Waterfalls in the Katahdin RegionPosted on October 22, 2019
Looking for waterfalls to go visit? Here are some suggestions…
While most of the waterfalls in The Katahdin Region are tucked away in remote locations, many of them are also very accessible. Here are a few of our larger waterfalls; please remember your outdoor ethics when traveling through our region. For more information on the Leave No Trace outdoor ethics, please visit: www.lnt.org.
PISCATAQUIS COUNTY WATERFALLS
The “Grand Canyon of Maine” has four named waterfalls (Screw Auger, Buttermilk, Billings, and Stair) and numerous cascades and swimming holes. There are just under 9 miles of hiking trails, with waterfalls along 4 of them. The entire loop takes between 6-8 hours to complete and your views will reward your hard work hiking the trail.
Location: Gulf Hagas
Directions: Heading north from Brownville Junction on Rt. 11, take a left onto KI Road. Drive 7 miles to the entrance to Gulf Hagas.
Hay Brook Falls
With so many waterfalls in the state, it’s hard not to find one that is well known and heavily explored, but Hay Brook Falls is a truly hidden gem. Tucked away inside of KI Jo-Mary Multiple Use Forest, this horsetail waterfall has a 25 foot plunge and a view to experience.
Location: KI Jo-Mary Multiple Use Forest
Directions: Going north from Rt. 11, turn left onto Ebeemee Rd., which leads to Katahdin Iron Works Rd. Take this for 14 miles.
This little waterfall is complimented by a wonderful swimming hole—a great place on a hot summer day! The trail to reach this waterfall is only about 0.1 miles long, so it’s easy to get to when you need a spot to cool off.
Location: Bowdoin College Grant East
Directions: From the center of Millinocket take Rt. 11 South for about 26 miles. Take a right on the Katahdin Iron Works Rd. for about 6.5 miles. Stop and register at the Gate Station.
PENOBSCOT COUNTY WATERFALLS
Contact: Katahdin Region Chamber of Commerce
1029 Central Street, Millinocket, ME 04462
Located near Baxter State Park, Abol Falls is worth adding on to your visit to Mt. Katahdin. On the West Branch of the Penobscot River these falls gush best in the spring, but with serene woodland surroundings and a beautiful view of Katahdin itself, Abol Falls is worth a visit any time of year.
Location: Township 2
Directions: Take Telos Rd. (Golden Rd.) from Millinocket Rd. heading north, Abol Falls is roadside.
Maine’s tallest waterfall, Katahdin Falls is a gorgeous and rustic fall inside of Baxter State Park. Kept natural on state park land, this fall, located on Katahdin Stream, is uninterrupted and absolutely worth seeing on a trip to Baxter State Park.
Location: Baxter Stare Park
Directions: Take Rt. 157/11 North to Baxter State Park. After entering the park, continue until you reach Katahdin Stream Campground.
Also located inside Baxter State Park, Little Abol Falls is a 1.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Millinocket, Maine that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from April until November.
Less of a waterfall and more of an area with slides and rapids, we’re including this on this list because of its popularity within Baxter State Park. If you’re looking for some natural waterslides, check this place out!
Location: Township 4, Range 10
Directions: Take Rt. 157 through Millinocket and take a right on Millinocket Ave. (this is sometimes called Katahdin Ave. or Baxter Park Road). Check in at the gate to Baxter State Park and the Ranger will direct you to the west side of the main Baxter State Park Road.
While not a grand drop, Nesowadnehunk Falls is a powerful fall to be appreciated. This beautiful horseshoe fall is a frequented spot for portrait artists for obvious reasons, with it’s broad whitewaters in the forefront, and a scenic view of Katahdin in the background.
Location: Township 2, Range 10
Directions: Take Telos Rd. (Golden Rd.) from Millinocket Rd. heading north.
Orin Falls Hike Distance: 6 miles round trip (gravel roads, use caution crossing bridge) | Difficulty: Easy Wassataquoik Stream and Orin Falls — Described by Myron Avery as “a brawling mountain torrent of the clearest water, tumbling along a bed choked with enormous pink boulders,” the Wassataquoik descends in continuous rapids from Baxter State Park to the Penobscot River’s East Branch, a distance of about 14 miles. Once a scene of intense logging activity in the 19th century, it is now one of the wildest, least-developed watersheds in the northeast. The Wassataquoik Tote Rd. was built along the stream to support logging operations in the 1950’s and early 60’s. Orin Falls is an attractive stretch of rapids well worth a visit. Also, Donn Fendler (Lost on a Mountain In Maine) followed sections of the Wassataquoik down to the East Branch and his rescue at Lunksoos Camps. Directions: Drive 2 miles past the Loop Road Gate. At Katahdin Loop Road intersection turn right, drive 1.5 miles and turn right at Wassataquoik Gate sign. Drive approx. 3 miles to the service gate and park your vehicle. Follow the road north (turns left) staying on the IAT across Katahdin Brook — 1.5 miles to the intersection. Go straight here for 1.5 miles to Orin Falls sign on the right. Walk in 100 yards to the falls.
This 12-foot, 2-tiered waterfall is a hidden gem! The half-mile trail to get to the falls are easy, and you’ll be happy to find that you will, most likely, be the only visitors! Your trek to Northern Maine to visit this natural beauty will be rewarded with a dip in the cool waters.
Location: Township 6, Range 7 (Shin Pond Village)
Directions Take Rt. 11 north to Rt. 159 west through Patten. Continue on to Grand Lake Road, then right onto Scraggly Lake Road.
Shin Brook Falls
Shin Brook Falls Difficulty: Easy/Moderate to Upper Falls and top of Lower Falls; Moderate/ difficult to Lower Falls Distance: 0.3 miles to Upper or Lower Falls; 0.7 mile loop for both Time: 10 to 15 minutes
Directions: From Exit 264 Sherman/Patten, follow Rt. 159 West 9.8 miles until it ends at Shin Pond. At Shin Pond, Rt. 159 continues straight as the paved Grand Lake Road. Drive approximately 5.1 miles on Grand Lake Road and turn left onto Shin Brook Falls Rd, a dirt road. Parking area is straight ahead.
Located on private land but open to the public, Shin Brook Falls is one of Maine’s finest and is a plunge and horsetails type of waterfall. Three drops are found at the falls with the last one a spectacular drop of 30 feet. This horsetail spreads diagonally as it flows over rows and rows of rock shelves. Trail begins to the right of the parking lot and starts off mostly flat until you reach a fork. At the fork go left and about 300 feet in the trail will narrow and lead off deeper into the woods on the right. To visit the base of the Lower Falls—go right and after about 25 feet the path will begin to descend on a very steep and rough trail. The base of the Lower Falls is about 500 feet away. The descent can be difficult and caution needs to be used. You can also choose to visit the Upper Falls and the top of the Lower Falls. A very steep and rough trail connects the top of the Lower Falls with its base. You can make a nice loop out of both waterfalls, however this connecting trail is not recommended for children. There is one section of the trail with a steep drop-off so again use caution. Fishing is excellent below the falls.The 30-foot drop is a highlight of these waterfalls. If you like to fish, bring you pole; the fishing, we hear, is excellent.
Location: Township 6, Range 7 (Shin Pond Village)
Directions: From the center of Shin Pond Village head west towards Baxter State Park. Drive for approximately 5 miles and the entrance to the falls will be on your left. Look for a wooden sign. It’s a 10-15 minute hike to the falls.