Where in Maine?

Where in Maine?, April 2016

Can you name this lustrous little waterfall and the city where it’s found?

Photographed by Charlie Widdis

Less than a half-mile from one of the state’s most highly trafficked roads, this 20-foot falls and the short trail network accessing it make for an unlikely sylvan oasis. The wide, graded trails weren’t laid down until fairly recently, but a mess of unmaintained social trails has long crisscrossed the site, since the waterfall has been a tourist attraction going back more than a century (and before that, according to a 19th-century gazetteer, a “pic­turesque camp-meeting ground of the Methodists”). In the 1950s, a nearby theme park kept a caged bear on the site, and visitors can still spot the cage’s rusting remains near the lip of the falls. More recent cockamamie schemes included a plan to build a zip line overhead — an idea the local city council thankfully shot down. The stream that tumbles over these mossy rocks was once known as “Foxwell’s Brook,” after one of the area’s earliest farming families. Today, though, the stream takes its name from the falls, which leaves the name of the waterfall itself somewhat redundant.

If you can name this lustrous little waterfall and the city where it’s found, send us a note at P.O. Box 679, Camden, ME 04843 or shoot an email to [email protected]. We’ll feature our favorite letter in an upcoming issue — and send the winner a Down East wall calendar.


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  • jeffjapan055

    April’s ‘Where in ME’ looks like Swift River Falls on Swift River, West side Rte 17 in Roxbury, Oxford Cty, 5 MI North of twin cities Rumford-Mexico where Swift River joins the mighty Androscoggin. I believe the poor caged bear was in Roxbury’s Wild Animal Park? I didn’t know of the 19th century Methodist ‘camp-meeting’ ground, but suspect it was on nearby Swift River Pond. Holding Rte 17 as one of ‘most highly trafficked’ is a stretch, but in season it leads ‘sports & rusticaters’ north to the AT at famed ‘Northwest Passage’s Height of Land’ and Oquossoc-Rangeley Lakes’ sporting lodges. My wife and I will be stopping by on our way to area hiking friends’ nearby trails next weekend. Thanks for DE spotlights on the best of ME!
    Jeff Smith
    Swanville, ME 04915