half, and is flat enough for even the most inexperienced hikers to enjoy a taste of nature. When you approach the falls, this trail follows very close to the brook, and in one short (20 meter) section it may require you to walk along rocks depending on water levels. Just after that short section, you will traverse a moderately steep but very short side hill for your first glimpse of the falls. Feel free to walk along the rocks to the base of the falls for a refreshing break from summer heat, or follow the aggressive climb along the right side of the falls to the top for spectacular views of the river below.

(The trail description and photographs on this page are courtesy of Ryan Auge'. Ryan runs hiking/snowshoe tours and shuttle services all year round at Saddleback Trading Post in North Adams, MA.  I highly recommend him if you ever want to visit this hike or any other in western Massachusetts. Great guy, friendly, good rates, knowledgeable, experienced, and safety conscious. Mention that you found him via Berkshire Hiking, and all in your group get a complimentary snack and drink.)  ryan@saddlebacktradingpost.com  413.664.2772

Directions: : From the North Adams downtown, follow Rt.2 west towards Williamstown. About one mile past Historic Hillside Cemetery, you will turn left onto Marion Avenue. From Williamstown, Follow Rt.2 east into North Adams. About one mile past the Friendly's restaurant, you will turn right onto Marion Avenue.
This is a small residential street and there is parking for two to three cars on the right hand side where it dead ends. Walk to the end of the street, through the gate in the fence and you're on your way!

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