Bash Bish Falls – Mount Washington, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura

Bash Bish Falls

Mount Washington, Massachusetts

One of the most scenic falls in Massachusetts has a history of death and grim legend. 


A picturesque waterfall and creek in western Massachusetts, the beauty of Bash Bish Falls belies its eerie Mohican legends and hidden dangers.

In the southwestern corner of Massachusetts Bash Bish Falls drops 80 feet from its summit to a shallow pool and a creek. At the top of the falls, a view extends into New York State’s Taconic State Park. In trying to attain this view, however, 25 people have died from slips while rock climbing or jumping into a seemingly deep but really shallow pool. Steel cables have been added to various walkways to lessen the dangers, but AOL Travel has named these falls one of the most dangerous travel destinations in the U.S.

The falls also have a pair of macabre legends associated with its summit. Bash-Bish, a Mohican woman living in a  village nearby, was accused of adultery by a jealous friend, and was then lashed to a canoe to be sent over the falls despite her pleas of innocence. A ring of butterflies was seen above her head before she went over, and in the aftermath her body was not found. Tragedy would repeat itself when her daughter, White Swan, failed to conceive a child with the village chief’s son before he married a new wife. She threw herself off the falls to her death in her despair.

Grim legends and death aside, the falls are a beautiful nature spot. Just try not to kill yourself. 

Know Before You Go

The easiest access is from a parking lot in New York, off Route 344 just west of the state line. The overflow parking lot has access to the easiest trail to the falls. The main lot is open in Massachusetts, but it is a much quicker, steeper descent to the falls overlook. The stairs to the bottom of the falls and Emerald Pool are now closed and barricaded, prohibiting access from either lot. The DCR enforces this rule regularly. There are port-a-potties in the parking lots and the falls overlook area.

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