Mariaville Falls, Maine

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):

  1. From Route 1A north in Ellsworth (the Bangor Road), go north and turn right onto Mariaville Road at Ellsworth Business Park at Boggy Brook.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. As I mentioned, follow the trail and stay close to the river.

Accessibility: 9/10 (Easy)

Height: 10′

Length of Hike: 1.8 miles round-trip

Mariaville Falls at the end of July 2021

Where in the World is Mariaville Falls?

Hestavaðsfoss, Iceland

As many European countries open up to vaccinated travelers, I figured it would be worth it to showcase the beauty of the country. Iceland is a stunningly beautiful country, and before Covid-19 appeared, I would hazard to say its beauty was overwhelming the country. For a country of 300,000 people, there were an insane number of visitors. And it’s understandable…in addition to the beauty, it’s easy to get around and communicate in Iceland. Now that travel is popping back up, it could become that way, but I’m hoping Iceland keeps some of its isolated charm.

There is what is referred to as the Golden Triangle in Iceland, which is where most tourists visit. If you can get outside of the Golden Triangle to the north or east of Iceland, you can find some of that isolated charm. Skógafoss is still close enough to Reykjavík that it isn’t wildly isolated, but it is honestly quieter than some of the waterfalls in the Golden Triangle. Skógafoss is a really beautiful waterfall that can be seen from the Ring Road, and the village/town around it is definitely interesting.

When I first visited Iceland in 2012, I didn’t know that there were other waterfalls above Skógafoss. There is a trail (Fimmvorduhals) that continues along the Skóga River for about 25 kilometers or so, and there are many drops along the River. I didn’t go the whole way, but if you hike up the 500 steps to the right of Skógafoss, you’ll get a great view of the Atlantic, but if you continue for just a short distance you’ll stumble upon Hestavaðsfoss.

At 30′ tall or so, Hestavaðsfoss isn’t as mesmerizing as Skógafoss, but it has a completely different “look”, and so is worth the hike, I believe. The climb up the stairs isn’t too bad, honestly, and I’m someone that doesn’t care for heights.

Directions:

  1. Just over 150 kilometers east outside of Reykjavik along the Ring Road (Iceland Road 1), you’ll come to the village of Skogar. If coming from Reykjavik, it will be on the left/north.
  2. There will be a sign indicating the turn to Skogafoss. Turn left onto that road. Head to approved parking areas for Skogafoss.
  3. Once you’ve visited Skogafoss, look for the trail/steps on the right of Skogafoss that lead uphill. Follow that path and then go a bit further from the viewpoint to see Hestavaðsfoss.

Accessibility: 6/10 (Moderate)

Height: 30′

Length of Hike: 0.6 miles round-trip

Hestavaðsfoss in July 2017

Where in the World is Hestavaðsfoss?

Juneau Creek Falls, Alaska

Juneau Creek Falls in June 2021

I had the chance to visit Alaska again this June (inexpensive airline fares, only complicated by limited rental car availability). I took my partner and my sister’s family of five, for a total of 7 people! We started out in Anchorage and then headed south to Girdwood. I was trying to figure out something to do one day, and Juneau Creek Falls popped up as being not that far away.

We packed everyone up and headed to the Resurrection Pass Trail Head along AK-1. It was just under an hour drive from our AirBnB in Girdwood. We parked our van at the parking area, and started along our journey. There were four adult, two teenagers, and a 3 year old!

The hike isn’t terrible, it’s just much longer than advertised. Many websites report this hike as a 7-8 mile hike (round-trip), but it rings in at 9+ miles round-trip. There is some up and down portions, but it then levels off as you approach the falls. It isn’t extremely clear where the trail veers off toward the falls, but luckily, there are multiple paths that will get you to a viewpoint of the falls.

The falls are much larger than they appear. I’m guessing they are about 100′ tall, and maybe 20′ wide. Even standing rather far away, you can feel the spray from the falls. My nephew, who is extremely “brave”, did figure out a path down to the base, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s a very steep and rather large drop-off.

The return hike is somewhat easier because you tend to know how the hike is going to go, and it’s mostly downhill from there. The test was my 3 year old niece. I wondered how she would fare on what turned out to be a 9 mile hike, but she was a champ. That’s a relatively good indication that it isn’t extremely strenuous…maybe just moderate in difficulty due to the length of the hike.

Directions:

  1. AK-1 is a rather long road in Alaska, so you’re looking for the piece on the Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage and Girdwood. You can set your GPS to Cooper Landing or to Resurrection Pass Trailhead South Parking. The parking is further to the west.
  2. Once you reach the parking area, you can start your journey. The path is very well kept, and is relatively quiet, though there were mountain bikers that passed us.
  3. I would recommending downloading maps on your phone so that the phone GPS can guide you to where the falls are. There is a campground north of the falls, and so if you’ve reached the campground, you’ve passed the falls.
  4. The falls will be to the right of the main trail. As I said, there are a few side-trails that lead to the falls, and they are all relatively equal in difficulty/safety.

Accessibility: 6/10 (Moderate)

Height: ~100′

Length of Hike: 9 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Juneau Creek Falls?

Williamsport Falls, Indiana

A waterfall in Indiana
Williamsport Falls in June 2020

I’m getting to write about the last waterfall stop on our road trip from Las Vegas to Michigan a few months after it started. Winter break has now arrived, and so I have some time to write about a few waterfalls before the next semester starts.

Williamsport Falls is definitely a popular waterfall, though it would be even busier if it were near a busy city. It’s found in western Indiana about 1.5 hours northwest of Indianapolis. It’s directly in the town/village/city of Williamsport. Once you find the parking area for the falls, you can view this impressive 90′ pretty quickly from above.

You can also hike down to the base of the falls, which we decided not to do since we had been traveling and hiking for a few days before this, and we just kind of wanted to get home. The view from above was more than adequate, and it was rather busy at the base. This was in early June, though the weather was a bit warm and humid in this area, which encouraged others to find an interesting water source…why wouldn’t you choose a tall waterfall?

Directions:

  1. From I-74, take exit 15 onto US-41 north.
  2. Continue along US-41 north for 15 miles or so.
  3. US-41 does a few twists and turns. In Attica, you will veer/stay left on US-41.
  4. After 2 miles, you’ll turn left onto S River Road. S River Road will turn into S 3rd Street right before you turn onto E Monroe Street.
  5. Turn right onto E Monroe Street and continue for about 0.7 miles. The parking area will be to the right behind some buildings along E Monroe Street. There was very clear signage to find the falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (Easy)

Height: 90′

Length of Hike: roadside

Where in the World is Williamsport Falls?

White Alloe Creek Falls, Missouri

White Branch Falls in early June 2020

I had previously flown into Kansas City to visit some waterfalls in eastern Kansas and outside Kansas City, but I did not see this waterfall pop up in my searches from years ago. As we were traveling cross-country, I searched for Missouri waterfalls, and this falls appeared. I did a bit of research and found out the falls are in the Parkville Nature Sanctuary northwest of Kansas City.

The falls are often referred to as the Parkville Nature Sanctuary waterfall. I have been informed that the falls are on White Alloe Creek, so I decided to refer to them as White Alloe Creek Falls, which is a bit easier to communicate.

When we arrived at the parking area for the nature sanctuary, it was warm and humid. Luckily, the path was mostly shaded, and the hike is relatively short. It’s just under 1 mile round-trip and is on mostly level ground. Even then, we were still sweating a lot. But once you near the waterfall, it definitely cools down a bit. The waterfall isn’t tall, but it is definitely a beautiful waterfall. It’s a pleasant surprise, one that I would definitely direct people to for a day hike in the Kansas City area.

Directions:

  1. From I-635, you want to end up on MO-9, heading northwest.
  2. Continue on MO-9 into Parkville. You will need to turn right to stay on MO-9.
  3. In between 12th Street and 13th Street (on the right), you will find parking for the Parkville Nature Sanctuary.
  4. After parking, you will find signs that direct you the falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (Easy)

Height: 20′

Length of Hike: 0.9 miles round-trip

Where in the World is White Alloe Creek Falls?

Geary Lake Falls, Kansas

After our road trip from Nevada to Michigan, I started teaching and didn’t get to write about some of the other waterfalls we stopped to visit along the way. So now it’s time to catch up a bit! We stopped at waterfalls in Utah and Colorado, and then drove into Kansas. Kansas doesn’t have many waterfalls on the west side of the state, but there are definitely a few on the east side of the state.

One that is relatively easy to visit off of the interstate is Geary Lake Falls, which is found in the Geary State Fishing Lake and Wildlife Area. Once you find the parking area, which isn’t difficult, it’s an easy hike to the falls. From other articles, it seemed like it was steep hike to the falls, but it was more of just slippery as you approached the falls.

The falls were definitely flowing when we arrived, and the falls were surprisingly pretty. (I wasn’t sure what to expect.) The one thing that you’ll find in other waterfall seekers’ descriptions of Geary Lake Falls is the snakes…There are definitely water snakes found in the ponds and stream below the falls. While I’m not a big fan of snakes, they don’t bother me so much and I went on photographing the falls. My partner, on the other hand, is not a big fan of snakes and it bothered him.

Directions:

  1. From I-70 near Junction City, take exit 295 for US-77.
  2. Head south on US-77 for just over 7 miles to Geary Lake.
  3. The waterfall is located in the northwest part of the wildlife area, so to get closer to the falls, you want to turn left on the first road that leads into Geary Lake. On Google Maps, this is named State Lake Road.
  4. Take State Lake Road to its end. You should find a parking area here. If you look downhill, you’ll see a path that leads you along the northern edge of the lake. This path leads you to the waterfall.
  5. Follow that path along the lake. When you reach the end of that specific path, you’ll see another path heading downhill. Go downhill and follow that, and you’ll arrive at the falls!

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 35′
Length of Hike: 0.5 miles round-trip

Geary Lake Falls in June 2020

Where in the World is Geary Lake Falls?

Rifle Falls, Colorado

In June, I went on a road trip (social distancing style) from Las Vegas to Michigan. The first waterfall stop on the trip was Lower Calf Creek Falls. The next stop was in Colorado. The waterfalls we visited had to be easy to get to from the main freeways and also had to be shorter hikes. Rifle Falls fits into both of those categories.

From the parking area, it was an easy hike to Rifle Falls, a fascinating waterfall. A sign near the falls says the waterfall likely formed when minerals built up around a beaver dam (or something of that sort). I don’t know if I’ve stopped at any other falls that may have been formed that way. At the falls, there are multiple different viewpoints. It is one of those that definitely changes as you’re looking at it from the sides versus head-on, and that makes it fun to photograph. It’s definitely a waterfall that’s worth a stop if you’re along I-70 in Colorado.

Directions:

  1. We were headed east through Colorado along I-70 and took exit 87 before Rifle.
  2. We then turned left onto US-6, which follows I-70 into Rifle. Before entering Rifle, we turned left onto CO-13.
  3. CO-13 skirts Rifle and then just north of Rifle, we turned right onto CO-325 heading north.
  4. Rifle Falls State Park is on CO-325, but you veer right and then left before arriving. When you reach the Rifle Gap Reservoir, you veer right, and then when CO-325 splits with Road 226, you veer left again. It’s pretty hard to miss Rifle Falls State Park if you stay on CO-325.
  5. From the parking area, you head north to see Rifle Falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (Easy)

Height: 70′

Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

Rifle Falls in June 2020

Lower Calf Creek Falls, Utah

Lower Calf Creek Falls in June 2020

In the past week, my boyfriend and I have been traveling from Las Vegas to Michigan. I took this as an opportunity to find some waterfalls that I had been wanting to visit, but were a bit out-of-the-way. One of these is Lower Calf Creek Falls, which is in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Nevada. It is a bit out of the way, and yet still surprisingly well visited.

Lower Calf Creek Falls flows pretty well in many months, which isn’t always the case for many waterfalls in the desert. This probably explains why it is a bit more popular than the average waterfall. It also helps that the hike and the waterfall are both wonderful.

The hike is not particularly difficult, but it is a 6 mile round-trip hike. I have to admit it did feel a bit longer than 6 miles round-trip, but it was still enjoyable. We showed up at 4 pm in early June, and that was honestly the perfect time to start the hike. It was still warm outside, but the hike was mostly shaded, and it cooled down on the return. During the middle of the day, the hike could have been a bit less enjoyable. During other times of the year, you would likely want to get an earlier start.

Directions:

  1. There aren’t many options to get to the falls. You have to drive on UT-12, either south from Torrey or northwest from Bryce. (Visiting Bryce Canyon National Park and/or Capitol Reef National Park at the same time would definitely be an option.)
  2. The Calf Creek Campground is the starting point for the hike. You follow the trail to the falls…

Accessibility: 7/10 (moderate)
Height: 126′
Length of Hike: 6 miles round-trip

Stone Creek Falls, Nebraska

I’m finally getting to a number of waterfalls I visited in the past six months. Due to Covid-19, I haven’t done much exploring lately, and have elected to stay at home. The outdoors might be the best place to visit, especially when social distancing guidelines seem to be followed. (If you’re reading this in a few years, and you don’t understand, well…good?)

In November 2019 (before the world changed), I was visiting Omaha, and was looking for waterfalls in the area. I happened to stumble upon one online, though it wasn’t advertised a lot. Stone Creek Falls popped up on a few other blogs and sites, and it seemed easy enough to visit as it was just outside of Omaha. So we headed out to Platte River State Park.

The Platte River runs next to the state park, but the waterfall is not on the Platte River. I’m assuming it would be on Stone Creek, which flows into the Platte River. Oddly enough, you can’t even see the Platte River very well because a railroad owns the property directly adjacent to the river.

The hike from the parking area is relatively short. It only took 10-15 minutes or so. The trail wasn’t a difficult hike, either. Even though it isn’t a tall waterfall, it’s one that can be quick to visit if you’re in or close to Omaha.

Directions:

  1. From I-80 W south of Omaha, take the exit onto NE-66 heading east.
  2. Follow NE-66 E (E Park Highway) until you reach 346th Street.
  3. Turn left onto 346th Street heading north toward Platte River State Park.
  4. After entering the park, turn left away from the Park Headquarters. A short distance after that, you’ll find a trail head for the waterfall. You don’t have to enter the camping area.
  5. Follow the Stone Creek trail to Stone Creek Falls.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 6′
Length of Hike: 0.6 miles round-trip

IMG_20191124_140138

Stone Creek Falls in November 2019

Where in the World is Stone Creek Falls?

Brekkefossen, Norway

Brekkefossen

Brekkefossen in May 2015

Norway has many waterfalls, and a great place to start your journey to find waterfalls is Bergen. I flew into Bergen, stayed a few days there, and then started my waterfall hunting. (Well…I had seen some waterfalls on a cruise, but that didn’t require much effort.) I stopped at a few different places, and then set my sights on Flåm, a village found at the end of Aurlandsfjorden. Flåm is the home of the Flåm Railway, which is famous for its 2800′ elevation change over 12.5 miles. There are even a few waterfalls to be viewed along the Railway, such as Kjosfossen and Rjoandefossen.

Those falls can be viewed from the train. Brekkefossen can be viewed partially from spots in Flåm, but to get a more intimate view, you can hike to the Brekkefossen. I don’t think there was parking at the trail head of Brekkefossen, and anyway, it wasn’t a difficult hike to the trail head from Flåm. It’s about a 1 mile hike to the trail head/base of the falls, and it’s mostly on flat ground. It’s the hike up to get closer to the falls that classifies this as probably the most difficult hike I did while in Norway.

At a height of 2050′, Brekkefossen is pretty tall! It’s not a climb to the falls, so it’s not wildly steep, but you have to hike a pretty significant elevation in a pretty short distance. It must have not been the most difficult hike I have ever been on…I think I was prepared for the difficulty level. But, still, it was an adventure indeed. You’re greeted with a portion of a beautiful waterfall (of which most in Norway are)! Now, if you’re not up for the steep hike, you still can get a pretty good view of the falls from afar, so you can still check it off the list if you’re ever in Flåm.

Directions:

  1. Head to Flåm, which is along a main road, E16. There are some very long tunnels you have to pass through if you’re headed east into Flåm.
  2. I stayed in Flåm at the Fretheim. From there, I hiked back toward the E16.
  3. There are a few different ways to get to the road of interest, but you want to end up on the other side of E16 on a road Nedre Brekkevegen, heading essentially south for a few tenths of a mile. You’ll pass some apartments and hostels along the way.
  4. You’ll then end up at the trail head for the falls.

Accessibility: 3/10 (moderate/strenuous)
Height: 2050′
Length of Hike: 2 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Brekkefossen?