Gulf Hagas

Greenville, Maine 04441

Gulf Hagas

Gulf Hagas Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Gulf Hagas is one of Maine’s deepest canyons. The hike follows the West Branch Pleasant River as it drops 400 feet in 4 miles through the Gulf. There are numerous waterfalls and rapids. The walls of the Gulf rise vertical at times as much as 140 feet. Below Gulf Hagas the hike follows Gulf Hagas Stream up past numerous waterfalls, including Screw Auger Falls—the highest on the whole hike."

More Gulf Hagas Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best of the Appalachian Trail Day Hikes (Menasha Ridge Press)
Leonard M. Adkins & Victoria and Frank Logue
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"The Gulf Hagas day hike bends the rule about hikes in this book primarily following the A.T. Of the 8.2 miles, only 2.6 are on the A.T. The Gulf’s deep slate canyon made it easy to bend the rule. It is a wilderness area of astounding beauty and can only be reached via the A.T. Gulf Hagas Brook cuts its way through the canyon in a series of spectacular waterfalls. The pools below the falls create a number of swimming holes that hearty hikers may want to sample. You’ll want to take care though: several of the descents from the Trail to the brook are quite steep and rocky. The easiest falls to reach for swimming are at the top and bottom of the Gulf Hagas Loop. This loop makes an especially good fall foliage hike if you’re not interested in swimming." Read more
100 Classic Hikes in New England (The Mountaineers Books)
Jeffrey Romano
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"Described as the “Grand Canyon of Maine,” Gulf Hagas is a deep gorge where rushing water slowly carves the slate walls that surround it. This scenic loop meanders through pleasant forests, to the edges of steep precipices, and amid the refreshing spray of crashing waterfalls. Gulf Hagas is unlike any other place in New England. Save for the dynamite that once aided the logging drives that took place here, it is a location that continues to change slowly, in fact, negligibly, over the course of a human lifetime." Read more
Best Loop Hikes: New Hampshire's White Mountains to the Maine Coast (The Mountaineers Books)
Jeffrey Romano
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"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." Read more
Discover Maine (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)
Ty Wivell
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"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." Read more
Hiking Waterfalls in New England (Falcon Guides)
Eli Burakian
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"This long hike deep in the Maine woods is one of the grandest Maine adventures. With big cliffs and cool waterfalls all along the way, you’ll want to spend a whole day here." Read more
Hiking Maine: A Guide to the State's Greatest Hiking Adventures (Falcon Guides)
Greg Westrich
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"Gulf Hagas is one of Maine’s deepest canyons. The hike follows the West Branch Pleasant River as it drops 400 feet in 4 miles through the Gulf. There are numerous waterfalls and rapids. The walls of the Gulf rise vertical at times as much as 140 feet. Below Gulf Hagas the hike follows Gulf Hagas Brook up past numerous waterfalls, including Screw Auger Falls—the highest on the hike." Read more

Gulf Hagas Reviews

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8/17/2010
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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8/8/2009
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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6/30/2008
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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7/8/2007
This is a very scenic hike along a gorge and offers great views with relatively little elevation gain. Even without the elevation gain the trail isn't easy as much of it follows the edge of the gorge and offers a very rocky, wet trail that requires careful stepping and occasionally a little light bouldering. The trail is well maintained and well marked and trails to viewpoints have been blazed and are signposted. However, there are a few things you should know. 1. To get into the forest you must pay $9 a person. The fee gets you several maps and information guides. 2. The front gate will direct you to the Pleasant River Parking Area. From this point you must ford a river that can be anywhere from a few inches deep to waist deep and there is no way to rock hop across it. Ask at the front gate for the depth of the river. You can also start the trail at the Hay Brook Parking Lot if the river is too high. 3. The trail length from the Pleasant River trailhead is 8.2 miles (not 6.8 as listed in the guide) and takes 5-8 hours.
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7/24/2006
An awesome hike! You have to cross the river (~ knee high when we went) to get to the trail. The front loop up to the gulf is unbelievable. If you are NOT afraid of heights there are points where you can leave the trail and climb up to the cliff's edge and look down at the river and at times the waterfalls; of course at your own risk. The actual trail is at times difficult to follow and is fairly difficult to climb. There are many small boulders and rock formations that you have to climb up and over that can get technical, especially if it starts to rain and the rocks get wet( like what happened to us). It took us a little less than 4 hours to hike the entire loop, even with all the stopping and sight-seeing we did. It's an unbelievable hike that challenges you but is also one of the best hikes I've been on because you can take your time if you want and enjoy the day. I absolutely loved the hike and the challenge and would recommend it to anyone looking for a great day hike.
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8/1/2005
It seems a shame that trails are not rated by degree of difficulty prior to selecting the download. A steep trail is not a problem for us, but difficult footing along a canyon is, so we never took this hike. Be forewarned before you choose to download. We are 67 years old and that must be factored into your decision..
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6/24/1999
Great day trail Not too difficult. Nice views of falls and river. Had luch on the rocks over the river.
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Gulf Hagas Photos

Trail Information

Greenville
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
10.2
Distance
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
5-8 hours
Duration
Mid-May to Oct
Season
Snowmobiling
Additional Use
Views, Waterfalls
Features
Appalachian Mountain Club, Greenville office, (207) 695-3085, www.outdoors.org; Maine Appalachian Trail Club, www.matc.org; KI-Jo Mary MultiUse Forest, (207) 435-6213, www.northmainewoods.org
Local Contacts
Delorme: The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer maps 41 and 42; USGS Barren Mountain East
Local Maps