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.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Snow Coming!

9:30 am conditions at the Lodge:

35.1° F and steady;
44% humidity and steady;
29.50" Hg pressure and steady;
No recorded precipitation;
Cloudy overcast with occasional sun breaking through;
Fire Danger is LOW;
Gentle breeze moving through on occasion.

The folk wait expectantly for the promised snow, should or materialize.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

More sun, but Chilly

The sun is nice, as is the occasional breeze, but as it is just barely 40 out there it is nicer in theory than it looks from the other side of the window. If you keep active and in motion it is glorious, but if you stop and linger....

This Thursday a new trail information sign went up next to the falls. The traffic on the steep slope was too much for the trail and frequently too much for the hikers careening down, whether or not that was their intended direction. Sure, crazy folk will still want to go straight up avoiding the switchback trail, but honestly, hopping the rocks in the brook is safer these days than trying the eroded bank.

Plenty of hikers out there!

Also, yesterday's volunteers did burn the brush in the meadow. Nuts!

Today's conditions at the Lodge at 3:30pm:
Sunny with clear skies;
39.2°F and falling;
30% humidity and steady;
29.50" of Hg of pressure and steady;
No measurable precipitation despite the snow squalls yesterday;
Fire Danger Class is MODERATE;
There is some pretty ice from the spray and splash on the rocks of the Cascades.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Snow Squall!

What a crazy weather day!

40+MPH gusts,
Snow Squalls!



10:10 a.m. conditions at the Lodge:

Very Windy!
We just saw 41mph and know we have felt stronger!;
Snow flakes intermittently go by horizontally;
The sky is hazy / broke/ overcast;
Last night we received 0.60" of rain (the rain and wind blew down a downspout on the Lodge!);
Temperature is 39.2°F and steady;
Humidity is 46% and steady;
Pressure is 28.65" of Hg pressure and steady;
While the official USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW, on account of the extreme winds, sun, and leaf cover, we are posting it at MODERATE.

We are frequently having wind over 35mph and dry leaves are swirling.

Presently there are WPI volunteers and our Americorps dude up at the Cascades West meadow cutting brush so we can mow. If you see them please thank them.

They were supposed to be burning the brush but these winds make that impermissible.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Vernal Pools! & Signs!

Those night-time, warm, drumming rains.... they mean one thing!
The vernal pools are about to become active with late winter/ early spring!

In an effort to safeguard the specially state designated vernal pools at Cascades West, and the species that are entirely dependent upon them, GWLT is putting up new informational signs tomorrow.

We are asking folks within 500' of the pools to: Keep to the trail; Have your faithful dog leashed (so they don't go for a swim!); and Pack out any trash or waste.

Thanks so much!
We all look forward to the egg masses, the 'cheep' of the wood frogs, the colorful salamanders, and the rest of the vernal pool gang!

QUESTIONS? Please feel free to send us a message on Facebook or an email at

(Thanks to Americorps Dude Tyler Maikath for the incredible informational signage!)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hike through the Cascades

A few photos from a walk back from West Tatnuck School yesterday...

This first is actually in Cascades West. There's a little corner of Cascades West that you cross when you go from Worcester Public Schools property (which much of that red maple swamp down the hill is) to Cascades Park.

Here's that stream you cross on rocks:

Here's the top of the Cascades

And the shot you're more used to, from Cataract Street.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


We did get a bit of rain overnight, but as of right now, nothing is falling. It is quite overcast, though, and humidity remains at 84% and steady.
At 9:30, it is 35.6% and steady.
The barometer is at 29.32 and steady.
The USFS Fire Danger rating is NONE (need to change the sign!)
The stream did build up some ice around the edges yesterday when it was a bit colder, but continues to run, as do the Cascades.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

More Sun!

OK, it is chilly, but still, you have to love the sunshine!

8:50 am conditions at the Lodge:

23.9°F and rising;
63% humidity and falling;
29.47" of Hg pressure and steady;
No recorded precipitation;
Variable breeze to 3.5 MPH;
Clear jazzy skies;
Fire Danger is MODERATE;
Ice on falls and brook but less than yesterday.

In short, a great day for a hike.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Grey Skies, but promising!

Conditions at the Lodge as of 8:05am:

29.3°F and rising;
74% humidity and steady;
29.15" of Hg and steady;
No recorded precipitation;
No recorded wind;
Grey skies (with some promising breaks);
There is flow in the brook an on the Cascades even though some ice lines the path of each;
USFS Fire Danger Class of MODERATE.

It remains an oddly good year for hiking without snowshoes, cross-country skis, or shoe grips. The odd shoulder season conditions continue.

Today GWLT volunteers are tabling at a UMass Med fair to call attention to the East Side Trail next to the hospital campus in the hopes of getting staff and students to venture out and use this great trail. Good luck guys!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Blue Skies

8:35am conditions at the Lodge:

31°F and rising;
56% humidity and falling;
29.15" of Hg pressure and steady;
Wind gusting to 10mph;
Blue skies;
No precipitation;
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.

Friday, February 03, 2012


Back to cold again today.
At nine am, it is 26.8 degrees and rising.
We have 52% humidity and steady.
The barometer is at 29.56 inches of mercury and rising; shaping up to a clear day.
High blue skies and frigid!
We have ice back along the edges of the brook and there is ice forming along the Cascades, which are running.
Fire Danger remains LOW.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

It's Groundhog Day!

And yes, Phil has declared we'll have six more weeks of winter. To which we say: what winter?

Phil's part of an old tradition. While North American groundhogs hibernate for the winter (and thus, Phil excepted, would generally not be awake in February), this stems from a European tradition of the observing the weather and animal activity on Candlemas (February 2) to forecast an early or late spring. Candlemas, at which the medieval church blessed the candles for the year, is an observance in the Catholic tradition of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple (as it's 40 days after Christmas). It also, not coincidentally, falls right next to the pagan feast of Imbolc, observing the swing in the calendar towards spring. In all cases, this is about getting more light and reassuring ourselves that we're getting there: spring will come again!

At nine am, here at the Lodge it is 35.6 degrees and rising.
We've got 81% humidity and steady.
The barometer is 29.27 inches of mercury and steady.

The Fire Danger remains LOW.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Weirdly warm

Happy February! Our unseasonably warm weather continues; we're seeing lots of mud this year.
At 9 am, it is 39.9 degrees and rising.
The humidity is 75% and steady.
The barometer currently reads 29.03 inches of mercury and steady.
Gray skies.
Not a bit of snow to be seen.