Monday, July 8, 2013

In Search of ... Little Wilson Falls 3 (7/7/13)

Little Wilson Falls
Hike: Little Wilson Falls
Location: Monson, ME
Distance: 4.6 miles
Time: 2:56

Even the Bangor Daily News warned that Little Wilson Falls is hard to find. Listed in my Mom's hiking book as "Maine's prettiest waterfall," this hike became a big goal of mine and my mom.  In 2008, she and her friend Barbara had tried to the trail to the fall to no avail.  In 2009, my mom and I found the trail head but missed a crucial turn (that doesn't have a sign if you come from the way we went.)  In 2011,we were finally successful.

So, when Urvi and I went up to my folks cabin after the 4k on the 4th, we decided to do what was such a pretty hike.

We drove from Harmony out to Monson and then out Elliotsville Road.  The actual trailhead is across the Wilson Stream from the parking lot.  This means the start of the hike is fording the stream (somewhere between "river" and "creek").

After the fording you get on an old ATV double track trail (that is now closed to ATVs) for about a mile.  Definitely not the prettiest part of the hike.  Just walking uphill through waist high grass.

At one mile you make it to a pretty pond at the junction with the Appalachian Trail.  You wouldn't know from the sign that only can be seen coming the other way:

The left takes you off the double track and onto a single track, Tolkien-ian looking boggy glade.  Urvi immediately went shin deep in a mud pit - almost losing her shoe.  The mud-hiking was ameliorated in a few hundred yards by split rail trackways laid atop the boggy ground.

My mom on the trackway

Urvi on the trackway
Once across the trackway you can start to hear the Wilson Stream again.  losing all the altitude you gained in the first hour, the AT carries you down to the confluence of the Wilsons (Little and not).

Here's the second and harder stream fording.  The speed of the river is much faster than the first crossing.  So, I whipped my shoes across the river and packed my watch into my bag.  Over the river and through the woods I go.

Urvi fording
Once you cross, if you go left there is a set of stairs built with local granite to climb the step hill up to the top of the ridge.  If you don't see the turn to the left and go straight, there is a tough rooted climb that requires some scrambling.  Then, when you get to the top, you'll notice there is an easier way up (and down, that's what we took down.)

At the top of the ridge it was a pretty easy hike to the falls themselves...

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Urvi and I at the falls

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