Maine has some of the most gorgeous waterfalls in the country, let alone in New England. But, you might not have time to see a few one weekend and a few another. We think the best way to see them all is to get out there and do it in a weekend trip. While there are TONS of options for exploring these natural wonders, we’ve put together an easy trip through Western Maine that will take you to some of our favorites.
Click here for a map with full directions!
1. First, fuel up at Covered Wagon Restaurant in Mexico!
A weekend of exploring needs some serious sustenance so we recommend eating first. Your first waterfall is in Rumford, so head to Mexico and review your Gazetteer over breakfast and their bottomless cup of coffee! Their exact address is: 29 Main St., Mexico, Maine.
2. Now it's onto Rumford Falls in Rumford.
These falls were originally called Pennacook Falls and are created from a series of drops within the Androscoggin River. The river drops about 176 feet, but the creation of dams has split the cascades into several distinct falls. The Upper Falls are the most impressive and you'll be extra lucky if you make it there during a time of high water.
3. Next up isn't a waterfall...
It's Mt. Blue State Park! We're making a weekend of this, right? Might as well fill with as much Maine as possible. During your hour-long drive from Rumford Falls to Smalls Falls, you'll pass through Maine's largest state park, Mt. Blue. Separated by Webb Lake, the area is perfect year-round. In the summer, tackle a hike up the 3,187 foot Mt. Blue. In the winter, enjoy sledding at Center Hill and skating at the park headquarters. You'll find about 25 miles of multi-use trails for just about anything you can imagine doing on a multi-use trail.
4. Next it's onto Smalls Falls in in Oxford County.
Belt out those last few tunes before arriving at Smalls Falls. Sourced by the Sandy River, Smalls Falls includes four individual cascades and lots of places to swim. Smalls is a classic swimming hole, so if you make the trip in the summer be sure to add in some time for getting in the water.
5. You've made it to Rangeley just in time for lunch - check out Keep's Corner Cafe & Bakery.
Right on the Main Street as you drive through town you'll spot Keep's. Come in for a rest and to enjoy a sandwich or cookie. You'll be spending the night in town, so take your time. Then get out there and enjoy everything this Western Maine vacation town has to offer.
6. As your home base for exploring Rangeley, check into the Rangeley Lakes Resort.
With a pool, sauna and game room you could even just hang around here and make this the rest of your day. Pets are allowed in these cozy cabins as well!
7. Grab some coffee and a pastry at the Inner Eye before heading out of Rangeley.
Grab an espresso and sit at one of the window stools for a great view of Main Street. Make sure to try the strudel as well - theirs was voted best at the Oktoberfest Brat & Strudel Contest last year.
8. Next it's down to Angel Falls in Franklin County.
The 90' plunging falls come from the Mountain Brook and take about 30 minutes to reach on the (almost) mile-long trail. Leave the trunks at home as swimming is not allowed.
9. We're really moving now! Next it's Coos Canyon in Oxford County.
Visible from Route 17 scenic highway, is Coos Canyon. Coos is a great place to spend the day. In the summer you can wade in the waters, jump in or stay dry with a picnic in the connected park. Don't avoid it in the winter though - you can easily pull over to take a look if you want to make this one a quick stop.
10. You've got a big ride for this portion, but enjoy the time together before arriving at The Cataracts.
Admittedly best in early spring when the snow melts makes these falls roar, you'll still have a good time scrambling around the rocks any time of year. Together, the individual falls total about 100' and you'll enjoy swimming and sliding around when it's warm enough.
11. After a long ride where you encourage you to explore, stop the car and enjoy yourself you'll arrive at Snow Falls.
There are four cascade sets at Snow Falls, which flows from the Little Androscoggin River. If you're behind schedule and need to move along, fear not! You won't be able to swim here, so this one will be a quick end to the trip.
12. End your awesome weekend trip with a hearty dinner at The Rustic Grill and Tavern in West Paris!
...dig into the "Mother of all Burgers!"
This creation comes with bacon, swiss cheese and sautéed mushrooms. Then, it's topped with a second bun, caramelized onion pot roast, gravy and fried onions. I know it must seem like a big meal, but you earned it!