This is one of the Best waterfalls in the Northeast



 Abs Mag:


 Beisel Rating:

2.21 (Class 3)


43 feet

 Tallest Drop:

18 feet

 # of Drops:





Bear River






USGS Old Speck Mountain 7 1/2"


Aerial Photography


18 E2



The falls from a rock pillar adjacent to the gorge, click to enlarge

A telephoto isolation of the tallest individual drop, click to enlarge

The crest of the main drop from the side, click to enlarge

The upper tier, click to enlarge

The upper tier from the side, click to enlarge

An old postcard image from the archive, click to enlarge



Grafton TWP , Oxford County, ME , USA


No Known Alternate Names



The falls from a rock pillar adjacent to the gorge



This is my favorite waterfall in Maine, although I suspect Moxie Falls may eventually usurp this distinction. Bear River has cut an intricately sculpted gorge through a banded granitic formation. If you look closely at the rocks adjacent to the brink of the main fall, you'll see an unusual rock window. You'll not likely have the waterfall to yourself, as it is a well marked attraction in Grafton Notch. If you time your visit for late July to mid August, you'll find a fair number of wild blueberries too.


Geology and Bedrock Structure:

The falls have cut a highly sculpted twisting gorge through Biotite and hornblende-biotite quartz diorite, grandiorite, and Two Mica Granite




Photography Notes:

This is an extremely photogenic area. You'll find many angles and views. The best view of the falls is to be had from a somewhat precarious rock ledge overlooking the gorge. You can have a much safer view behind the railing. I wanted the base of the falls included in the frame, so I took off my shoes (the rock was slippery and my bare tootsies had a much better grip on the rock) and took my shots. You'll want a tripod, a polarizer, and a warming filter. Focal lengths in the 28-80mm range should be sufficient, although telephoto is helpful for isolations. The sun can be a big issue here, so early, late, or on overcast days are the best times to shoot.



Take Route 26 into Grafton Notch. The falls are about 3.5 miles east of height of land, very well marked. There is an honor box so that visitors can pay a nominal fee, it was $2.00 last time I was there. For what it's worth, this is well worth the meager amount of money which is used to maintain the state park.