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.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cold clear morning

The front that came through yesterday has moved out; we ended the day with just .08 inches of rain. This morning the temperature here is 19 degrees, and it may not get much higher, as we've lost a few degrees since dawn. Where as yesterday the ground was soft underfoot, today it is solid as a rock. The brook has not yet relented to the cold and is still flowing openly.
Clear and cold.
A male cardinal visited this morning.

Barometer is at 30.33" mercury and rising (means high pressure and sun.)
Humidity is 63% and steady.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A meadow vole

I'm pulling this picture, somewhat ridiculously, from "The Field Guide to the Prairie" from the University of Minnesota , but voles have quite a range! I did want you to see how it looked in the snow.

Cascades and weather conditions

At 9:30 am, the temperature here is 41 degrees. The warmth is making the snow cover soggy.
The barometer continues to fall, though we've had no rain that's measurable yet. The forecast calls for showers on and off all day.
The Cascades have a coating of ice, but the water is burbling under it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Trail conditions and animal sighting

A walk up the Holden Trail (aka: the cart path end of Cataract Street, marked by white triangles) found it well used. It has been plowed by the city up to the roadblock; a well-beaten trail heads around the roadblock and down the remainder of the street. Watch out for a substantial snowbank on the northern end!
Before it turned to snow, this hiker nearly stepped on a busy little mole? shrew? out for a snack in the warmth of the day! About three inches long, brown, with a pink nose, he scurried off into the snow at the side of the road and dove into a footprint to get away. His appearance may clear up a mystery we've been pondering here at the Lodge: tracks of a small mammal with a tail that showed up before dawn two days ago. A mouse from the house or something outside? Perhaps small things outside are stirring.

UPDATE: I am informed by reliable sources that the mammal I ran into was a vole. I'll see if I can pull up a picture to show you.

Temperature, conditions, and brook update

A clear and cold morning. Very busy squirrels.
Current temperature is 23 degrees and rising. The brook is running under the ice.
The forecast calls for increasing clouds this afternoon, so this morning would be a chance to get in a hike before a rainy day tomorrow.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Clear, Cold, and Powdery

Yesterday not quite an inch of powder fell.
Then it got windy and blew around alot, making it impossible to figure out just how much.
There is a thin layer of powder everywhere.
The brook is running and has a fair covering of ice the closer you get to the Cascades Ice Floe.
An absolutely beautiful day out there at the moment.

9:50 am

32 degrees F and rising
56% Humidity and falling
29.91" mercury and steady

There is a breeze, but it is limited.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Light snow

Light snow fell during the night. A dusting lies over the ground.
Periodic light snow continuing today.
23 degrees and 82% humidity.
Falls are trickling under the ice.

27 degrees F,
84% humidity,
29.94" mercury,
and still snowing.

It is more than a dusting, yet less than an inch as yet.

There have been hikers out to walk in the snow as well!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Beautiful clear day!

Lovely Saturday morning...
23 degrees and clear with the barometer holding steady.
Temperature is still rising, too.
Great day for a hike!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Not as cold as expected

As of 11am, it's 24 degrees. Unfortunately, I can't tell you the wind speed or windchill, but it isn't particularly windy, and so it is not as cold as was forecasted.
The brook and falls are trickling under the ice.
Trail conditions vary based on location. The Newton trail (entrance off of Cataract Street) has been well used, and so be careful, as it is icy coming down the hill. The Cascades trail has had some traffic, but not as much, and so is still crunchy.
Very clear and cold.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

More clear and cold!

Well a hiker hit the trails bright and early!
The car was in the lot before we even were up.

Yesterday's warm spell (above freezing) melted a bunch of the ice on the brook.
(Not all of it mind you, it wasn't all that warm.)
Never made a dent in the Cascades ice floe though.

The trails didn't see much melting at all and are just as frozen, crunchy, but walked.
Lousy for snowshoes or cross country skiing as there is no depth to it and there are bare patches from footprints here and there.
Easily passable in boots though!

8:30 am
18.3 degrees F
71% humidity
29.97" mercury and steady
no action in the rain gauges.

We also had at least another hiker later in the day.

Tonight promises a possible dusting, and winds to drive the temperature down, and the winchill up.
Hikers tomorrow should be covered from any exposure as we are expecting a -2 degrees F with the windchill.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Warmer, sunny, and clear

Well, it has to have been cold lately.
8:30am, 26 degrees F and it feels like it is going to be a really warm day!

Yes there is still ice and snow everywhere, and yesterday afternoon a dusting fell over the city.
Out here it stuck and there is the thinest of pure white blankets on open ground this morning.
The effect with the full moon last night was brilliant.

The brook is trickling.

As for the weather:
8:30 am
26 degrees F and rising
63% humidity and very slowly falling
29.85" of mercury and rising

Looks like a nice sunny warm day is upon us.

Good boots are all that you need for a hike today.
The trail is fairly well beaten in.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More cold... but change is on the way

The ice on the brook is going from thin black yesterday to clear and white this morning.
The world is still very frozen out there.
The trail has been used from the footprints.
The air is still.

There seems to be weather coming for later today or tonight.
Get your hiking in now!

12 degrees F (and rising)
34.5% humidity
30.27" of mercury and falling
Clear, cold, with scattered clouds moving in.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fun New Weather Observations! Its's COLD!

Now there isn't any rainfall to measure, and other than the passing dustings (if that) of snow yesterday there hasn't been much to speak of for days on weather.
It has been cold, and we have made as much of that as we can.
Now a new element or two to throw in the mix!
Humidity and Barometric Pressure.
This gives a sense not just of what is out there right now, but what is coming too.

As of 10:00pm we had:
10 degrees F;
34% humidity;
30.71" mercury;
and the rain gauge is as dry as a bone.

Access and Hiking:
So, the trails are open.
There is parking.
But it is cold.

Brook and Cascades:
The brook is freezing in sheets of ice with water open at minor falls.
The Cascades are returning to a frozen blue ice floe.
Quite pretty.

Clear, Cold, Crunchy

The temperature at 1:23 is 20 degrees F.
The snow and ground are very solidly frozen.
The skies are clear and sunny.
There is a bit of a gentle breeze.

Nice for hiking if you are layered and moving quickly enough to keep warm.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Weather and rainfall update

While the temperature is still holding steady at 40 degrees F it is now clear, sunny, with a light breeze. Still very sloppy, but beautiful weather!
The manual rain gauge reads about half an inch, but there is a chunk of snow in the tube, so who knows... We'll have to go with the digital read which is still 0.12".

The temperature this morning is 40 degrees with a steady rain falling. We had about two inches of snow during the night, which briefly changed to freezing rain before changing to rain. The rain gauge is showing .12 inches this morning, 'though the snow may have thrown it off.
It's not that cold, but it is certainly wet and sloppy!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Weather, Trails, and the Brook

It is presently 9 degrees F at 7:30 am here at the Lodge.
Cold, clear, and sunny.

There is little activity out on the trail as of late.
A storm system is about to roll in and drop more precipitation tonight.

Presently the walking is easy if snowy.
We will have to see if the storm gives us snow, ice, or rain.
Since an arctic front will follow it up, expect icy trails for this weekend.

Even the lone junco outside looks cold.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Temperature, conditions, and brook update

As of 9am, the temperature here is 26 degrees. There is a brisk wind coming up off of Cook's Pond this morning as well. Remarkably, the brook is still running, as are the Cascades, but that won't continue for long in this weather. The edges are already beginning to ice in.
Should you venture out, bundle up!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Weather, Access, Trails

Only a dusting fell, if it was even that much, today.
The skies were sunny enough for pleasant hiking.
The brook is running with the snows on either side.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Snowfall update

As of noon today, we're measuring 6 inches of snow with more still falling. There is an intermittent wind...

so we're getting a lot of drifting.


The caretaker staff shovelled and shovelled and shovelled,
and Russ snowblew the street opening,
So.... the trailhead has one parking space open down by the street.
If it is full there is a less convenient spot at the top of the drive that is also free.
It means having to walk back down the drive to get to the trailhead but that is better than nothing.

As for the trails....
It is not quite so deep that tall boots won't suffice.
It isn't quite deep enough for wooden snowshoes, though metal and plastic will fair fine.

Snow update

It's snowing like mad out there this morning, so I hope you all got your hiking in while the ground was clear! The National Weather Service says we could get up to 10 inches today. We'll be posting later with updates of how much has fallen here at Cascading Waters.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hiking conditions and visitor update

Current temperature is 40 degrees. The trails remain nearly clear and the falls are running fast.

We've had a number of visitors today enjoying the easy hiking, including one gentleman photographing the stream down on Olean Street. Should you have any great photos, please share them with us!

We hope you haven't put away your snowshoes just yet, however, as up to 18 inches of snow are expected by Tuesday!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Weather, Cascades, and Hiking Conditions

It is a beautiful sunny day.
42 degrees F.
The brook is running full and fast.
The Cascades are running and you can hear them inside the Lodge, albeit faintly.
The trails are muddy and have patches of snow and ice.
That being said they are much firmer than yesterday.
Make the most of this wonderful January day!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Rainfall, Cascades, and weather update

Rainfall at the Lodge is 1.06 inches today. We have had a series of unseasonable January thunderstorms passing through the area.
The falls are roaring today and should continue through the weekend.
(Final rainfall for day 1.18")

Weather and hiking conditions

We've had .55 inches of rain since last night. The rain has washed away much of the snow elsewhere in Worcester, but the Cascades parklands still have a snow cover of a few inches. If you plan on hiking today, in addition to your waterproofs, you'll want to be prepared for mud in some places, rotten snow in others. Tough going.

Cascades are running fast!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Warm temperatures continue

The Cascades are roaring today. Temperature this morning is 40 degrees with clear blue skies. Come enjoy the falls while the warm temperatures last!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Cascades, temperature, and hiking conditions

Current temp here at the Lodge is 52 degrees. It's clear now, but we've had light rain on and off all morning.
Cascades are almost roaring. If it continues to rain, the next few days will be well worth coming over for!
Hiking conditions are damp, but it isn't cold, so if you don't mind a little rain, it's a good chance to get out there.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Cascades and visitors update

The Cascades are running fast! Come and enjoy them.
This afternoon, in addition to two hikers and one intrepid bicycle-pusher, the members of Princeton Arts Society visited to paint the Cascades and the brook. The bridge on Cataract Street gives a great view in both directions.

Weather, Cascades and Brook

The warm weather is melting the recent snows.
Our last snowstorm is now just 0.12" of water and when mixed with the melt of the previous snows and ice you have a full and noisy brook. The sounds and warmth of spring in January!
The parkinglot is clear and open, but bring dry boots as the melting snows make for a slushy trek!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Temperature, conditions, and visitors

Current temperature is 48 degrees F. Clear blue skies. One hiker came through at noontime.
The brook is running and the snow is melting fast. The melting has made it too soggy for skiing, but a snowshoer might still manage. A great day for being outdoors!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Weather, Cascade, Brook, and Animal Observations

January 1st of 2008 saw a 2.75" snowfall at Cascading Waters.
The snow was the light fluffy powder that is very pretty in the trees and makes lousy snowballs.
The Olean Street parking area is shovelled and open.