You are lucky enough to have a week’s vacation or live in Maine and are itching to get out and explore.
Discover the “Grand Canyon of Maine”, Gulf Hagas as one possible hike with the family. In places the Pleasant River west branch drops up to 375′ deep to create plenty of pretty impressive waterfalls in the rock out cropping. Along the sides of the twisting 3 mile gorge straight up slate walls of stone containing this natural wonder of Maine. Spring runoff especially causes a memorable family day trip hike. One ideal healthy exercise and back drop for an outdoor picnic lunch.
The gorge and land surrounding Gulf Hagas is owned by the National Park Service.
Bring your camera to capture frames of a registered National Monument owned by the Nature Conservancy called the Hermitage. A special area of white king pine stands that are high, wide and not your typical forest to add to the wonderment of the Gulf Hagas experience. Hurt your neck looking skyward with eastern white pine trees up to 150 feet tall and up to 10 feet in girth, wide.
The Hermitage (a majestic stand of towering white king pine) was declared a registered National Landmark in 1968. This land is now owned by the Nature Conservancy. Like the trail that follows the canyon rim offering hikers views of the falls and its geology, the Hermitage is free, open to the public. Fall foliage trips add special colorful sparkle to the hike with your family too.
Gulf Hagas is located in the last 100 miles of more difficult sections of the Appalachian Trail Corridor.
Many people walk portions of the 2200 mile hiking trail extending from Georgia, to Maine. And in time can claim to have completed the AT, a feat of beauty, perseverance and a testament to one’s physical fitness.
The Bangor and Aroostook Railroad evolved from an earlier rail service to Katahdin Iron Works, a State Park and historic site where iron ore was once smelted. And this nearby site helps add to the Gulf Hagas adventure. Landowners around Gulf Hagas have agreed to be good stewards to protect the natural Gulf Hagas resource in the 500 acres of land wrapping around the many waterfalls and pools.
You can’t build fires and no camping is allowed in Gulf Hagas.
Bring a couple pairs of sneakers because rocks are slippery and you are going to get wet crossing brooks and need foot protection. Plus you have to figure how much time and stamina your family’s age can handle has for an enjoyable hike too. Start early because the up to 8 hour walk can cover 8 miles in total. But a shorter version, easy hike of Gulf Hagas Brook and the famous Hermitage giant pines stand is a 4 mile round trip.
Kayaking Gulf Hagas is not for the faint of heart either. Can you say expert level, class five rapids when the water level is high? The steep gorge walls can make egress nearly impossible in what may have deemed Maine’s best creek run. Strap on the helmet, tar your hands to hang on to your paddle, say your prayers and check your term life insurance. Jaws, Buttermilk Falls and Billings Falls are a few of the more legendary, notable waterways to visit on your hike around the canyon rim trail of Gulf Hagas.
Where is Gulf Hagas, the now defunct Katahdin Iron Works site?
It’s location is northwest of Brownville Junction, Maine. Here is a helpful link to get to Gulf Hagas and other hiking trails you want to add to your bucket list to experience.
Maine, lots to see if you can just make time to cross that big green bridge entering Kittery on the bottom of the state.
Vacationland is stamped as a friendly reminder on every Maine license plate and it’s only your own fault if you don’t make time to sample all the Pine Tree State has to offer for low cost, high value family outings. Maine, get here quick like a bunny. Come for a day, stay a life time.