Doane's Falls
Find Your Place

About Doane's Falls

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.

Trails
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.

Facilities
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.

Regulations & Advisories

Swimming, Diving, and Wading Ban
Swimming, diving, and wading at Doane’s Falls have led to fatalities and serious injuries over the years. Following the latest fatality in August 2002, The Trustees of Reservations placed a temporary ban on all swimming, diving, and wading and began an immediate policy review. To balance the fullest and safest use of our properties, we generally rely on a range of measures, from the display of informational and cautionary signs to the placement of physical barriers to prevent access to certain areas. However, we have concluded that neither the measures now in place nor additional reasonable measures would sufficiently reduce the inherent risk of serious injury or death that is likely to result from continued swimming, diving, and wading at Doane's Falls. For your protection, The Trustees now prohibits these inherently risky activities at this property. We hope you will understand our decision.

Hunting Advisory
Seasonal hunting is permitted on the Coddings Meadow parcel associated with this property subject to all state and town laws. Learn more about hunting on Trustees land.

Other Regulations
Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.

Directions

Athol Road
Royalston, MA 01368
Telephone: 978.248.9455
Tully Lake Campground:  978.249.4957 (seasonal)
Email: central@ttor.org

Latitude: 42.649
Longitude: -72.200

Get directions on Google Maps.

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.

Admission

When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1 hour, 2 hours if also visiting Coddings Meadow.

Admission
FREE to all

Property History

The Reservation is named for Amos Doane who, in the early 19th century, owned land in the then-thriving manufacturing center of Royalston. He built a mill – L-shaped and fifty feet long and more than four stories tall – above the falls for the manufacture of doors, sashes, and blinds. Though Doane’s venture eventually failed, a series of previous mills – grist, saw, pail, and fulling – had successfully operated on the falls.

Property Acquisition History
Original acreage acquired in 1959. Additional land purchased in 1975 with funds given by Richard Bullock in memory of Brigham Newton Bullock, Flora Bullock Poore, Benjamin Andrew Poore, and Nancy B. Bullock. Additional land purchased in 1984 from the Army Corps of Engineers, and in 1992 through Massachusetts Land Conservation Trust.  

Conservation and Stewardship

Management Planning for Our Properties
 


Since 1891, The Trustees of Reservations have worked to protect special places in Massachusetts and maintain them to the highest standards. To ensure these standards are met, a program of careful planning and sound management is essential. Comprehensive property management plans are created for each reservation and are completely updated approximately every ten years. We often work with volunteers, property users, and members of the community to carry out this planning, which typically involves several steps:
 


  • Describing in detail the site’s natural, scenic, and historical resources; identifying management issues related to the protection of those resources. 

  • Describing how visitors use the property; outlining the opportunities that the property provides for people to become involved in the work of conservation and caring for their community.

  • Developing a detailed list of management recommendations, a work plan, and a description of financial needs for implementing the actions.

  • Developing a prescribed routine management program for the reservation that will guide staff work plans, volunteer involvement, and the allocation of human and financial resources.


View Doane's Falls management plan (Part 1).
View Doane's Falls management plan (Part 2).

Maps and Resources

You can download a map (6MB) of the entire 22-mile Tully Trail.



Planning Your Visit

Before You Go
We encourage you to visit as many Trustees properties as you can.

Wherever your travels take you, please observe all posted regulations, follow special instructions from property staff, and keep in mind the Stewardship Code:

  • Protect wildlife and plants.
  • Guard against all risk of fire.
  • Help keep air and water clean.
  • Carry out what you carry in.
  • Use marked footpaths and bridle paths.
  • Leave livestock, crops, and machinery alone.
  • Respect the privacy of neighboring land.
  • Enjoy and share the landscape with others.

Click on links below for further visitor information:

Before Setting Out

Enjoying Trustees Reservations

Safety

About Hunting on Trustees of Reservations Land 

Tell Us What You Think

We’d love to hear about your visit! Here are three easy ways to let us know what you think:

  1. Take our visitor survey. If you have a question for us, you can ask us in the survey and we’ll get back to you.

  2. Post a comment about your visit on our Facebook page.

  3. Share your experiences with other visitors on our website. Simply fill out the form below, and we’ll post your comment right here on this page.


Submitted by laurie on: August 20, 2011
i grew up in athol so this place is special i came there often to relax and if i was having a bad time over something... the serenity i felt always calmed me down.



Submitted by fish on: June 26, 2010
i saw a picture of my grandmother as a teen age girl standing in front of the so called cave of doanes falls. is the cave still there ? I do recall ever seeing it anywere.. thanks



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Announcements & Alerts

Notice: Trails may be especially icy or muddy during the winter to spring transition. Use caution.

Swimming, diving, and wading are not allowed at Doane’s Falls.

Upcoming Things To Do
No events for this reservation at this time.
Other Trustees Properties You Might Like:

Tully Lake Campground
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Royalston Falls
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