Southern Maine’s rugged landscapes hold hidden natural gems that beckon outdoor lovers and nature enthusiasts. Among the region’s treasures are its awe-inspiring waterfalls — a true testament to nature’s raw power and ever-evolving artistry. From thundering cascades to serene streaming falls, these aquatic wonders provide a tranquil escape from the hustle of daily life, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the rejuvenating great outdoors.

Let’s explore some of the most magnificent waterfalls gracing Southern Maine. Discover their unique beauty, learn about their rich histories, and experience the countless benefits they offer.



1. Cascade Falls (Saco River Falls)


Right in the heart of downtown Saco, Maine, Cascade Falls offers an easily accessible taste of nature’s beauty along the Saco River. This series of cascades is a popular local spot, with ample parking and handicap accessibility that makes it a great option for families or those with limited mobility. Several viewing platforms and a scenic riverwalk trail allow you to admire the falls from different vantage points. During the summer months when water levels are lower, swimming is permitted in the pools below the cascades. Whether you’re looking for an easy outdoor excursion or a tranquil setting to relax, Cascade Falls provides a refreshing urban oasis.



2. Great Falls (Androscoggin River)


Once the powerhouse fueling industries along the Androscoggin River in the 19th century, the Great Falls now serves as a centerpiece of history and nature in downtown Auburn and Lewiston. This powerful 40-foot waterfall is the highlight of a developed park area including walking trails, an observation tower, and informative signage detailing the falls’ industrial past. For the best views, cross over to the pedestrian bridge spanning the river gorge, allowing you to fully appreciate the tremendous force of the cascading water. In addition to its natural splendor, the Great Falls offers a unique perspective into the region’s heritage.



3. Duck Brook Bridge Falls


Just a short 3-mile detour from Acadia National Park’s main visitor center, Duck Brook Bridge Falls provides an easily accessible waterfall experience. From the famous “bubble rock” trailhead, an easy 0.3-mile walk on flat ground through the forest leads you to this unique natural attraction. Here, you’ll find the brook spilling beneath an old bridge crossing, creating a one-of-a-kind scene. The bridge itself offers an up-close view and prime photo opportunity of the falls without any strenuous hiking required. For those looking to experience a picturesque waterfall without extravagant effort, Duck Brook Bridge Falls is a perfect detour.



4. Mousam Falls


Located in the town of Springvale, Maine, the Mousam River dramatically plunges over Mousam Falls, creating a picturesque 30-foot waterfall. This local gem is easily accessible, with a designated viewing area that allows visitors to admire the cascading water up close. The surrounding area exudes a peaceful, natural atmosphere, making Mousam Falls a pleasant spot to spend some time.

It’s important to note that the flow over these falls can vary depending on the season and recent precipitation levels. After heavy rains, the falls swell with rainwater runoff, amplifying their thundering roar. During drier spells, the diminished flow transforms the falls into a more gentle ribbon-like cascade. Regardless of the water levels, Mousam Falls continually shapes the landscape, gradually but powerfully carving the riverbed below.

For visitors, the viewing area provides an ideal vantage point to watch nature’s sculpting work in action while enjoying the soothing sights and sounds of the falls. It’s a reminder that even smaller local waterfalls hold mighty power given enough time. Whether you’re looking for a quick outdoor escape or to spend a rejuvenating afternoon, Mousam Falls offers a taste of nature’s artistry in Southern Maine.



5. Step Falls Preserve


For a truly unique waterfall adventure, travel to Newry’s Step Falls Preserve to experience the “Grand Staircase” of cascades. While the main Step Falls is located farther west, this preserve provides easy access to a series of 16 terraced waterfalls cascading down the Little Coos Brooks. A well-maintained 0.6-mile loop trail leads to viewing platforms at each waterfall segment, allowing you to admire the stair-step flow of water from multiple angles. On hot summer days, swimming is even permitted in some of the upper pools. With such a high concentration of falls in one scenic area, the Step Falls Preserve highlights the variety of ways water can shape the landscape.



6. Timber Point Falls


For those seeking a more secluded waterfall experience, Timber Point Falls is a beautiful and relatively hidden gem along the Timber Point Trail. This moderately trafficked trail pleasantly winds through the woods before leading you to the highlight — a small but enchanting waterfall gracing the Little River. While not thunderous, Timber Point Falls makes up for it with serenity, the gentle cascade surrounded by lush vegetation creating a tranquil and peaceful natural setting to relax alongside the cool stream. 

The well-marked trail provides a taste of Maine’s iconic forests, with interpretive signs offering insight into the local environment. An enjoyable nature escape ideal for families or those looking for an easier waterfall hike. Before visiting, it’s wise to check current trail conditions as portions can be muddy or obstructed after storms. But for those willing to take the path less traveled, Timber Point Falls rewards with a wonderful off-the-beaten-path adventure into one of nature’s hidden bounties in Southern Maine.



7. Lower Falls (Presumpscot River) 


Lower Falls is a charming waterfall located along the Presumpscot River, offering a serene and picturesque setting. Accessible via the Presumpscot River Preserve, this waterfall is a hidden gem tucked away in a natural wooded environment. The trail leading to Lower Falls provides a pleasant stroll, and the falls themselves feature a gentle cascade over rocky ledges, creating a peaceful ambiance. The surrounding area is perfect for a leisurely nature walk, and the falls serve as a tranquil spot for reflection or simply enjoying the beauty of the flowing water. With its accessibility and natural beauty, Lower Falls in Westbrook provides a delightful escape for those seeking a serene waterfall experience in Southern Maine.



8. Dunn Falls


Nestled in the heart of Westbrook, yet worlds away from the hustle and bustle, Dunn Falls offers an easily accessible taste of nature’s serenity within city limits. This charming urban waterfall, hidden along the Stroudwater River, provides a picturesque setting as gentle cascades spill over rocky ledges into serene pools below.

While located right in town, Dunn Falls maintains an aura of tranquility that immediately transports visitors to a more peaceful state of mind. A well-maintained network of paths and walkways allows for an easy stroll through the adjacent green spaces to reach the falls themselves. Despite its convenience, you’ll feel unexpectedly immersed in a natural environment as the soothing sounds of flowing water surround you.

For locals and visitors to Southern Maine alike, Dunn Falls serves as the perfect destination for a quick nature getaway without having to travel far. Whether you’ve got an hour or an afternoon to spare, this hidden gem offers a peaceful respite and welcome reminder that beauty can be found even amid urban landscapes. Pack a book or sketchpad and find your favorite spot alongside the falls to embrace the rejuvenating ambiance. Dunn Falls is a true oasis in the heart of Westbrook, Maine.


Smelt Brook Falls


9. Smelt Brook Falls


A local favorite in the charming town of Kennebunkport, Maine, Smelt Brook Falls rewards those willing to take on the moderate 0.4-mile out-and-back hiking trail. The well-marked path winds through a picturesque forest setting, though it can get a bit muddy in spots after heavy rains. Upon arriving at your destination, you’ll be treated to the delightful sight of a 25-foot cascade tumbling over rocks into a shallow pool below. An observation area provides the perfect vantage point to admire the falls and even dip your toes in the refreshing waters on a hot summer day. As parking is extremely limited, it’s best to arrive early to ensure a spot and have this local gem to yourself for a tranquil waterfall experience.



10. Snow Falls


Nestled in the picturesque town of West Paris, Maine, Snow Falls is a captivating waterfall along the Little Androscoggin River. Known for its natural beauty and accessibility, Snow Falls attracts visitors seeking a serene escape into nature. The falls cascade gracefully over a series of rock ledges, creating a scenic and tranquil atmosphere. The surrounding area features well-maintained trails, allowing visitors to explore the natural beauty of the region. During the warmer months, Snow Falls becomes a popular destination for swimming and wading, offering a refreshing and immersive experience in the cool, clear waters. The park area around Snow Falls provides amenities such as picnic spots, making it an ideal location for a day of relaxation and outdoor enjoyment. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a family looking for a peaceful outing, or an adventurer seeking a refreshing swim, Snow Falls is a charming destination in Southern Maine.


The Benefits of Exploring Waterfalls


Visiting Southern Maine’s waterfalls provides benefits beyond just scenic views. Spending time in nature has proven physical and mental health advantages. The simple acts of hiking on trails and listening to the sounds of flowing water can reduce stress levels, improve moods, and promote feelings of calm and relaxation.

Outdoor activities like hiking to waterfalls offer opportunities for exercise, which helps improve cardiovascular health, build muscle strength, and increase overall fitness. Additionally, research shows that time in nature can enhance focus, creativity, and cognitive function, making waterfall hikes an ideal option for those seeking inspiration or a break from daily routines and demands.

Furthermore, exploring these natural wonders fosters a deeper appreciation for the environment. Witnessing the power and grandeur of waterfalls serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving and protecting landscapes. By connecting with nature, individuals become environmental stewards, helping to ensure future generations can continue enjoying Southern Maine’s waterfalls.


Experiencing Nature’s Power


These waterfalls are more than just scenic destinations — they embody nature’s might and ever-changing force. From roaring cascades to gently trickling streams, these natural wonders provide an escape from everyday stresses.

Whether seeking a tranquil retreat, an invigorating outdoor adventure, or a chance to take in raw natural beauty, Southern Maine’s waterfalls offer unforgettable experiences. Lace up hiking boots, pack a picnic, and let the allure of these captivating waterfalls draw you in.

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