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 26, 2014

Boxing Day!

A warm (for December in New England) Boxing Day!
At 12:30, it is 48 degrees and rising.
We have 48% humidity and steady.
The barometer is reading 29.97 inches of mercury and steady under clear blue skies.
The wind is fairly light today, with an occasional,barely registering, breeze.
The fire danger continues to be NONE.
The trails are clear, if still muddy, and we're seeing quite a number of families out enjoying them.
The Cascades are running, as are both stream channels. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry (unseasonable) Christmas!

Not only is there not a flake of snow to be seen; some parts of Massachusetts are seeing highs of sixty degrees today!

At 2 PM, it is 50.5 degrees and steady under clear blues skies. 
Humidity is 50% and steady
We're seeing wind gusts of up to 10 MPH.
The barometer is 29.47 inches of mercury and steady. 
There is NO fire danger. 
The Cascades are running fast, and both stream channels are running. 

It's a great day for a hike (and we're seeing lots of hikers come through). Everything is rather muddy, though, so please stay on the trail!

Monday, December 22, 2014


It is snowing!
Not too cold, not too windy, and quite beautiful !
Come out for a hike today and make the most of the first full day of winter!

7:30 a.m.  trailhead conditions:

Temperature of 31.6°F and steady;
Humidity of 77% and steady;
Pressure is 30.18" of Hg and steady;
Snow is falling;
The ice cover on Cook's Pond continues to expand;
The sky is overcast;
The wind is stirring but no reading in mph;
The Cascades have some flow;
Both Cascades Brook channels are flowing;
The USFS fire danger rating is NONE.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Happy Snowy Winter Solstice!

Happy Snowy Winter Solstice!

Afternoon Trailhead Conditions 1:00pm:

Temperature is 31.8°F and steady;
Humidity is 78% and steady;
Pressure is 30.09" of Hg and steady;
Wind is stirring;
Snow is falling;
Cascades has flow;
Both Brooks are running;
USFS fire danger is LOW.

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


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


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


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


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.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Lodge Life

Taking a phone call for work on the couch by the large back windows of the Lodge and I caught a swoop through the underbrush and onto a low tree branch.

I fully expected this to be one of our hawks, as we have a few that fly through the dense deciduous forest silently and perch, wait, and swoop off again.

The only problem was that when it perched, came to a stop, and turned its head, it was clearly an owl, and a large one at that!

It stayed long enough for me to yell out through the house to "come quick!" and see the owl, and luckily the colleague on the phone was indulgent enough to allow me to drop our conversation for a moment and guide everyone's eyes to the tuftless large owl just out back.

After looking carefully at the guides for the available local species I feel left with it having to be a Barred Owl, due to size, range, habitat, russet wings, and tuftless head (no pointy ears.)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

In other exciting news, today the USFS Fire Danger Class rose to "HIGH" and the sign out on Olean Street has been changed to reflect this.

It would be a bad time for a lighting a fire (recreational or brush) in the forest, so keep an eye out folks!

Monday, September 08, 2014

Great Weather!

Great Weather!

8:00 am weather conditions:

58.3°F temperature and steady;
83% humidity and steady;
29.56" Hg pressure and steady;
Blue skies;
Cascades Brook is at a trickle;
No wind reading on the anemometer; &
No new precipitation.

Also, this evening at 5:30 pm we will be meeting on Indian Hill Road and Pleasant Street in Paxton to install a new property sign for Muir Meadow!
Very Very Good stuff!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Lovely Friday

Here's Cascades Brook, running out to Cook's Pond this morning:

At 7:44 am, it is 58.6 degrees and rising (a little chilly in the shade!) 
75% humidity and steady
29.38 inches of mercury and steady under blue skies
No measureable wind
The fire danger continues to be LOW. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Clear morning after the rain

Due to the large amounts of rain last night, the Cascades are running today! We have a brook again!
At 9:30 am, it is 67 degrees and rising.
It is 81% humidity.
Clear skies, with the barometer steady at 29. 12 inches of mercury.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Today's conditions

Today's Conditions, 9:35 am:

Temperature is 70.2°F and rising;
Humidity is 81% and falling;
Pressure is 29.44" of Hg and steady;
Breeze is stirring, no reading;
Cascades Brook is dry;
No recent precipitation;
Skies are blue and clear;
USFS Fire Danger is LOW.

As follow-up to the wildlife clearing @Cascades West, there will be targeted spraying of specific invasive exotic weeds in the meadow today. Orange signs have been posted. Please stay to the official marked trails.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

We're back!

A while back the darnedest thing happened.

Someone stole the "low" fire danger sign. This sorta was a problem in that the fire danger for most of the summer has been "low."

Honestly, this also took the wind out of our sails as well.

Never fear! GWLT Volunteer Paula is here!

Paula measured out, cut, traced, routed, sanded, and painted a replacement "low" sign. Harold threw a couple of coats of polyurethane on it. This morning we hung her up and away we go!

Observations for 1:15pm:

Temperature is 68° F and steady;
Humidity is 67% and falling;
Pressure is 29.38" and steady;
Sky is hazy and overcast;
No new rainfall today; 

The Cascades Brook is dry;
There is a gentle breeze;

The USFS Fire Danger is "LOW"!!!

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Visitor at the Lodge this morning

This guy was hanging out on the door frame when we went out today. 

Reporting in from the Lodge

Here at the Lodge at Cascading Waters it is overcast. There is a little bit of a breeze going at tops around 3.5 mph. It is 77 degrees outside with 70% humidity.

Monday, May 12, 2014


Lovely spring day!
At 8 am, it is 58.3 degrees and rising. 
The humidity is 67% and steady. 
The barometer is at 29.32 inches and steady. 
The fire danger remains MODERATE. 

Sunday, May 04, 2014

May the fourth

Lovely Sunday!
At 9:30, it is 57.9 degrees and rising. 
The humidity is 44% and falling. 
The barometer is 28.88 inches of mercury and steady. 
The wind is 14.5 mph. 
The fire danger is MODERATE. 
The Cascades are running from all of the rain earlier this week, and both stream channels are open. 

The Land Trust planted trees at Cascading Waters, Trinity Woods, and Bovenzi Conservation Park yesterday to celebrate Arbor Day. 

Friday, May 02, 2014

Working on Pleasant

Yesterday afternoon, in the space of an hour or so, the temperature went up, the sun came out, and things were getting pretty nice. Not to be too obliging Mother Nature immediately made sure that we had night time downpours and lightning, just to make sure everyone knew who was the boss.

Today started off cool, in the low 40s, but has crept up into nearly pleasant, and the sun makes occasional appearances just to keep us all hopeful but guessing.

The Cascades are still running white, thought they are no longer roaring. Both of the Cascades streams are running in their channels. Clearly the water table is still high.

Conditions at the Lodge at 2:00 p.m.:

Temperature is 67.3 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 39% and steady;
Pressure is 28.94" of Hg and steady;
Wind Speed is variable, peaking at 25.5 mph; and
USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Happy May Day! The Cascades are ROARING!

At 8:15, the temperature is 43.7 and steady
The humidity is 98% and steady, with mist in the air.
The barometer is 29.06 inches of mercury and falling.
There is a flood watch in Worcester until 6 pm tonight.
The wind is stirring, but we don't have a reading.
The Cascades Brook is running through both channels.
And the Cascades are ROARING!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rain for the Forseeable Future

Rain is falling here at the Lodge, and will continue to fall today, tonight, tomorrow, and on and off for a bit after that.

The plants are soaking it in and are headed for a fluorescence of green, and the Cascades are running, and the Cascades Brook has good flow in it.

Bloodwort (White with a yellow center),
Trout Lily (Yellow with red and purple stripes), and
Red trillium (Deep maroon red),
are all presently in bloom in the Cascades and make for a wonderful floral mix.

The 8:00 a.m. conditions at the Lodge:
38.7 degrees F temperature and steady;
89% humidity and steady;
29.71" of Hg pressure and steady;
the air is stirring but registering no wind speed;
the sky is overcast but bright;
rain is presently falling;
the Cascades are running, and will likely pick up in volume over the course of the day;
the USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.

Sunday saw a cleanup at Parson's Cider Mill and Marois 28, Monday saw a spot cleanup at Cascades East, and yesterday saw spot cleanups at Cascading Waters (more neighborly detritus), and Cascades West (generally older stuff finally unearthed through use and time.) Things are moving forward here in the Cascades.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Sunny Sunday

Another lovely day of spring!
At 9:45 am, it is 41.7 degrees and rising.
43% humidity
The barometer is 29.35 inches of mercury and rising.
The sky is blue, the sun is out, and it's heading into the 50's today.

While the Cascades are much smaller than they were a week ago, there is still water coming over the falls. The first and secondary stream channels are open with flow in the brook.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Even more weather excellence!

8:30 a.m. conditions at the Lodge:

Temperature is 37.9°F and rising;
Humidity is 58% and steady;
Pressure is 29.35" and steady;
Wind is stirring, but no reading;
Sun through high altitude clouds;
Cascades Brook is running, mostly in primary channel;
Cascades are running;
USFS Fire Danger us LOW.

Yesterday was busy!
Beams getting hewn, sign posts getting signs mounted, signs being traced, signs being routed, "no dumping" sign posts getting assembled, signs getting treated with wood preservative, and, hugely, the jersey barrier getting picked up and moved by a Sansoucy Stone forklift to close off vehicular access to Cascades East! We had old and new volunteers all in the mix. Thanks to everyone!

Also, our first crocus is up!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

More Gorgeous Weather

8:30 a.m. conditions at the Lodge:

Temperature is 38.5°F and rising;
Humidity is 60% and steady;
Pressure is 29.29" Hg and steady;
Wind is variable and reading as much as 4 mph;
Skies are clear with sun;
Cascades are running;
Both channels of the Cascade Brook are running;
USFS Fire Danger class is MODERATE.

It is sign day!
Folks will be arriving shortly.

The Cascades Trail is reopened, but very wet in parts.

The metal recycling bin is gone.

Sansoucy Stone is coming to move the jersey barrier this morning. (We will post pictures!)

Things are getting busy!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The bears are waking up!

Quick reminder that the black bears that we have in Massachusetts are waking up and they're hungry. If you have not done so already, bring in your birdfeeders! The birds no longer need supplemental feeding at this point, and the bears are looking for easy snacks.
A few other Eastern black bear pointers:

  • secure your trash outside and be sure your recycling is rinsed well (as well as secured).
  • keep your dogs leased (yes, even and especially in the woods; bears like trails, too!).
  • don't leave pet food out overnight.
We have had, and will continue to have, black bears in Worcester. It's fairly easy for them to get here by following rail lines or the series of forests that come down from the New Hampshire border. Generally speaking, Eastern black bears are shy of humans and will avoid them (note: this is NOT the case of bears in other parts of the country!). Make noise while walking in the woods; leave them alone if you see them in your neighborhood.
More tips on bears from Mass Fisheries and Wildlife here. 

Recycling Day Fallout

9:45 am conditions at the Lodge:

Temperature is 42.4 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 52% and falling;
Pressure is 29.29: of Hg and steady;
Wind is peaking at 9.5 mph;
The skies are sunny!;
The USFS Fire Danger class is LOW;
The Cascades are running high, but not quite roaring;
The Cascades Brook depth is unknowable as the recent flooding tore off and carried away our stream gauge (we hope to locate it downstream as it is metal and doesn't float.)

One of the more peculiar aspects of maintaining a public access point for open space is managing public trash. There is litter that blows in from the street, litter that is placed quite politely in the small bin (Thank You!), garbage bags that are illegally dumped (many searched by Health & Code for identification to establish dumping fines), and debris that comes from the neighboring properties. We have had a little of each of those this past week.

The part that always gives me pause is that in my anecdotal experience, the day in and day out largest source of litter is from neighbors to open spaces like parks and wildlife conservation areas. That isn't just true here at Cascading Waters. Walk the bound line of any park or open space and you will see that the neighbors are where the garbage action is at. Today touched that point, but in a roundabout way.

Yesterday was recycling day. The recycling sits in open bins for hours along a busy stretch of street where even if there is no wind the passing cars create their own jet stream that carries things around. Recycling guys are like any people, with some very good at their job, and others quite poor. You can tell the quality of the crew by driving a street just after the recycling truck to see what is left behind in the gutters, on the sidewalks, and in the bins. Thankfully neighbors over here straighten up after them on these days. But the flaws in the recycling pickup are not reserved for the bins or the staff. Some people just recycle poorly.

Yesterday a pile of cardboard boxes was left at the curb to our north, and I recall wondering if the recycling guys would bother to take them as they were not broken down. A game of recycling roulette was now in process. This was poor recycling. To the credit of the recycling guys they did grab them, even though they didn't have to. That, however, is only where the adventure begins. Unfortunately, at least one of the boxes was still full of polystyrene packing peanuts. You know, the white, crunchy, "s" shaped bits used for fragile items. (Through some fluke our packages are arriving with potato starch peanuts that melt in water (good fun!) or recyclable air bags. If only there were more folks who shipped with them!) When the boxes were lofted these light-weight bits flew about wherever the wind might take them.

At first I noted 5 or 6 by the entrance drive this morning, so I got out to dutifully pick them up. Sadly, birds, fish, and turtles all think of them as food, and anyone who has ever had a rice cake can understand their impulse. They are not food, they don't break down, and animals can experience starvation if they eat them, fill up, and have no room for actual food. I wanted to keep them out of the Cascades Brook and Cooks Pond and all that is downstream on the way to the Narragansett. Then I turned around, and saw more. I grabbed a bag and began what would take me a good long time hunting down the final destinations of a bulging bag of these squeaky "s"s behind rocks, on the banks of the brook, in the gutter, and anywhere else you might imagine.

Accidents, however regretful, do happen. Poor recycling habits do too. That this was just one day after picking up styrofoam packing blocks, cardboard, and orange peels from the same property line. This was one week after chasing down plastic wrapped cardboard flats from drinking water bottles that were blowing around the neighborhood, again, from the same recycling pile.

If there were any moral to the story it might be this:

When you are visiting any park or wildlife conservation area please keep after your trash and pack it all out with you. From wrappers and bottles, to orange peels and apple cores, to dog poop. Do so to lighten the load because the burden of keeping trash off the properties from neighbors and the less usual occurence of folks dumping is heavy enough. Packing anything out that you can lightens the load and makes all of this work better. Oh, yeah, and mind your recycling bins!

Thanks guys!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Roaring Day II

Thanks to the rains of last afternoon and night the Cascades are still roaring away!

8:00 am conditions:

Temperature is 34.3°F and steady;
Humidity is 97% and steady;
Pressure is 28.97" of Hg and steady;
Wind is stirring but no reading in mph;
The sky is overcast and it is raining lightly;
The Cascades are roaring white magnificently!;
Both branches of the Cascades Brook are in high flood flow creating a small island amidst the chaotic waters;
The USFS Fire Danger class is LOW.

Come see the Cascades in their glory!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cascades are Awesome!

The Cascades are a roaring froth of whitewater this morning!
You can hear them inside houses in the neighborhood.
The long overnight rains set off the snow and ice pack and we are in full Cascade mode presently!
Come soon before the lack of fresh rainfall makes them subside.

9:05 am conditions:

Temperature is 38.3°F and steady;
Humidity is 98% and steady;
Pressure is 28.88" of Hg and falling;
No rain falling at present;
Storing breeze with no reading in mph;
Overcast skies;
Both channels of the Cascade Brook are over their banks;
The USFS Fire Danger is LOW;
The Cascades are in full roar.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


This morning began nicely. Warm temps, no breeze, occasional bright periods in the overcast. Around 1 pm the temperatures dropped, the breeze picked up, and shortly thereafter we had passing sprinkles. That kept ramping up as rain over the course of the day, and right now the rain is falling consistently.

All of this is impacting the falls.

We had some flow with the warmth yesterday that continued into this morning. But the rains had taken it up a notch. By 5:15 pm the flow was pretty audible with only blocks of ice remaining in key spots in the Cascades. As of now, with a half day's worth of rain and warmth, and with all of the snow pack and ice in the upper elevations of the Cascades, we have a fine low roar right now. If the rain persists this will only build, and that is a fine thing to hope for!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Evening Wind!

So far we noted a 34 mph gust at 6:19 pm!

We will append anything higher!
Good fun here in the woods.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sunny delight!

It may be cold, but we have glorious sun!

9:20 am conditions:

Temperature is 27.3°F and rising;
Humidity is 44% and falling;
Pressure is 29.29" of Hg and steady
Wind at 18-19 mph
Bright sun, with high altitude clouds;;
Cascades Brook is running;
USFS Fire Danger is MODERATE.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Another hopeful day start

Temperature is 26.1°F and steady;
Humidity is 69% and steady;
Pressure is 29.15" Hg and steady;
Sky is bright yellow overcast;
No breeze;
The Cascades Brook is running;
USFS Fire Danger is MODERATE.

While rain might be possible today, the start is nice enough! Get out while the getting is good!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Vernal Equinox!

The venal equinox--the official start of spring!--comes in at 12:57 pm Eastern Daylight Time today. Enjoy your exactly 12 hours of daylight today...and the days are just getting longer!
We had some hail in the weather excitement last night, and in most areas, that is still on the ground. Thus the trails are fairly slick this morning.
However, more good news! It's warming up! At 9 am, it is already 35.1 degrees and it is RISING! The high today is forecasted to be as high as 48!
Right now it is overcast and raining with 88% humidity, but that should be clearing over the course of today.
The brook is running; the Cascades are as well, though there is still snow on the falls.
Happy spring!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sunnier, Warmer, Hopeful

8:10 a.m. Conditions at the Lodge:

Temperature is 17.2°F and rising;
Humidity is 47% and steady;
Pressure is 29.44" and steady;
Sunny skies;
There is a breeze but no wind reading;
Cascades Brook is running at 5";
Ground (thus far) is frozen solid;
USFS Fire Danger is MODERATE.

The spring is looking more imminent, he said hopefully, with the temperature not yet even 18°...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Return of the Cold

While last week and this weekend offered glimpses of spring we are squarely back in winter this morning.

The warmth, on Saturday in particular, had the trailhead jammed with hikers and cars.

This morning's conditions as of 9:00 a.m.:

Temperature of 16.7°F and rising;
Humidity of 38% and steady;
Pressure of 29.32" of Hg and steady;
Max wind speed of 13mph;
Mixed sun and overcast;
USFS Fire Danger is LOW;
The Cascades Brook is running.

Tonight it is supposed to dip back down to 9°F! Stock the firewood this afternoon while it is comparatively warm!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Another snowy Sunday

Yet more snow!
For those looking for trail and parking conditions: we run on shovel power around here, so right now we have one parking spot open at the Cascading Waters trailhead. We will endeavor to get more open as the day goes along. Thus far (posting this at 11 am), there has not been activity from Olean to Cataract; the Cascades trail that switchbacks up the falls has also not been active. I can't speak for the Newton trailhead (farther up Cataract), but that's an easier slope if you're going to be breaking new ground.
I've had no reports from those coming in from Boyton Park.
Please recall that the other end of the Cataract trail on Olean is closed.

2 pm update: two parking spaces now open at the trailhead. The trail has been broken in with snowshoes as far as the bridge; the trail has been broken in by hikers (and dog) up the hill, as well.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cooks Pond Madness!!

4.5 hrs.
10 Volunteers
42 Bags of brush
Including Bittersweet, Japanese knotweed, Norway maple, and Black locust, among other invasives.
Thanks to the Tatnuck/Cooks Island Cub, GWLT Volunteers, for an EPIC cleanup, IN A SNOWSTORM no less!
We started with a few flakes on the ground and ended with a full snowman out on the ice! It snowed A Lot! The whole time!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Free tomorrow? Come help us clear!

Just in case you are looking for a little bit of outdoor volunteer work during this winter month, we have an opportunity available!
On Saturday, January 18th (tomorrow!), a group of volunteers will be gathering at 11:00 am near the benches that overlook Cooks Pond.  The plan is to cut back the vegetation in that area to make the pond more visible and to remove some invasive species.
If you are sensitive to poison ivy, you may wish to miss this one ... there is definitely some in the area of work.

There will be some tools available, but feel free to bring your favorite pair of loppers or small clippers!

Monday, January 13, 2014

ATTENTION: Trail Closure, Cascades East Work

Any hikers in the Cascades this weekend noted one thing: MUD. Lots and lots of mud.

Please Remember to stay on the center of the path, walk through the mud, and do not widen the trails by skirting the edges or heading off the path. The trail will do better if you keep to it and keep the foot traffic damage to it.

TRAIL CLOSURE: Until further notice

Any hikers who happened upon the Cascades East trailhead off of Olean Street probably noticed a new roll off dumpster, and a few might have happened upon the prints left by a rubber tracked bobcat. We have a cleanup operation just firing up now.

Cascades East was once a place where a number of metal objects ranging from cars to pots were taken and left. The Trust has been working with volunteers and metal scroungers to clear the trail corridor of the unsightly debris, and we made large strides this past Earth Day. A new player has come to the table this winter, who petitioned the Worcester Conservation Commission, and received permission this past week to begin to remove the surficial metal debris from the site.

TRAIL CLOSURE: Until further notice

We will be be closing the Cascades Trail from the Olean Street trailhead to the intersection at the Silver Spring Trail. This is to keep folks off the segment of trail while it is in use by the metal removal operation. Caution tape is up and trail closure signs are going up this morning.

Please be advised that this is an effort to keep folks safe while the site is active and the trail will reopen in time for spring hiking.

Thank you so very much.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cascades are ROARING!

Very unusual in January, of course, but given the rain and melting snow, not surprising!
If you've never seen the Cascades in action, come by tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The Cascades are frozen!

If you've ever wanted to see the Cascades frozen (or for you artists looking for subject matter!), the Cascades are now frozen. Yesterday, they were running full spate despite the cold (as it had gotten cold so fast), but now they're ice.
Quite lovely!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Skiiers and snowshoers's that kind of day. The trail here at Cascading Waters has been busy all day, with cars in and out of the parking area, and hikers, snowshoers, and skiiers coming through regularly. Plenty of people out enjoying the snow and (comparatively) milder temperatures while we have them. We have as much as six inches, still, in some spots, so conditions are good.
If you were out there, though, you heard lots of dripping and trickling. Between that and tonight's forecasted rain, we won't have much snow cover for long.
Today at the Lodge it's been in the high 30's all day (35 degrees now) with humidity hovering around 50%.
Enjoy, while we have it!

Friday, January 03, 2014

Parking is open!!!

Today we shoveled out the snow in the parking lot at Cascading Waters. Thanks to our neighbor, Shawn, who helped us with his plow. 

 You can park to go on the trail. Have fun!!!