Recently, I decided to look up the definition of waterfalls and was surprised to learn how many are in Maine. That’s because a waterfall is defined as any “falling water” that cascades at least five feet down.
Well, with so many mills in Maine on rivers — and falls besides them — there are likely more waterfalls in Maine than you ever realized.
Plus, visiting waterfalls would definitely qualify as one of the free things to do in Southern Maine.
Waterfalls in Maine near old mills
For example, I live in Kennebunk. Right along Main Street is a small bridge that crosses the Cat Mousam River. It’s beside an old mill, where the falling water once powered it. These days the water just falls from the smooth area of the river over a ledge. Eventually, it drains into the Atlantic Ocean.
However, even if it hasn’t been really rainy out, the water is so loud. Like before you come around the corner of the mill (now home to Duffy’s Restaurant and lots of other businesses), you can have a normal conversation. Then once you get on the bridge closest to the river, the whoosh of the water just drowns everything out. Even though it’s loud, it’s quite peaceful.
Of course, there are many other abandoned mills in Maine with a river running through it or by it. And, I’m sure given the definition above, a waterfall, albeit small.
Like when you drive through Biddeford on your way to Saco, you’ll pass over a split in the Saco River, each with its own falling water over nearby rocks.
Another place where you’ll experience a waterfall near an old mill? In Westbrook. That’s where you’ll find the Saccarappa Falls along the Presumpscot River.
Waterfalls in nature in Maine
Now, when you think of waterfalls in Maine, you’re probably thinking of the ones that occur naturally. And Southern Maine does have a few of those for nature lovers.
Some are big; others are really small. Here’s a brief list of waterfalls in nature that you can visit in Southern Maine.
Webhannet Waterfall in Wells, Maine
For example, when driving along Route 1 in Wells, you may not even realize that you’re driving by a waterfall. That would be the waterfall on the Webhannet River.
If you’ve ever stopped at the farm stand that sets up just as you’re going up the hill on Route 1, after you’ve passed the Hannaford shopping center, that’s where you would enter Webhannet Falls Park. The water flows right under Route 1 and into the marshes behind Wells beaches.
Other waterfalls in Southern Maine
- Third Falls of Royal River, Yarmouth
- Presumpscot Falls, Falmouth
- Jewell Falls, Portland
- Cascade Falls, Saco
- Orris Falls, South Berwick
Final thoughts on waterfalls in Southern Maine
If you have a favorite waterfall — in nature or running by a mill — please post a comment so we can go check it out.