Waterfalls / by Greg Westrich

Spring is usually the best time to hike to waterfalls. We had a relatively snow-free winter and a dry spring so far, which means the flows aren't as high as some years. But this is still the best time to hike to your favorite waterfall.


I put together a list of my 20 favorite in Maine.


1. Indian Falls (Hike 20 in Best Easy Day Hikes Greenville). It's a beautiful falls that no one knows about. It can be hard to find, but I was careful to make the directions in my book followable.


2. Tumbledown Dick Falls (Hike 14 in BEDH Greenville). Another rarely visited falls. It is one of the higher falls in Maine and the highest in the 100 Mile Wilderness region. The hike to it is kinda long (almost an 8 mile round trip from the Turtle Ridge Trailhead parking area on the Jo Mary Road). The last time I was there I almost stepped on a beaver. We were both very surprised.


3. Blueberry Ledges (will be in my Baxter State Park book that comes out next summer). There are actually several falls along Katahdin Stream in this mile-long section. Each is unique and beautiful in its own way. For some reason, the park in its guide plays down these falls.


4. Howe Brook Falls (Hike 58 in Hiking Maine). The lower falls is a series of drops and pools. Great for swimming when its hot—even though the water is always cold. The upper falls is FREEZING. Ask Henry about our swimming there. A short hike from South Branch Pond in Baxter.


5. Canon Brook (Hike 23 in Hiking Maine). Canon Brook tumbles out of the Featherbed on the flank of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. There are numerous waterfalls as the stream finds its way over bare granite and jumbles of boulders.


6. Hadlock Falls (Hike 32 in Hiking Maine). Acadia's biggest waterfall. By mid-summer, it's barely a trickle.


7. Little Wilson Falls (Hike 1 in BEDH Greenville). The highest waterfall on the entire Appalachian Trail. A spectacular 75 drop into a black, slate gorge.


8. Katahdin Falls (will be in my Baxter guide). The highest waterfall in Maine—for years everyone said Angel Falls in western Maine was the highest, but they were mistaken. Most people rush by this waterfall on their way up Katahdin on the Hunt Trail. It's worth its own visit.


9. Moxie Falls (Hike 40 in Hiking Maine). The biggest waterfall in Maine. An easy hike from Lake Moxie Road leads past upper falls to several viewing platforms across a deep canyon from the main falls.


10. Shin Brook Falls (Hike 63 in Hiking Maine). Another little-visited waterfall. A short hike leads from a logging road to this slate waterfall. Worth visiting whenever you visit the northern end of Baxter.


11. Dunn Falls (Hike I in Hiking Maine). A spectacular drop in the western mountains along the Appalachian Trail. The upper and lower falls together are higher than Little Wilson Falls. A side trail off the AT makes the hike a loop that passes about 10 waterfalls.


12. Grafton Notch. There are several waterfalls in and around Grafton Notch State Park. The best known is Screw Auger Falls. But be sure to visit Mother Walker Falls, too. Nearby, is Step Falls, which is a hugely popular swimming spot. The waterfall drops about 100 feet down a series of granite ledges. There are numerous pools and slides.


13. Gulf Hagas has several big waterfalls. Near the head of the gulf are Stair, Billings, and Buttermilk Falls. On a side stream near where the canyon ends, are Screw Auger Falls (yeah, there are more than one) and Lower Falls. In between are several smaller falls.


A few other Maine waterfalls worth visiting:


Kees Falls (Hike 38 in Hiking Maine)

Debsconeag Falls (Hike 46 in Hiking Maine)--a moose and I almost walked into each other, our approach drowned out by the roar of the water.

Niagara Falls (Hike 61 in Hiking Maine)--one of a series of falls on Nesowadnehunk Stream as is tumbles down toward the Penobscot River.

Green's Falls

Little Abol Falls

Hay Brook Falls

South Branch Falls

I'm sure I forgot some good waterfalls. There may even be some I haven't visited yet. Write a comment and clue me in.