Access to Popular Copack, NY Waterfall ‘Permanently’ Closes
Don't go chasing this Hudson Valley waterfall. Bash Bish waterfall is closed, kind of. Let us explain...
Many hikers and non-hikers across the Hudson Valley love coming across a waterfall on their outdoor adventures. One of the most accessible and, in my personal opinion, easiest hikes in the Hudson Valley is Bash Bish in Copake.
The trail, which sits on the New York/Massachusetts border, is a quick 1-mile hike up and back and 3/10 on the difficulty scale according to Hike the Hudson Valley. But really it's about the payoff, which is an absolutely gorgeous waterfall.
During the COVID lockdown, hundreds of people flocked to the Copake waterfall and unfortunately left behind trash, and destruction and were breaking all the rules. The Berkshire Edge published an article back in July of 2020 with the title "‘Hordes of people breaking every single rule’ pack Bash Bish Falls."
The popularity of the falls has not slowed down much and now access to the waterfall has been closed.
The Copake History Facebook page shared the following:
Barriers have been erected to stop folks from going down the stone steps, Bad and dangerous behavior inspired the changed policy.
We reached out to the Copake Town Historian, Howard Blue, to confirm the Bash Bish access closing and Blue told us "According to the Massachusetts park ranger that I spoke with a few days ago, access to the stairs that lead down to the water at the bottom of Bash Bish Falls is "permanently closed."
The problem has been that dangerous behavior as well as littering on a mass scale has increased significantly in the last year. It's well known that over the years the falls have enticed people to dangerously jump from them into the water. I don't know that anybody's keeping count but a number of people have been killed in the process
There have been 25 deaths at Bash Bish State Park according to Wikipedia.
Access to Bash Bish was closed in July of 2021 but reopened in November of 2021. Howard Blue has some ideas on how to correct the problems at the falls, writing to us:
Given the importance of the falls to Copake, as Copake Town Historian, I've given some thought in the past about how we might move the falls a few hundred yards across the state line into New York State. With all due respect to the Massachusetts rangers who do a find job, perhaps we can figure out a more satisfactory solution to the current problem.
If you're on the hunt for a waterfall this summer, check out what other options the Hudson Valley has to offer below.
7 Breathtaking Waterfalls Around the Hudson Valley
9 Spots to Enjoy Camping & Waterfalls in New York State Parks
30 Beautiful Sights, Nature Hikes, and Historical Landmarks in the Hudson Valley