MT. WASHINGTON, Mass. (NEWS10) — Bash Bish Falls, the highest waterfall in Massachusetts and a popular scenic destination in Berkshire County, is getting a redesign of its viewing area and parking lot. With the redesign, visitors will permanently no longer have access to water at the bottom of the falls.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), improvements to the parking area began in spring 2023. The viewing area is currently in the design and permitting phase. Planned improvements at the viewing area include upgrades to the pathways and fencing.

In 2020, access to the bottom of the falls was restricted. This was because people were reportedly swimming and leaving trash around the area. Bash Bish Falls State Park is not a swimming and picnicking area, said DCR.

“To promote public safety, mitigate visitor impacts on the natural resource, and protect the rare and native habitat, access to the water was closed in July 2020 with the placement of barriers,” said DCR.

These barriers will remain in place until work on the redesign of the viewing area is completed. The redesign will include more permanent types of barriers being put in place. DCR does not yet have a timeline for when the viewing area redesign will be finished.

Bash Bish Falls can be accessed from Copake in Columbia County or Massachusetts, with the actual Falls being located just over the New York border in Berkshire County. According to Copake Town Historian Howard Blue, Bash Bish Falls, although across the state line, is the town’s biggest attraction.

DCR reminds visitors that there are many other locations in the area to swim and picnic, including Taconic State Park in Copake Falls, which is next to Bash Bish Falls. You can view other Massachusetts park locations on the DCR website.