Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Massachusetts Deadliest Waterfall

Bash Bish Falls ( I know, I know, you want to call it Bish Bash Falls) is a waterfall in Bash Bish Falls State Park located in western Mass near the New York Boarder. Bash Bish Falls State Park is located next to both Massachusetts Mount Washington State Forest and New York's Taconic State Park.  It is the highest waterfall in the state and is also the deadliest. 

Although this waterfall is deadly, it is also extremely beautiful. From the top of the falls known to locals as the "summit" you can see all the way into New York. The most picturesque portion of the falls is the final cascade that is split into twin falls by a large rock. The protruding rock forms an 50 ft "V" shape waterfall. 


According to The Berkshires website the legend goes a little something like this:

"Legend has it that a beautiful Indian woman, called Bash Bish, lived in a village near the Falls. She was a cheerful sister to all. Yet one day a jealous friend accused her of adultery. She pleaded innocent before the village council, but the stern elders sentenced her to death. She was to be strapped to a canoe and turned loose upstream from the Falls.
The moment before her execution, the rays of the sun formed a halo around her body and a ring of colorful butterflies fluttered around her head.
The canoe plunged into the Falls. Smashed, it was retrieved from the pool at the base of the Falls, but no trace of Bash Bish's body was found. Villagers concluded Bash Bish was a witch. The memory of her execution haunted their sleep for years to come.
The story might have ended there had Bash Bish not left a young daughter, White Swan. White Swan grew to enjoy health, beauty, and the love of Whirling Wind, a great chief's son. But some unexplainable loneliness often caused her to climb to the gorge above the Falls. When she discovered she was unable to give Whirling Wind children, she decided to end her life by plunging into the turbulent waters of the Falls. Whirling Wind, who without White Swan's knowledge had followed her up the gorge, followed his love into the water.
Once again, the villagers searched the lower pool. Although they found Whirling Wind's battered body, they never found any sign of White Swan. It is said the images of Bash Bish and White Swan sometimes appear fleetingly in the Falls."

Bash Bish Falls saw it's deadliest years in the 1960s when several people died from drowning and or falling from a steep drop. In 1973 the state of Massachusetts installed railing to prevent falls and a number of warning around the falls. Even though protective measures have been taken, more than 25 deaths have occurred at the Falls. In 2010 AOL travel named the falls one of the ten "Most Dangerous Travel Destinations In The World" the link to this can be found here.

If you have the guts to visit Bash Bish Falls, I stress that you do not take the warnings lightly. Bash Bish Falls is located on Falls Road off East Street in Mt. Washington, Massachusetts. Bash Bish Falls is approximately 145 miles from Boston and 125 miles from New York City.