South Branch Falls Trail

Baxter State Park, Maine

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South Branch Falls Trail is a hiking trail in Piscataquis County, Maine. It is within Baxter State Park. It is 0.4 miles long and begins at 1,086 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 195 feet.
Distance: mi Elevation: ft
South Branch Falls Trail is a hiking trail in Piscataquis County, Maine. It is within Baxter State Park. It is 0.4 miles long and begins at 1,086 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 195 feet.
Activity Type: Hiking, Trail Running, Walking
Nearby City: Baxter State Park
Distance: 0.4
Elevation Gain: 195 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 1,086 feet
Top Elevation: 1,086 feet
Driving Directions: Directions to South Branch Falls Trail
Parks: Baxter State Park
Elevation Min/Max: 898/1086 ft
Elevation Start/End: 1086/1086 ft

South Branch Falls Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"An easy hike leads to the falls, less a waterfall than a quartermile race. The water churns through and around rifts in the slate bedrock. The trail crosses the rock with ?ne views. There are several holes and a large pool good for swimming.

South Branch Falls is less a waterfall than a quarter-mile race. The stream churns along the edge of a huge hump of bedrock. It slides through narrow V-shaped joints in the slate, drops into deep swirling pools, and crosses ledges, erratically following the route of least resistance. The hike to the falls is short and flat. Just before the falls, there’s a steep descent to the bedrock hump."

"Like most non-Katahdin hikes in Baxter State Park, the 6.8-mile loop up and over the more diminutive South Branch Mountain is a scenic adventure where you are more apt to stumble upon a cow moose browsing with her calf than fellow hikers sharing the area’s beauty.

In addition to abundant wildlife, this loop passes two scenic ponds and climbs over an open summit still feeling the effects of a fire that swept through the area more than a century ago. With views of nearby Traveler Mountain and the more distant Mount Katahdin, the hike over South Branch Mountain is a scenic trip to a quiet corner in Maine’s most famous state park."

"You will be walking along, surrounded by a thick forest on all sides, when abruptly everything opens up and there before you are open ledges, a rushing river, and beautiful waterfalls. This hike is a younger child’s dream: short and sweet with a huge watery reward. From the parking area, head southwest on the South Branch Falls Trail through a thick mixed forest. After a very brief initial ascent, the trail descends slightly as you head through the trees.

Have your kids look for signs of animals. You may come across scat on the trail. You can tell what kinds of animals live in the area from what they leave behind. Fruits, nuts, or berries in the scat can tell you what the animal’s diet consists of and can provide clues to identifying the animals that make their homes here."

"Although there are no major waterfalls here, the unique geology, cascades, and slides are worth a trip if you’re in Baxter State Park and looking for a short easy hike."

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May 2018