Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hidden Gem in the Backyard

I discovered Cascade Falls today. I might feel a little embarrassed not to have seen the falls in my six or so years of living above Pinkham Notch, except that I’m sure there are plenty of Gorham and Berlin residents who haven’t seen them either. They are located between Gorham and Berlin, (actually by the settlement known as Cascade—imagine that!), off the power line. I came upon them on a mountain bike ride up the rail trail along the east side of the Androscoggin River. A little south of Berlin a dirt lane crossed the rail trail. Going west led me to an overview of the Cascade Dam on the Androscoggin. Turning east the lane led through the woods to the power line. Looking across the power line, which has recently been mowed, is this beautiful waterfall, on Cascade Alpine Brook. (I checked the NH Gazetteer for the name when I got home.)

There are two drops to the falls. The top is short and steep, a narrow thick foam of whitewater. As the flow continues, it spreads out over the broad rock below. The water hits many small ledges, some creating little air pockets. This section of the waterfall could easily and very accurately be called the bridal veil, as it resembles the trail of lace fanning out from a gown. Adding to the natural beauty and interest of the area are many cedar trees along the sides of the falls.

I imagine as summer nears and the snowmelt ends, the water will lessen. Right now (end of April), is a great time to see the falls. Now that I know they are there, I’m sure I’ll make some other trips out that way, to see them in different seasons.

--Sue W

1 comment:

  1. Sue, I've always seen those from the highway. Do you think a crazy kayaker could get in there for any portion of them? Maybe at low or high flow? Be creative. Could I?