Gulf Hagas Trail

Benson, Maine 04442

Gulf Hagas Trail

Gulf Hagas Trail Professional Review and Guide

"Described as the “Grand Canyon of Maine,” Gulf Hagas is a deep gorge where rushing water continues to erode and smooth the slate walls that surround it. This scenic loop meanders through a tall pine forest, to the edges of steep precipices and amid the refreshing spray of crashing waterfalls.

Gulf Hagas is unlike any other place in New England and, save for the dynamite that was used to aid the log drives that once took place here, it is a location that continues to change very little in the course of a human lifetime."

More Gulf Hagas Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"An exceptional rim hike along Maine’s “Grand Canyon” with side trips to its numerous waterfalls, cascades, chutes, and pools. Deep within the 100-Mile Wilderness, the West Branch of the Pleasant River cuts through a spectacular gorge, known as Gulf Hagas.

For more than 2 miles, the river tumbles and churns through the slate canyon forming an attractive series of waterfalls, pools, and chutes. The Gulf is so extraordinary, the National Park Service pronounced it a Registered Natural Landmark in 1968 for its “exceptional value in illustrating the natural history of the United States.” This trip travels the rim of the canyon, which offers outstanding views from atop its sheer cliffs and access to many of the Gulf’s scenic wonders."

Gulf Hagas Trail Reviews

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My family and I thoroughly enjoyed this hike. The trail is really fun as you hike along the gorge. We all stopped on the sidetrails to the falls along the way. Our favorite falls was buttermilk falls, a great private swimming place in the sun. This trail is a good workout, it took us 7 hours to do.
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Great trail! It has a little of everything for everyone; falls, overlooks, cliffs, pools of water to swim in......just watch for leeches in some of the pools. We went for a swim to cool off and came out with leeches all over. Still worth it, cooled us off. I didn't know if my kids could handle the trail, but they did it and had a good time.
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By far and away my favorite hike in Maine. They call Gulf Hagas the "Grand Canyon of Maine." This aptly named hike takes you on a walk of the edge of a steep gorge. The first half of the hike is littered with lookout points that are all worth your time. Plan on setting aside an entire day to slowly meander through the region. Stop and swim at every opportunity you get. The water is fresh, clean, freezing and most of all refreshing. There are a couple of really great waterfalls on this hike. Some of which you can swim up to and slip in behind them. The trail is really a 4.5 mile hike followed by a 4.5 mile walk on flat ground. Allow most of your time on this trip for the first 4.5 miles because when you turn the corner and hike through the woods on the way back it is simply a quick flat hike back on solid ground. A short distance from the trail head you will need to ford a river/stream which in most cases requires the taking on and off of your shoes/boots. Getting to the hike can be a challenge though, Depending on which way your come into Mary-Jo you may re required to drive for up to 10 miles on a poorly maintained dirt road. My first time out I turned around short of reaching the rangers station thinking for sure I was driving to the middle of a logging operation. Don't forget to bring your own water because despite the sign in the window they do not sell water at the ranger station. Camping there is a great experience too. Watch out for ticks I got Lyme last year on this hike.
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Great day trail Not too difficult. Nice views of falls and river. Had luch on the rocks over the river.

Gulf Hagas Trail Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
670 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
6 hours
May through October
675 feet
Trailhead Elevation
1,160 feet
Top Elevation
KI–Jo-Mary Multiple-Use Forest; Maine Appalachian Trail Conference
Local Contacts
USGS Barren Mountain East
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018