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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.