Cascading Waters can be found at 135 Olean Street on the eastern edge of Worcester's northwest parklands, the Cascades. The Cascades are 350 acres of park and conservation lands along the borders of Worcester, Paxton, and Holden, Massachusetts. Home to countless species of plants and animals, the Cascades are open to passive recreation year-round.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Breezy and Cold Start

The trails are in decent shape, and there is little danger of any rain to hold you back, but you will want to keep moving to stay warm! Also, you will want a shell to keep the breeze from stealing that warmth.

8:00 a.m. Trailhead Conditions:

Temperature is 32.2° F and steady;
Humidity is 63% and steady;
Pressure is 29.74" of Hg and steady;
There is a low but steady breeze out there, we are registering it at about 1mph;
There is some thickening of the western patch of ice on Cook's Pond, but most of the pond is open water;
The skies are hazy but look like they will burn off with some sun;
The Cascades have some flow;
Both brooks are flowing;
The USFS fire danger rating is LOW.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cold, Gray, with a Dusting of Snow

While it may be cold and overcast, there is a thin dusting of snow out there perched on log, on leaves, on pieces of ice, and such, that decidedly lightens the mood!

Morning Trailhead Conditions 7:30 a.m.:

Temperature is 33.8 degree F and steady;
Humidity of 85% and steady;
Pressure of 29.56" of Hg and steady;
Steady breeze of 1-1.5 mph;
Overcast skies but bright;
The Cascades have water flowing over them;
Both of the Cascades Brook channels are flowing;
There is a light dusting off snow;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE.

... also, for those of you that follow these things, yesterday's weather prediction was a total fail! Instead of rains, heavy at times, we had warmish, blue skies, and it was more than pleasant, it was quite wonderful. I for one was happily stuck outside working on timber hewing, and I fully planned to get wet, and instead was pleasantly surprised!

Thanks to our Hubbardston Hewing Crew for another great day of progress on making a sign frame for the Sherer Trail property!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cloudy, but not Rainy

It is frozen out there and the skies are sadly overcast, but other than a slight chance of a passing shower, the day is supposed to be free of rain, as the National Weather Service would have it. Tomorrow is the day of rain. That leaves today as your best chance to get out and around and enjoy the trails and forest in relative comfort (It should get to 40 degrees F by midday.)

7:30 a.m. Trailhead Conditions:

Temperature is 29.3 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 91% and steady;
Pressure is 29.94" of Hg and steady;
The air is still at the present time;
There is some water coming over the Cascades;
Both of the Cascades Brooks have flow;
The sky is overcast;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE.

Enjoy today, for tomorrow it rains!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sunshine!

We've got a bright, sunshine-y Monday!
At 8:30 AM, it is 33.8 degrees and rising.
The humidity is 78% and steady.
The barometer is reading 29.83 inches of mercury and steady under blue skies.
We have a light wind of up to 1.5 MPH
Fire danger this morning is NONE

Both stream channels are open and the Cascades are running.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Blue Skies & Sun

A day with the rare combination of warmth and sunny blue skies!
A very very good day for a hike!

9:15 a.m. trailhead conditions:

Temperature is 35.6 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 70% and falling;
Pressure is 29.68" of Hg and steady;
The wind is stirring, but there is no reading at this time;
The Cascades have some flow;
The Cascades Brook is flowing in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Dusting of Snow II: The Sequel!

Thanks to the snowfall yesterday there is a nice dusting of snow on everything this morning.

Thanks to the Sign and Timberwork volunteer crew yesterday, we were able to clean up and rearrange the Shed that all of the GWLT volunteer work operates out of, and now it is possible to do some of the mortise and tenon work inside the Shed even if the world is coasted in much snow and ice, or if the weather is actively unpleasant. Thanks gang!

Trail conditions at 8:00 a.m.:

Temperature of 28.4 degrees F and steady;
Humidity of 81% and steady;
Pressure of 29.68" and steady;
Occasional breeze up to 4 mph;
The sky has broken overcast clouds;
Cascades are running;
Both Cascades Brook channels are running;
USFS Fire Danger is LOW.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A dusting of snow

We had just a dusting of snow as the sun came up this morning. It won't be around for long, though, as the ground is warm and the temperature is headed above freezing. 
At 8 AM, it is 31.8 degrees and steady.
92% humidity and steady
The barometer is at 29.35 inches of mercury and steady under overcast skies.
We have a steady light breeze with a high recently of two MPH.
The fire danger is LOW.
The Cascades are running, and both stream channels are open.
Expect mud on the trails, as the ground did not freeze overnight. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cascades Brook this morning



Cascades Roaring

Yesterday's ice storm that shifted into a day of rain added to the watershed that was already full enough to have the Cascades running. The result was a noisy night of the Cascades roaring, and they are still roaring away this morning!

Conditions at the Cascading Waters Trailhead at 7 a.m.:

Temperature is 36.1 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 90.1% and steady;
Pressure is 29.38" and steady;
There is an occasional wind stirring but we had no reading for mph;
The sky is overcast;
The Cascades are roaring away;
The Cascades Brook is running full and fast in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger is LOW.

If you get the opportunity early today to come to the Cascades it is always wonderful to hear and see the crashing water!

Expect very wet and muddy trails, and stay to the central path so as to not eat up the surrounding landscape and expand the trail. Yes, this means getting your boots wet, but it is an important part of soil erosion control if you choose to hike on a wet day.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The Cascades are ROARING!

Rare evening post just to let you know: with all of the wind, the falls are ROARING tonight!

Ice Encrusted Start to the Day

This morning the world looks wet, but as it is below freezing that wet is really ice. Be careful out there guys until the temperature begins to crawl up above freezing.

The real question du jour is what will happen with the predicted precipitation later in the day, and that is tied to the temperature at that point. Eventually we are supposed to be working our way up to a warm heavy rain, but stay attentive.

The 7:45 a.m. conditions today are:

Temperature of 29.8 degrees F and steady;
Humidity of 93% and steady;
Pressure of 30.03" and falling (consistent with stormy weather);
Winds variable from 1-3 mph;
The Cascades are becoming an ice sheet over the course of yesterday and today;
The Cascades Brook is flowing in both channels;
The sky is overcast and it is presently raining;
The USFS Fire Danger is NONE.

Careful out there folks!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Cold

It is really cold out! Last night, we had a perfect night of radiational cooling, with winds and no clouds. We lost all of our heat!

At 7 AM, it is 15.8 degrees and steady.
44% humidity and steady
The barometer is 30.47 inches of mercury and steady.
Wind of less than 1 MPH at the moment
The fire danger is LOW.
Both stream channels are open and the Cascades are running.

There is a storm front moving in this afternoon; right now, Worcester is right on the rain/snow line, with up to six inches of snow predicted to our west, and up to two inches of rain to our east.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Cascades Running!

After all the snow and rain and melt over the past two days the Cascades are running nicely. The brooks below and above are full and crashing along. It is worth a look is you are free.

7 a.m. conditions:

31.8°F and steady;
70% humidity and steady;
30.28" pressure and rising;
Wind occasional and stirring, but no reading;
Cascades are running, with both brook channels very full;
Sky is overcast;
USGS fire danger is LOW.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Melting

At 7:30, it is 34.3 degrees and steady.
It is 96% humidity and steady, and raining.
The barometer is at 30.00 inches of mercury and falling.

The Cascades are running.
Both stream channels are open and running.
There is NO fire danger at this time.

Last night's snow turned to rain overnight, clearing the forest floor of snow almost entirely. 

Friday, December 05, 2014

Trailhead Conditions

The Trailhead Conditions at 7:00 a.m.:

The temperature is 21.9 degrees F and steady;
The humidity is 63% and falling;
The pressure is 30.42" and steady;
There is no wind stirring;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW;
There was no precipitation overnight;
The Cascades Brook is running in both channels, though the primary flow right now is in the south channel;
The skies are clear.

The coolest part is that there is a thin skim of ice over the whole of Cook's Pond, and it is a quilt of wildly angled lines in mini blocks. Generally when ice begins to freeze in Cook's there is a cove that freezes first, and other, more sun or wind exposed coves that refuse to freeze. To have the whole thing freeze at once evenly and so thin is a pretty cool thing to behold.

This should be a great day to get out there and enjoy the trails with sun before the storm system bringing snow and rain moves in late tonight.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Brrrrr

Cold out this morning!
At 7:15 AM, it is 29.5 degrees and steady (with a frost warning). 
The humidity is 66% and steady. 
The barometer is reading 30.03 and steady under clear skies. 
Currently we have no wind. 
The fire danger is LOW. 
Both stream channels remain open and running. 

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Conditions & Additions

7 a.m. Conditions at the Lodge:

The temperature is 30.4 degrees F and steady;
The humidity is 53% and falling;
The pressure is 30.45" and rising;
The Cascades are running with snow melt;
The Cascades Brook is running in both channels;
There is a gentle breeze;
The sky is lightly overcast;
The USFS Fire Danger is LOW.

The trail conditions are soft as the melt from the recent snows has added a fair amount of moisture and the daytime warmth is preventing it all from freezing hard and solid. Prepare for some mud and keep to the path to minimize damage alongside the trails.



On a fun note, last week the Trust took on the stewardship and care of another 10 acres in Leicester, Mass. The property, formerly held by Mrs. Delia Ganley, nestles into the 27 acre Cooke Forest property the Trust received as a gift from the Estate of Frank Cooke, bringing the total to nearly 40 acres of upland forest. If you are curious as to where the property lies, it is to the east of Hot Dog Annie's, and north of the Leicester schools and Hyland Ave. Access will be flagged and marked in the spring from the old cart path to the property's north. We are deeply appreciative to the Bergevins for their conservation ethic that made the Ganley property into a conservation preserve. The above image is of a beaver pond that can be viewed from the new Ganley Conservation Lands.