In and Around Fitchburg, Massachusetts

This blog was created to discuss some of the positive aspects of living in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, that are often overlooked by outsiders and residents alike.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Waterfall in Coggshall Park

Recently, there was a discussion on the Fitchburg Hometown listserv regarding a waterfall in the woods of Coggshall Park. I’ve spent many hours along the numerous trails in the park and was therefore surprised that I had not previously encountered the waterfall. I set out to find it this weekend, and it was definitely worth the hike!

The waterfall is not located along a trail, which actually makes it that much more rewarding when you find it. My husband and I took a rather circuitous route since we weren’t quite sure where we were going, hiking up the hill accessible by a trail just to the left of Mirror Lake’s outflow stream and then heading off to the right to go back down the hill to the outflow stream in an area that turned out to be downstream of the falls. For a more direct route to the waterfall, one could simply follow the stream from Mirror Lake for about 750 feet. Approximate GPS coordinates are N 42°33.383’, W 71°47.913, the location of which I’ve marked on a map here. Hopefully, the thick layer of ice that made this weekend’s walk quite an adventure has melted today and won’t complicate the journey of anyone else seeking the falls!

As was noted by the person on the listserv who posted a message about the waterfall, it seems likely to be seasonal. I’m sure that it’s quite impressive in the spring, but I personally favor the appearance of waterfalls in winter, with the water rushing down ice-covered rocks. The height of these falls was somewhere in the range of 25 to 30 feet – the photo above includes my husband and our dog to give some sense of scale. (Sorry for the poor photo quality – I brought along my underwater camera to be safe, but it doesn’t take the best shots!) Standing at the base of the falls, a second smaller waterfall could be seen coming down another hill to the left to feed the stream.

Does anyone else have suggestions regarding other interesting natural formations in Coggshall Park that can be found off the beaten paths?