Descend a short streamside trail and get an up-close experience with a raucous series of plunging falls.
What makes Doane’s Falls a special place?
We think it’s the pastoral quality of a reservation that showcases a quiet country stream as it turns turbulent. The waterfalls on Lawrence Brook just before it enters Tully Lake indeed grab one’s attention, both visually and audibly. The falls treat visitors to a bit of nature’s frothy frenzy, if not fury.
As Lawrence Brook drops and swirls, its water continually shapes mid-stream boulders, flat granite slabs and small islands. A half-mile trail leads down both sides of the stream, offering great vantage points.
Just upstream awaits Coddings Meadow, a quiet clearing amid surrounding woodlands which offers fine views of the brook in its quiet-water state, pre-plunge. The meadow also serves as an easy launch site for canoeists and kayakers looking to explore the upper stretches of the intimate river. Paddlers will also pass the occasional beaver dam as the river wends through a red maple swamp.
A half-mile trail leads down one side of the stream. Moderate walking, strenuous in places. A three-quarter-mile woods road leads to the 14-acre Coddings Meadow along side of Lawrence Brook. Doane’s Falls is a link in the Tully Trail.
An emergency telephone is located at the reservation’s main entrance next to the upper falls.
The Trustees of Reservations manages the Tully Lake Campground on Doane Hill Road just west of Doane's Falls. Camping is not permitted at Doane's Falls itself.
When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1 hour, 2 hours if also visiting Coddings Meadow.
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From Rt. 2, Exit 18, follow Rt. 2A West into Athol. At intersection with Rt. 32, cross Miller’s River Bridge and bear right onto Chestnut Hill Rd. (becomes Athol Rd.) north toward Royalston. Proceed 4 mi. to entrance and parking (3 cars) on left. To Coddings Meadow at Lawrence Brook, walk 0.5 mi. down gated woods road off Athol Rd. on right just before stone bridge.
This waterfall used to be a favorite for local kids. But over the years there were many deaths resulting from jumping off of the falls. Since then, they have changed the flow of the falls and put up rails so that you cannot get into the water or near the ledges in most places.
The falls are still beautiful and definitely worth the visit. The top of the falls can be see from the road and from the parking lot you can see most of the falls without having to walk down the trail. But, the best view is from lower down.