I’m a big fan of a good surprise, and last Sunday, Adam and I were gifted a very good surprise. A friend and hiking enthusiast posted beautiful pictures of a recent outing to the Duxbury Window in Bolton. I was looking for a low elevation outing and decided to check it out.

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We arrived at the roadside parking lot for the Duxbury Window Trail (Long Trail) around 8:30. The skies were gray, and the air was cool (perfect hiking weather for our dog Yadi), and water was abundant trail-side (also a plus for Labradors).

A few steps into the hike, and I knew we were going to enjoy it. Glacial erratics (large boulders dropped by glaciers during the ice age) lined the trail, some as large as a small house. The ground was carpeted in spring plants and flowers, and the wide-open deciduous forest was cool and airy.

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We climbed gradually through the woods on a broad, even path, coming to a well-constructed bridge over a rushing stream. After passing the stream (Yadi went in for a dip), I could hear the thundering of whitewater. I had a pretty good feeling about what was coming, and I was not disappointed!

Adam at the falls

Below us, water poured through mossy rocks in a jumble of varying cascades. As we climbed, I saw several herd paths leaving the main trail for the waterfalls. We found a suitable one and made our way to the water.

If you like waterfalls (and you’re pretty nimble), this is the place for you! We spent about forty-five minutes exploring the area, climbing and scrambling from one waterfall to the next. The water had shaped the landscape, hollowing out rocks and settling piles of stones and debris along the shoreline. Yadi even found a lab-sized ‘swimming pool’ hollowed out of a large boulder.


After enjoying the cascades, we made our way back to the main trail and up to the Duxbury Window. The ‘Window’ is a lookout spot with a bench that gives good views of the valley below. After enjoying the views, we continued on to the Bamforth Shelter.

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Ruthie at the Bamforth Shelter.

This part of the hike offered rewarding scenery, including some views of the Green Mountains, fun ledges to scramble, a cave, and a very interesting portion of trail wrapped in roots. We reached the final destination, the shelter, as a light rain began to fall. After spending a few minutes in the tidy lean-to, we started the hike back along Bamforth Ridge.

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Ruthie beside the cave on the ascent to the Bamforth Shelter. 

If given a choice, I’ll always take a loop to see new terrain, but this was a pleasant out-and-back. We found a new section of falls to explore, Yadi cooled off in a dog-sized pool formed by a boulder and the roots of some large trees, and we enjoyed the views of the mountains through the bare branches.

I had no idea we’d see the beautiful things we did on Sunday, but it goes to show you that you should never underestimate the beauty of low elevation hikes!

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