Maine's inland landscapes are just as breathtaking as its coast, with majestic mountains, densely forested woodlands, and glistening streams and lakes.. Home to hundreds of waterfalls of all shapes and sizes, reached by pleasant hikes through the natural terrain, Maine has a bounty of beautiful cascades to enjoy.
1.Alder Stream Falls
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Alder Stream Falls is located just outside Alder Stream Township in Maine in Franklin County and is divided into two sections: The upper falls, which are 20 feet high, and the lower falls, which have a drop of 25 feet. Fed by the Alder Stream, the falls have unique shapes in that the upper falls plunge into a cascade, while the lower falls horsetail before cascading down the 25 feet drop. The falls are easily reached by a short walk of a few hundred yards from the parking lot, with a rope in place for assistance when scrambling down the incredibly steep gorge walls. The upper falls are reached by following a rough path into the woods that leads to the top of the falls, where there are stunning views.
Alder Stream TWP, Franklin County, Maine
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Angel Falls is a beautiful 90-foot waterfall in western Maine’s Franklin County and has been hailed as being one of the most spectacular in the state. Located near the town of Byron, Angel Falls is fed by Mountain Brook and tumbles happily down a rocky cliff for 90 feet before pouring into a pool below. Named Angel Falls due to its water flow resembling the form of an angel, the waterfall can easily be reached by taking Route 17 from Byron until a short hiking trail marked by signs is visible. The path leads through the woods for about 0.8 miles to the waterfall, which is surrounded by lush vegetation and offers a beautiful place to relax in peace. Angel Falls are best visited in June or July when the weather is optimal for hiking and the water levels are full.
Byron, Franklin County, Maine
3.Austin Stream Falls
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Set on Austin Stream just outside the town of Moscow in Somerset County, Austin Stream Falls is a large, powerful waterfall with a 100-foot drop located in the Kennebec River watershed. Higher than Moxie Falls, Austin Stream Falls drops in a series of beautiful cascades, rather than a single drop, with the upper falls making an unusual almost 90-degree turn as it enters the stream's gorge. Austin Stream Falls can only be viewed from above from several camping spots next to the creek immediately above the canyon, as the gorge into which the water drops is a sheer-walled canyon with no footpaths, trails, or access to the bottom. The upper gorge has a rim from which there are stunning views of the majestic 100-foot falls below.
Moscow, Somerset County, Maine
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Set on the Bickford Brook in the Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness, deep within the White Mountain National Forest, Bickford Slides is a splendid 90-foot waterfall that is made up of two tiers of cascades and slides, the upper of which is 40 feet high, while the lower is 50 feet. Hidden in a ravine between the Blueberry and Sugarloaf Mountains, Bickford Brook makes its way downstream towards its confluence with the Cold River, and the Bickford Slides can be found along the way. They can be reached by several popular hiking trails that wind their way through heavily shaded glens and there are pleasant swimming holes to dip into after the hike.
White Mountain National Forest, Stow, Oxford County, Maine
5.Big and Little Niagara Falls
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The Big and Little Niagara Falls are tucked into the forest south of Kidney Pond in Baxter State Park and are among the many stunning natural landmarks in this area. The two waterfalls are located on the Nesowadnehunk Stream just south of Lily Pad Pond and can be reached by starting at the popular Daicey Pond Campground and hiking south on the Appalachian Trail for just over a mile until you get to the falls. Alternatively, start at the Kidney Pond Campground and hike the lesser-known route, which is 4.6 miles of hiking and includes about a mile of paddling a park canoe on still water, making for a far more interesting adventure.
Baxter State Park: 64 Balsam Drive, Millinocket, ME 04462, Phone: 207-723-5140
6.Big Wilson Falls
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Big Wilson Falls is made up of several cascades and drops and is one of the most accessible waterfalls in Maine with no hiking required. Located in the Moosehead Region in Maine, Big Wilson Falls is located to the right of the bridge on Elliotsville Road and can be reached by merely parking near the bridge and walking down the hill to the falls. The falls have several large rocks to clamber around on and a small beach that is perfect for picnicking, swimming, and relaxing for the day. Big Wilson Falls are at their best in the autumn when there is reasonable water flow, and the surrounding foliage creates a palette of amazing colors and hues.
Guilford, Moosehead Region, ME 04443
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Cascades Falls is a large, roaring waterfall set in historic Cascade Falls Park that boasts a horsetail shape and a drop of over 20 feet. Situated just a few minutes from Old Orchard Beach, Cascade Falls, also known as Cascade Brook Falls, is nestled in a pretty ravine and offers beautiful views of falling water. The falls can be reached by a straightforward walk of about 10 minutes each way and are best in the spring snowmelt or after heavy rains. Cascade Falls Park is a popular state park that has attracted visitors since the late 1800s, who come to enjoy picnicking, fishing, hiking, and viewing the falls.
Cascade Falls Park: Casco Road, Saco, Maine
8.Chandler Mill Stream Falls
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Chandler Mill Stream Falls is set on the Chandler Mill Stream in the Small Falls Rest Area just outside Township E in Franklin County. Made up of cascades, horsetails, and slides, the falls have an upper and lower section, the top of which drops 25 feet, while the smaller drops 15 feet into two open swimming pools. Chandler Mill Stream Falls can be reached at the trailhead that leads past Smalls Falls, which can be reached by descending some stairs on the route. To reach Chandler Mill Stream Falls, continue past Smalls Falls straight into the woods on an unmarked but obvious path that ends at the falls. Views of the lower falls are limited, but the cliffy views of the upper falls are unobstructed and superb.
Small Falls Rest Area, Township E, Franklin County, Maine
9.Cold Stream Falls
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Located in Weyerhaeuser Park (formerly Plum Creek) in Somerset County’s Johnson Mountain Township, Cold Stream Falls is an impressive 20-foot horsetail cascade that makes its way through a deep gorge. Very remote and secluded, the falls can be reached by an access trail that runs parallel to the river, which has beautiful clear and cold waters due to the lack of sunlight shining into the gorge. There is a large swimming hole at Cold Stream Falls, which promises privacy and seclusion due to the remoteness of the falls.
Weyerhaeuser Park, Johnson Mountain Township, Somerset County, Maine
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Dunn Falls is an alluring waterfall on the Ellis River near Andover in Oxford County with two sections and a small swimming hole. The upper part of the falls features a stunning 70-foot drop forming a horsetail and fans, while the lower section of the falls is a direct plunge, dropping 80 additional feet into a pool below. Dunn Falls can be reached on a scenic day-hike along the West Branch of the Ellis River through the beautifully conserved wilderness to the Upper and Lower Dunn Falls. The moderately rated 2-mile lop to the falls includes part of the Appalachian Trail and several small swimming pools for dipping in along the way.
Andover, Oxford County, Maine
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Better known for its fantastic swimming hole rather than its beautiful waterfall, Frenchman’s Hole is a secluded spot in beautiful Bethel, near the Sunday River, that boasts a 30-foot waterfall that cascades into a very deep pool with crystal-clear water. Created by the river flowing off the mountain, this astonishing basin is a quintessential open water swimming spot and usually packed with hikers and swimmers relaxing as well as thrill seekers looking to jump from the top of the falls down into the deep pool below. Frenchman’s Hole is easily reached from North Bethel up the Sunday River Road, past an historical and picturesque covered bridge.
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Grand Falls might not live up to its name in height, but it certainly does so in breadth, spanning over 120 feet across and creating an enormous water flow that cascades down a 40-foot drop. This spectacular waterfall is located on the Dead River, a famous whitewater rafting river in The Forks, and boasts a horseshoe-style shape and breathtaking panoramic views. To reach Grand Falls, drive to Lower Enchanted Road, turn left on the dirt road and continue for 14 miles. From the parking lot, it is a leisurely 0.8-mile stroll along a well-maintained trail leading to the waterfall, which is beautiful year round. The highest waterfall can be seen in the springtime during spring runoff, and swimming is prohibited at this waterfall due to its immense power.
Dead River, The Forks, Maine
13.Gulf Hagas Falls
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Located in remote Piscataquis County, Gulf Hagas Falls can be found in Gulf Hagas Gorge, often referred to as the Grand Canyon of the East. Carved by the West Branch of the Pleasant River, the vertically walled slate gorge runs for 3 miles and features numerous waterfalls, cascades, and rivulets, making for spectacular natural scenery, which can be viewed from a trail that follows the rim of the canyon. The river drops 370 feet over the 3-mile length of the gorge, while the walls reach heights of over 130 feet, with several waterfalls along the way.
Piscataquis County, Maine
14.Hay Brook Falls
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The little known and lesser visited Hay Brook Falls can be found deep within the KI Jo-Mary Multiple Use Forest in Piscataquis County in Central Maine and offers a stunning spot for a tranquil afternoon of relaxing without the crowds. The 28-foot horsetail-shaped waterfall is set on the Hay Brook, which travels down a chute, hits an upward sloping slide, changes direction by 90 degrees, and crashes into a small pool. Hay Brook Falls can be reached by two trails, namely from the Gulf Hagas trailhead, offering a 2.4-mile loop to the waterfalls and back, or along a short 0.2-mile one-way hike from the 4WD trailhead.
Piscataquis County, Maine
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Set in the White Mountain National Forest just outside the town of Batchelders Grant in Oxford County, Kee Falls is an impressive, nearly vertical 25-foot horsetail lined on both sides by bright green moss and cascading into a deep and dark pool below. Small but picturesque, the pool at the bottom of the falls can’t be pegged as a swimming hole but is perfect for a quiet dip at the end of the hike. Fed by Morrison Brook, Kee Falls can be reached by a pleasant and moderately rated 2-mile walk to the falls, with a 600-foot climb to the top of the falls. Kee Falls is often visited most by hikers ascending to ledges near the summit of Caribou Mountain to take in the scenic views on a round-trip loop hike using the Caribou and Mud Brook trails.
Piscataquis County, Maine
16.Little Wilson Falls
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Situated near Elliotsville Township in Piscataquis County, Little Wilson Falls is a three-section waterfall, with the upper, middle and lower falls made up of horsetails, slides, and cascades. The upper falls drop from a height of 40 feet, the middle falls from a height of 25 feet, and the lower falls from 18 feet. Both the middle and lower falls drop into large, deep pools, which make pleasant swimming holes and are popular in the warm summer months. Below Little Wilson Falls, the water continues to cascade over a series of smaller waterfalls before flowing into Big Wilson Stream; both can be accessed via a section of the Appalachian Trail.
Elliotsville Plantation & Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Elliotsville Township, Piscataquis County, Maine
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Located in Moxie Gore Township in Somerset County, Moxie Falls is a spectacular waterfall with a vertical drop of over 90 feet into a 17-foot pool below, making it one of the highest falls in New England. Fed by the Moxie Stream, which flows from Moxie Pond into the Kennebec River about half a mile downstream, Moxie Falls can be reached by a relatively easy hike from a trailhead in the parking lot on Moxie Road. The trail is approximately 0.5 miles to the falls, with a wooden boardwalk and viewpoints along the way for soaking up the beautiful scenery. Once done at the falls, head upstream to find several pools that are great for swimming.
Lake Moxie Rd, West Forks, ME 04985
18.Poplar Stream Falls
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Poplar Streams Falls are found in the Carrabassett Valley, home to the Sugarloaf Mountain Resort, one of the largest ski resorts in the East. Situated a few miles east of the resort, Poplar Streams Falls features two sets of falls, each from a different water source and each falling from different heights. The first set of falls is a 24-foot horsetail-shaped cascade set on Poplar Stream that drops into a swimming pool below, while the second is a 51-foot horsetail on South Brook, which fans gloriously down a steep rock face into a large swimming hole. The two streams come together about 0.1 miles downstream of each of the falls and can be accessed by a long and enjoyable hike in summer or with cross-country skis or snowshoes in winter.
Carrabassett Valley, Maine
19.Rattlesnake Flume and Pool
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Set on the Rattlesnake Brook, Rattlesnake Flume and Rattlesnake Pool highlight nature at its most spectacular, drawing both locals and visitors to soak up the picturesque beauty. Rattlesnake Flume is a stunning 10-foot plunge cascading down into a narrow gorge with steep walls, while Rattlesnake Pool is a dazzlingly attractive swimming hole fed by small 3 and 4-foot horsetails that drop into a giant pothole, creating the fantastic swimming hole. The pool’s water is frigid year round due to the always-chilly mountain water flowing into it and the sun-sapping overhanging hemlock trees above; however, the water is always exceptionally clean, and the moss-surrounded horsetail that feeds the pool, along with the striking teal-green colored water, creates a decidedly romantic ambiance.
Stowe, Oxford County, Maine
20.Screw Auger Falls
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Screw Auger Falls can be found in Grafton Notch State Park and is an elegant 30-foot waterfall that plunges over the lip of a broad granite ledge into a gorge, creating a lovely streaming cascade that makes for inspiring photographs. Below the waterfall, the Bear River continues through a curvaceous canyon and drops another 30 feet in a series of cascades passing shallow pools, giant potholes, caverns, and a small natural arch. Screw Auger Falls can easily be reached by a very short, wheelchair-accessible pathway and features several picnic tables, restrooms with pit toilets, and plenty of parking in a large parking area at the site.
Grafton Notch State Park: 1941 Bear River Rd, Newry, ME 04261, Phone: 207-824-2912
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Smalls Falls is a spot popular for its charming natural scenery, beautiful waterfall, and excellent swimming holes. Located in the Smalls Falls Rest Area just south of the town of Rangeley, Smalls Falls has a spectacular 54-foot drop with numerous cascades that travel through a gorge with amazingly colored walls of brown, beige, gold, green, and black rock. The bottom of Small Falls features a 3-foot cascade that drops into a 20-foot-wide circular pool, followed by a 14-foot fanning horsetail further up that falls into a deep oblong pool. Further up again is a 25-foot segmented waterfall, and the top waterfall is a 12-foot horsetail and slide. Beyond the last fall are tiny plunges and cascades with crystal-clear water for fun dipping and splashing.
Smalls Falls Rest Area, Rangeley, Franklin County, Maine
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Step Falls is a long, spectacular chain of cascades and horsetails that gradually descends over 250 feet, creating a beautiful, misty water flow. Located a few miles outside the eastern border of Grafton Notch State Park, Step Falls is situated on a 24-acre property and has been a favorite attraction for waterfall fanatics and swimming hole lovers for decades. Fed by the mountain stream of Wight Brook, Step Falls meanders down several hundred feet of sunny granite slabs, forming numerous shallow pools along the way and offering excellent places for wading and splashing as well as some for swimming. During the spring runoff, the falls are spectacular, with massive water volumes creating roaring horsetails and plunges and fine mist sprays.
Grafton Notch State Park: 1941 Bear River Rd, Newry, ME 04261
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The Cascades, also known as Cascade Gorge and Cascade Stream Gorge, is an impressive set of waterfalls in the Rangeley Lakes region of the Western Maine Mountains. Three waterfalls stretch over a tenth of a mile, with the upper falls dropping 10 feet, the middle falls dropping 18 feet as a horsetail between towering gorge walls, and the lower falls plunging 20 feet into a vertical water channel, which is excellent for swimming. The falls are reached by a smooth and stunningly scenic hike along a trail that winds past the cool walls of an impressive gorge, creating the feeling of hiking through a natural tunnel.
Cascade Stream Gorge, Sandy River Plantation, Franklin County, Maine
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Situated on the Mahoosuc Public Reserve Land in Oxford County’s Andover West Surplus, The Cataracts is a mix of several types of waterfalls and numerous swimming holes set within a broad, rugged, deep gorge. The three distinct sets of falls include the lower falls, sometimes called The Churn, which drop 12 feet through a tight slot at the end of the gorge; the middle cascade, known as The Cataract, is a 70-foot horsetail that plunges down a smooth slide into a deep pothole; and the upper falls, known as The Flume, drops in a series of curving cascades and horsetails that create a stunning vista. There are several family-friendly and dog-friendly swimming holes along the way that provide hours of fun.
Mahoosuc Public Reserve Land, Andover West Surplus, Oxford County, Maine
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Tobey Falls is a small 8-foot slide-type waterfall that flows down a smoothly polished 45-degree-angle black-colored ledge. Fed by Big Wilson Stream, which is a usually 30 to 50-foot-wide river, Tobey Falls condenses the stream to a fraction of that to create a waterfall of plunging torrents of whitewater that tumble down the rocks. The waterfalls are easily accessible but can be very slippery due to the angle of the stones, and extreme caution should be taken when exploring the falls. Fishing for salmon is a favorite activity at the base of the main falls, where the fish gather to feed.
Willimantic, Piscataquis County, Maine
25 Best Waterfalls in Maine
- Alder Stream Falls, Photo: Courtesy of joda - Fotolia.com
- Angel Falls, Photo: Courtesy of deniskarpenkov - Fotolia.com
- Austin Stream Falls, Photo: Courtesy of wishfaery14 - Fotolia.com
- Bickford Slides, Photo: Courtesy of Fotolia.com
- Big and Little Niagara Falls, Photo: Courtesy of Iri_sha - Fotolia.com
- Big Wilson Falls, Photo: Courtesy of vrabelpeter1 - Fotolia.com
- Cascade Falls, Photo: Courtesy of Aivolie - Fotolia.com
- Chandler Mill Stream Falls, Photo: Courtesy of silvapinto - Fotolia.com
- Cold Stream Falls, Photo: Courtesy of piyaset - Fotolia.com
- Dunn Falls, Photo: Courtesy of Suphaya - Fotolia.com
- Frenchman’s Hole, Photo: Courtesy of MohdHafidzul - Fotolia.com
- Grand Falls, Photo: Courtesy of Helios4Eos - Fotolia.com
- Gulf Hagas Falls, Photo: Courtesy of stars_hjp - Fotolia.com
- Hay Brook Falls, Photo: Courtesy of Nikki - Fotolia.com
- Kee Falls, Photo: Courtesy of sv_production - Fotolia.com
- Little Wilson Falls, Photo: Courtesy of liliyabatyrova - Fotolia.com
- Moxie Falls, Photo: Courtesy of MohdHafidzul - Fotolia.com
- Poplar Stream Falls, Photo: Courtesy of liliyabatyrova - Fotolia.com
- Rattlesnake Flume and Pool, Photo: Courtesy of Judah - Fotolia.com
- Screw Auger Falls, Photo: Courtesy of Douglas - Fotolia.com
- Smalls Falls, Photo: Courtesy of Zack Frank - Fotolia.com
- Step Falls, Photo: Courtesy of allyssiab - Fotolia.com
- The Cascades, Photo: Courtesy of olehslepchenko - Fotolia.com
- The Cataracts, Photo: Courtesy of Sander - Fotolia.com
- Tobey Falls, Photo: Courtesy of Eduardo - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Schultes - Fotolia.com