This is a hike I have not done yet and would like to check out. Anyone up for some exploration with me? I saw the sign saying it was 10 miles to Royalston Falls so I need to check it out. I'd like to spot a car (at least) at Royalston Falls and come back to start the hike at Tully Mountain which is going to be less than 1 1/2 miles for the mountain hike then connect to the trail heading to Royalston Falls which is 10 miles according to the sign.
I am leaving this posting up for those who want to explore together but I cannot make this hike and have rescheduled another one for June 1st. Please be sure that is at least one person on this hike has a calibrated compass and a map of the area and trail. I don't know the current conditions of the trail or the parking area.
New news>>>>>I was just told this trail has been re-routed so unless someone knows the old trail this route is no longer in use. Currently from what I know, you could either start at the Tully Lake Campground and head to Royalston Falls from there or combine the two by carpooling from one trail head to another and still do Tully Mountain too.
Please bring traction and a headlamp just in case it's needed.
This hike will be for intermediate hikers at least who can hike at good pace of 2-3 MPH. We will plan short breaks as needed only to keep from getting cold so communicating is also essential...ie:I'm hungry, need to find a tree, hang on...gotta blow my nose or find my headlamp, etc;-).... Alright, hope that made you smile;-).
Not a big deal if you don't have snow shoes. As long as a few people do, we can pave the way, so to speak. Who knows, by then we might not even have snow with the weird winters we've been getting.
Photo: Tully Mountain, photo by David Brothers
Mountain Rd., Orange, MA
The focal point of the Tully Trail and of the Tully Mountain Wildlife Management Area, Tully Mountain rises 1,163 feet above sea level and humps dramatically above the relatively flat land around it. Geologically, it is a remnant of ancient mountain building that upthrust the northern Appalachians 400 million years ago. From the northwest it also shows the effect of the glaciers—the northern face ground smooth, the southern face left much more irregular by deposited debris. A loop trail of about 1½ miles leads to outcrops near the summit that afford magnificent views of the surrounding land and waters and of more distant mountains. And Tully Mountain not only offers peace and pleasure to people but also—because of its numerous types of habitats—provides a home for a rich array of plants and animals.
The focal point of the Tully Trail and of the Tully Mountain Wildlife Management Area, Tully Mountain rises 1,163 feet above sea level and humps dramatically above the relatively flat land around it. Geologically, it is a remnant of ancient mountain building that upthrust the northern Appalachians 400 million years ago. From the northwest it also shows the effect of the glaciers—the northern face ground smooth, the southern face left much more irregular by deposited debris.
A loop trail of about 1½ miles leads to outcrops near the summit that afford magnificent views of the surrounding land and waters and of more distant mountains. And Tully Mountain not only offers peace and pleasure to people but also—because of its numerous types of habitats—provides a home for a rich array of plants and animals.
From Rte. 2 take Exit 18 and go west on Rte. 2A into Athol center. Turn right (north) at the traffic light onto Exchange St. Turn left onto Pequoig Ave. just across the bridge and go 3.1 miles to Royalston Rd. Turn right and then take a quick left onto Mountain Rd. (Note: Pequoig Ave. becomes Pinedale Ave. and then Tully Rd.)
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About Royalston Falls 217 acres
Follow a descending trail that leads to a deep, ancient gorge carved by prehistoric glacial meltwater to falls that plunge 45 feet into a basin.
What makes Royalston Falls a special place?
We think it’s the remote location of the waterfalls – well worth the 0.8-mile descent to the edge a half-hidden ravine! Carved over the ages by Falls Brook, the boisterous cascade plunges 45 feet into an icy pool, sending up a misty spray through the thick forest hugging the gorge. A shelter on the trail offers a great resting spot.
As you make your way into the ravine, the dramatic falls remain hidden within an emerald cloak of dense forest and ferns. The flume appears suddenly, as if to offer a sensory reward for your exertions. In winter, freezing spray creates a fantastic landscape of ice.
Please note: The trek is not an easy one – and can be very wet in places, so you should use extreme caution when walking here.
The Forest’s Comeback
From the time of the first wave of European settlers in the 17th century, much of the Massachusetts forest was cut down for agricultural fields and pastures, firewood, and timber. Such wholesale land clearing continued into the 19th century until New England farmers abandoned their fields and headed west in search of richer, less rocky soil.
Today, the resurgent forest continues to slowly erase all remnants of human activity from more than a century ago.
But at this reservation, the forces of nature manifest themselves in ways other than just flora reclaiming its own; Falls Brook not only carved the flume but also fashioned a series of natural bridges through the bedrock just upstream.
A large group shelter, which overlooks Falls Brook, is available for overnight hikers. The shelter is located on the reservation near the intersection where the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail diverges from the Tully Trail.
A Tale of Two Trails
The primary access route to the falls is along a short stretch of the Tully Trail, a 22-mile loop encircling the scenic Tully Valley. But this 0.8-mile pathway down to Falls Brook is also part of the much longer Metacomet-Monadnock Trail. The M-M Trail extends for 117 miles from the border with Connecticut near Springfield to Mount Monadnock in southwest New Hampshire.
1.5 miles of trails. Moderate hiking, strenuous in places. The trail is rugged and wet in places, so use extreme caution when hiking.
The reservation is a link in the Tully Trail and the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail.
When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1 hour.
Interested in camping near Royalston Falls? Check out the Tully Lake Campground, also in Royalston.