MEDIA COVERAGE - DANVERS HERALD



Greg Parsons' waterfall adventures

By Danvers Herald Correspondents

September 15, 2011

QUESTION:
What inspired you to begin adventuring to all the waterfalls in New England? Did you love it as a child?

ANSWER
:
I hated going on my mom's adventures when I was younger. I was a bit of a brat and didn't appreciate the places that she brought me. She tried to get me to climb. Mt. Monadnock and I flat out refused by making obnoxious comments like "what is the purpose of walking up a mountain if you are just going to walk back down, mom?" It wasn't until high school that I started going on my own with my friends that I developed an appreciation for outdoor-ish places. The more waterfalls and swimming holes that I visited the more I wanted to visit even more. I just kept finding so many amazing and offbeat places that it just never got old. It's still fun to this day to find a new waterfall. I still have about 200 promising ones left to visit, and I usually visit about 10-15 per year. I add them to my website as I visit them.

QUESTION:
What was the book writing process like?

ANSWER:
The book writing process was extremely intense but also highly enjoyable. It was a very exciting time in my life and I enjoyed developing my own style of writing guidebooks. I created waterfall "journals" to develop a standard for classifying waterfalls and I used those as I visited each waterfall. I'd spend an hour or so at each waterfall observing, photographing and writing about it. For the first edition, Kate and I were on the road 5-6 days a week and would hike and write from 7am to about 6pm for the entire spring, summer and early fall of 2002. We visited about 400 waterfalls from April to September. The second edition was much easier to write since most of the writing was already done and we had already visited about 80 percent of the waterfalls in the book. We returned to every single waterfall in the book to make sure that nothing changed, and found that some things had (new trails, new parking lots, etc.). We visited about 450 waterfalls from May to October.

QUESTION:
What is something you think people do not know about nature/waterfalls in New England?

ANSWER:
Most people have no idea that there are probably 1,500 waterfalls in New England. They come in all shapes and sizes, from a few feet to 800 feet tall. Most people probably also do not know that there are excellent waterfalls throughout all corners of New England, and not just in the mountains of northern New England.

QUESTION:
What is a memorable moment in your career?

ANSWER:
Kate (the co-author) and I were cornered and then chased by a deer at a waterfall in Connecticut. The deer must have been protecting its young because it was extremely aggressive. Deer are the most part harmless to humans, but this was still very scary! The whole incident lasted about 30 seconds, but it felt like an hour.

QUESTION:
We heard your book was showcased on the TV show "Chronicle" - that must've been a thrill.

ANSWER:
That was a lot of fun. I followed a Chronicle producer and cameraman around for 2 days (1 day in the White Mountains and 1 day in central Massachusetts). They interviewed me at several of the waterfalls. The whole show was my idea and I pitched a proposal to them about 6 months ago. I had tried to get them to do a show in 2002 but was finally successful this time around.

QUESTION:
What is your next adventure?

ANSWER
:
I just want to continue visiting the remaining waterfalls I have not yet visited in New England. I want to keep improving my website and meeting more people that love the outdoors. I'm also about to finish hiking the "4000-footers" of New Hampshire. I only have one left (Mt. Madison).

QUESTION:
Does your family have a love of nature too?

ANSWER:
Some certainly do. My mother and aunt and uncle love it just as much as I do. They are always up for quick hike or long adventure.

QUESTION:
Is there a close waterfall to Danvers that residents could venture to?

ANSWER:
About an hour and 45 minutes west of Danvers is the town of Royalston, MA where three waterfalls can be found: Doane's Falls, Royalston Falls and Spirit Falls. It's very feasible to visit all three in a day. There are additional ones 30 minutes away as well. There are the best waterfalls close to Boston.

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