No, Really, It’s Called “Cascades Near Balance Rock Road”
[Note: For my Waterfalls pages, I’m using the town designation used by the Connecticut Waterfalls 2013 guidebook. Because sometimes it’s fun. But not really now, although “East Hartland” isn’t a town on its own, but since the Barkhamsted Reservoir splits Hartland, the east/west designation is okay. Though the guidebook says, “West of East Hartland, which is semantically confusing, since this is still east of the reservoir.]
Hoo boy, this entry is a bit of a stretch. I’m not sure anyone would qualify these cascades as being worthy of inclusion in a book about Connecticut’s waterfalls, but here they are. Granted, I’m sure they are more impressive after heavy rains or snow melts, but then again, so is the creek behind my house.
I remember while hiking the Tunxis Trail and crossing this creek checking my notes a few times to be sure this was what it was supposed to be. For there was literally nothing to look at except some rocks and trickling water.
Even the guidebook notes, “Along the way you will cross over a tiny stream and then reach, within several hundred yards, a more substantial but still tiny stream. The path turns right here, paralleling the stream as the creek proceeds downhill for 0.05 mile, producing a series of small cascades to your left.”
Not exactly inspiring! A whopping 0.05 mile of “small cascades”! My best guess as to how this little creek made it into the hallowed pages of the guidebook is because the CFPA Walkbook mentions the “series of small waterfalls” here as well.
What I’m saying is… if you are a waterfall chaser – and yes, they certainly exist – don’t get your hopes up out here in the hinterlands of Hartland. But, and this is a big but, this is still a great area for hiking. One that I highly recommend.
So, in summation… go for the hike, not for the cascades near some dead-end road.
Accessibility: not bad at all, when parking on Balance Rock Road