At then end of July, my partner and I flew into Bangor, Maine for a birthday weekend. We landed in Bangor around noon, and I had looked for a waterfall near Bangor if we had time to go waterfall hunting. Mariaville Falls seemed like the easiest option, and it honestly was. It was a relatively short drive from Bangor, and it also wasn’t too far from Bar Harbor, where we were spending the night.
The Mariaville Falls Preserve is taken care of by the Frenchman Bay Conservancy. The drive in is on a very narrow road that has room for one car. Once you’ve reached the parking area, it’s pretty smooth hiking. It is very well taken care of and the trail to the falls is very clear and easy to follow. I believe they were blue markers/paint. From the parking area, you head north and follow the West Branch of the Union River.
There were a few ups-and-downs, but the hike is relatively flat and the 1.8 mile round-trip hike is manageable. This would be a good hike for kids. It wasn’t extremely warm, but the hike through the forest definitely felt cooler than standing in the sun. Even though the waterfall isn’t very tall, it’s definitely a worthwhile hike near Bangor.
Directions (copied from the Frenchman Bay website):
- From Route 1A north in Ellsworth (the Bangor Road), go north and turn right onto Mariaville Road at Ellsworth Business Park at Boggy Brook.
- Keep bearing right on Mariaville Road (Route 180) for 8.3 miles until you reach the junction of 181 (just past the Beech Hill School) on the right.
- Take 181 and go for 9.7 miles to the wooden FBC preserve sign on the left. The access road to the trail begins at the sign. The parking area is located at an old gravel pit near the river.
- As I mentioned, follow the trail and stay close to the river.
Accessibility: 9/10 (Easy)
Length of Hike: 1.8 miles round-trip
Where in the World is Mariaville Falls?