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Doanes Falls to Spirit Falls Loop is a 4.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Royalston, Massachusetts that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and snowshoeing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 4.6 mi Elevation gain 633 ft Route type Loop

Dog friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Snowshoeing

Forest

Lake

River

Views

Waterfall

Wildlife

Bugs

Rocky

Scramble

Snow

Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (52)
Photos (233)
Recordings (30)
Completed (134)
Evan Mooney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jul 12 2020
Hiking

There were a lot of people there probably due to the falls being featured on an episode of chronicle in the prior weeks. it was a nice little hike and we ended up finding a decent, quiet area to get in the water.

View Evan's Recording
Lindi DeLorio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarThu Jul 09 2020
HikingBugs

People weren't kidding about the bugs. It was a 90 degree, humid day, but I guess that's what happens when you're walking next to water for half the trail. I also agree with others that it is not well marked. We started in the wrong place, which was quite pleasant with 3 little waterfalls - that's when the trees were marked with blue. We saw some people swimming in the pools between the falls. I don't know if it's accurate, but we entered a trail head beside the Tully Lake canoe place with the bike icon on the sign. It's basically a nature walk on a wide path until you hit the incline. The path is marked in red and yellow, but we encountered a T-stop with a clear sign that pointed right and left and we turned right to follow the yellow path. You walk a ways, keeping a look out for yellow, then it's STEEP for a few hundred yards, but a lot fewer bugs! Definitely do-able if you're expecting a moderate walk because it's on the easy side of moderate. But then at the top, we couldn't figure out where to go. We started seeing white trail markers on the trees for the first time and our map had no white trails. SOoo..instead of looping or following white (we had kids with us), we double-backed the whole thing we had just done. I don't regret it because it's still outside and something new, but the trail was confusing, especially when you're expecting a loop and have to repeat backwards instead.

Shane Diaz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri May 29 2020
HikingBugsClosed

My wife and I extended this hike to 8 miles by taking the outer Tully Trail Friday afternoon. Overall, the trail was fun to hike, but the bugs were definitely out. Insect repellent is a MUST to have! Thank goodness for some breezes at the lookouts. Make sure you make it out to the Ledges and Jacob's Hill.

Jacqueline Mills
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 24 2020
HikingBugs

This trail beat my expectations!! Easy walk along Tully, the more challenging as you ascend and even a little bit of rock scramble! You are either by the lake or waterfalls almost the entire hike. Will echo other comments, at times the trail isn’t well marked - we had to backtrack a few times. Started early in the day which was better be be wary of the fact the Doane’s falls technically says “property closed”.

Kennedy Lloyd
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat May 23 2020
HikingBugsClosedMuddyOver grownRockyScramble

This hike was stunning! The waterfalls were amazing and the views were so cool! However, not marked super well and it has very very steep parts with lots of rocks. Well worth it if you’re willing to put in a little work though! Mud and bugs were super bad though bug spray is not optional. A lot of trails in the area were closed so make sure you pay attention to signage due to coronavirus. Pretty private especially towards the top as well!

Lital Asher-Dotan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 16 2020
HikingBugs

Beautiful trail, well marked, not too busy in COVID19 social distancing times. great views and a pretty steep climb to the top of the falls.

Maria Sesso
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 10 2020
Hiking

We left from the Tully River Canoe Launch and took the Tully/Bike Trail and then the Spirit Falls loop, but due to COVID-19, the Doanes Falls portion on the south side of Doanes Hill Road is closed for the time being. Nice hike along Long Pond, muddy in a very few spots, but completely navigable and overlook was lovely and the waterfall was beautiful. Not too many people, and there is plenty of space to social distance on the trails.

Jenn DeSimone
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 03 2020
Hiking

This is a beautiful trail—scenic views of a gorgeous waterfall, a lot of streams and varied tree coverage keep it interesting and engaging. There are some steep climbs to make it feel like a bit of a workout, but it’s not so challenging that we felt spent at the end. My wife and I went today, in the Covid-19 shutdown, and there are signs at some main entrancing warning it is closed... the facilities are closed, but the bike and walking trails are open and mostly quiet, especially early. Some things we wished we’d known: *this is not really a loop, so if you want the regular version of this hike, turn around after the scenic overlook *the bike path right by the entrance to the canoe on-ramp is how you get to the walking trail, start down it and you’ll see signs *the markers are confusing. If you take the path we did, it will start with yellow and orange, then turn to just yellow, then split into what we essentially found to be four different paths... one yellow continuing to take you on the spirit trail for the long walk (we think), and THREE white dot trails... one to an overgrown and today very muddy path that we didn’t want to keep trudging through, one across the waterfall to ? (Check caitlin’s review) and one to a scenic overlook. The scenic overlook is definitely worth it—not very far, and has a beautiful view. This is when we ultimately decided to turn around and take our original path back—we didn’t try the final white dot path across the waterfall. *Reception is a little spotty, but I would recommend keeping an eye on your map/phone for any of these paths once you pass the waterfall, this map tagged in the app made it look like a loop to us and we got off track with the white dot paths a few times Enjoy! This is definitely worth your time.

Brian Ciemian
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Apr 29 2020
HikingBugs
View Brian's Recording
Tim O'Neil
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Apr 20 2020
Hiking

Awesome hike. Doane’s Falls at the beginning was packed so a little difficult to social distance. Continue on the blue markers and cross the road. You will see a trail marked “bike path 7.5 miles” on the right side of the lake. Take that for a couple miles. When the trail splits between “bike path” and “Tully trail” make sure you take Tully trail to the right. It’s a steep climb up to Spirit Falls which was a little tough with the dog but a gorgeous waterfall. After Spirit Falls you continue up and take the white dot trail to the RIGHT. You have to cross over the brook to do so. Once in the Ledges the trail is not well-marked so if you are going to complete the loop just stay aware and keep your maps handy. We got off-path a couple times.

Brian Leadbetter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 19 2020
Hiking

amazing trail. most of it is very easy with one stretch on the back side that makes it moderate. I never give trails this easy 4 stars nevermind 5 stars but it earned it. the views are spectacular here. the lake is gorgeous. several phenomal waterfalls. including a beautiful one on the back part of the trail. love this and will do it again. highly highly recommend. not sure how the water would flow mid summer but it was roaring today

View Brian's Recording
Barbara Turner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Apr 12 2020
Hiking

Most of the hike is through lovely woods but trail up Spirit Falls was steep and rocky. Spirit Falls had plenty of water today but during the summer it is sometimes only a trickle. From the falls the trail to the ledges was marked with a white dot. The view from the ledges was beautiful and there was a stone bench to sit on and take in the view. After the ledges the trail back down was barely marked with faded yellow. It appears to be a deprecated trail. Trail was steep in places.

View Barbara's Recording
Glynn Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Apr 11 2020
HikingOff trail

Doane’s Falls is absolutely gorgeous, easy access. Heavily trafficked on a nice day. Takes about 30-45 minutes to complete round trip. If you continue on to Spirit Falls the trails are less trafficked, so sometimes drift off the main trail. 100% worth it, Spirit Falls are completely different type of waterfall than Doane’s.

Handy Andy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 22 2020
Hiking

Caitlin's review and directions are spot on. I'll just add that from the top of spirit falls the bench at the ledges was farther that I expected, but worth it. Just follow the white dots to the bench. after the bench you can continue the loop but it is overgrown a bit. the marks change to yellow and are old.

Lizzie Rosario
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Aug 19 2019
Hiking

trail well maintained and marked properly, beautiful and peaceful place to go, small and easy but worth the travel

Rachel Barrett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Aug 13 2019
Hiking

lovely quick walk beautiful falls

View Rachel's Recording
Louis McGee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 28 2019
HikingBugsRocky

I agree with everything Caitlyn Corey said. It’s not a loop but with some problem solving and switching blaze colors we managed to make it up to the stone bench overlooking the lake and pond and made it totally worth it. Very very buggy. Breezes helped. Lots of burly rocky inclines and at times confusing pine forest downhill switchbacks. Go with where the water is, not necessarily the color of the blaze. A solidly moderate and heart pumping hike with beautiful payoffs.

Caitlyn Corey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Jun 26 2019
HikingBugs

** This trail is not a loop ** We parked at Doane’s falls which is where the ‘directions’ on the map will take you. A quick .2 miles (relatively) through Doane’s will lead you to the Tully Lake trail across the street to the left. Once across the street, you will read a sign that says ‘Bike Path 17 miles’. Take that. The maps are spot on until you get to Spirit Falls (stay tuned). After a mile on this path you will reach a divide that offers the bike path, or a trail to the right which will be slightly more challenging and uphill (don’t be scared, it’s a great workout). Follow the yellow trail markers to Spirit Falls. Once you cross the foot bridge, the trail will continue up the hill to the left. There will be red, metal stake on your right. Once you get to the top of Spirit Falls, you have a few options: turn around and go home, or man up and take the next trail to ‘The Ledges’ (it’s worth it). Essentially the yellow marked trail ends and the White Dot begins. We began going up and to the left, but that will take you (I believe) back to the bike path. To get to Ledges you will have to cross the waterfall on the right. Look for a faded piece of red ribbon on a tree next to the water. Cross the waterfall there and across the way you should see another White Dot. Take this to epic landscape views and a cute stone bench. Unfortunately, the loop trail connecting back is over grown, and unmarked. Brave it if you’d like, we tried it and ended up turning around. The hike back wasn’t bad. It took us 3 hours to finish 6 miles (Doane’s to the Ledges and back). Bring bug spray and check for ticks during and after. Overall, the trails offered multiple terrains and wildlife. I would definitely do it again, probably in the fall when there are less bugs and cool foliage.

Taylor Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 23 2019
Hiking

Stick to the maps and you won’t get lost...markers can be a bit confusing and spaced far. Love this hike! The waterfalls are both beautiful and the distance is perfect!

Jeena Howard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Jul 31 2018
Hiking

Majority of the hike was great and the Waterfalls are neat. It is a little confusing when it comes to the loop, if you’re following along with the map on here, just cut over the water a little sooner than it says. There will be a white dot across. When I was coming down through the ledges I kept losing the trail and had to run down through trees and spiders. Idk. Maybe that was my fault though. I did like that there wasn’t anyone else, so Penny could run off leash

Bruno Galea
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 27 2018
Hiking

Very nice family trail. 2:30 hrs hike with our 8 year old boy. Nice falls, pond and view. We may come back at fall to see the leaves color changing. Don’t forget the bug spray, a lot of mosquito at this season.

Hannah R.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat May 26 2018
Hiking

It’s a nice hike that’s not very trafficked. The trails aren’t very well marked around the turnaround point of the loop. We took the blue trail to the orange to yellow to white dot. Despite the markings, it’s a great hike with some good elevation and nice waterfalls.

Adventures with Dogs User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri May 04 2018
Hiking

I was a little disappointed with this hike. The falls are very nice, especially now while the levels are still high. I went with my two dogs, who loved the Trail (they both gave 5 stars). Even the older guy, who's mildly arthritic, had no problem with the little rock scramble. The problem I had was with the trail markings. After Spirit Falls, I could see the pups were getting tired. There was a trail to the left marked by white, which I think of as a connector. I took it, thinking it might link up with the bike trail. It goes in a direction toward the bike path for a few hundred yards, then seems to vanish. I swept forward, left and right for a hundred feet or so, but saw no signage, or even a game trail. At that point, we just turned around and backtracked. A nice hike if you're doing the entire thing but I wouldn't travel any distance for this particular one.

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