LITTLE WILSON FALLS-LOWER FALLS


Elliotsville Township, Maine



RATING: 4.0 / 5.0 stars (Excellent) Little Wilson Falls, Lower Falls, Maine (see below for larger image and additional photographs)
STATE: Maine
COUNTY: Piscataquis
TOWN: Elliotsville Township
PARK: Elliotsville Plantation
PRIVATE PROPERTY: Yes (however, the public is currently welcome to visit)
TYPE: Slides and cascades
HEIGHT: Lower falls are 18 feet; middle falls drop a total of 25 feet
WATER SOURCE: Little Wilson Stream
WATERSHED SIZE: Medium
TRAIL LENGTH: Roadside to lower falls; 0.35 mile one-way to middle falls
TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy
HIKING TIME: None to lower falls; 10 minutes one-way to middle falls
ALTITUDE GAIN: None to lower falls; up 50 feet to middle falls
WHEN TO VISIT: May to October
SWIMMING: Lower falls: Great
Middle falls: Great
DELORME ATLAS: 2015: Page 41, E-4 (the falls are actually marked on the ME atlas)
HANDICAP ACCESS: Yes (the lower falls are partially visible from the parking area)
DOGS ALLOWED: Yes
COST TO VISIT: Free (as of 2017)
LENS TO BRING: Standard (35-70mm) and/or short-telephoto (70-105mm)
ALTERNATE NAMES: None noted
GPS-TRAILHEAD: 45.375500, -69.448500
GPS-WATERFALL: 45.375222, -69.449285
COMPASS: 80° excluding declination (the falls face east)
INCLUDED IN BOOK?: Yes, the falls are included as a full chapter within the guidebook
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THE FALLS

The 18-foot tall lower falls of Little Wilson Falls offers a great pool for swimming and wading. This is one of the most popular places where the locals go on a warm summer day. Between the scenic waterfall and the fun swimming holes, visitors of all age groups are often seen here. Although camping near these falls was a long-cherished activity, fires are no longer permitted here.

While these falls are impressive in their own right, the stunning beauty of the 40-foot upper falls is undeniable. Hiking to the upper falls from the lower falls is 2.8 miles round-trip and is rated moderate.

TRAIL INFORMATION

The lower falls can be seen through the trees from the parking area since they sit only 200 feet away. A nearly level path leads closer to the falls. A smaller set of falls with good swimming holes, sometimes collectively referred to as the Middle Falls, is 0.35 mile upstream of the lower falls. A blue-blazed trail to the left of the lower falls provides access to the middle falls.

DIRECTIONS

From the post office building in downtown Monson, take the combined highway ME 15 north and ME 6 west for 0.5 mile and turn right onto Elliotsville Rd, which ultimately leads to the Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary. Follow Elliotsville Rd northeast for 7.6 miles and take a left onto a narrow, rough, and sometimes muddy dirt road that enters a nature preserve within the Elliotsville Plantation. This dirt road, which is normally fine for most SUVs and trucks but may not be suitable for other passenger vehicles, is just before a bridge over Big Wilson Stream. This road is also directly across from the parking pull-off on Elliotsville Rd that is used to visit Big Wilson Falls.

If you are unwilling or unable to drive your vehicle down this rough road, drive 100 feet along the road and park in a pull-off on the left. It is an easy and nearly flat 0.7 mile walk to the trailhead from there. Otherwise, drive 0.4 mile along this road and you will reach a fork. Fork left and drive 0.3 mile further to a large parking area at the end of the road. If, upon reaching this fork, you determine that you have had enough of driving on this rough road, there is plenty of space to park so that you can walk the final and easy 0.3 mile to the official trailhead. The official trailhead is used to access the middle, lower, and upper falls on Little Wilson Stream.

To get to Monson, take ME 16 east from Bingham and turn left onto the combined highway ME 15 north and ME 6 west in Abbott. You can also reach Monson by taking ME 15 north from Bangor or Dover-Foxcroft.

UPDATES SINCE THE 2ND EDITION

NONE NOTED.

If you know of any updates to this waterfall, or notice any errors either on this website and/or within the New England Waterfalls guidebook, please send me an email at gparsons66@hotmail.com or leave a Facebook comment at the bottom of this page. Updates to all of the waterfalls in the latest edition of the guidebook can always be found here: book updates

OPTIONAL HIKES

The trailheads for the lower falls is also used to hike to the famous upper falls along the Appalachian Trail.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Little Wilson Falls, Lower Falls, Maine
the lower falls of Little Wilson Falls

Little Wilson Falls, Lower Falls, Maine
the lower falls of Little Wilson Falls

Little Wilson Falls, Lower Falls, Maine
the lower falls of Little Wilson Falls

Little Wilson Falls, Middle Falls, Maine
the middle falls of Little Wilson Falls

INTERESTED IN VISITING MORE WATERFALLS IN NEW ENGLAND?

Our 376-page New England Waterfalls: 2nd Edition guidebook contains detailed information on over 400 waterfalls throughout New England. Click on the image below to read reviews and/or purchase the guidebook on Amazon.com.



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TIPS FOR VISITING WATERFALLS & SWIMMING HOLES

Here are some tips to help ensure that your trip to New England's waterfalls and swimming holes will be a safe and enjoyable one:
  • DON'T FORGET THE ESSENTIALS - When you visit waterfalls, you should consider bringing all of the following: (a) bug spray; (b) food/snacks; (c) water/sports drinks; (d) camera/smart-phone; (e) guidebook/trail map; (f) daypack/backpack; and (g) hiking shoes, hiking boots or watershoes. A full day hiking packing list can be found here.
  • CONSIDER BUYING WATER SHOES - You won't see too many people using them, but watershoes are fantastic pieces of equipment that can make your trip to waterfalls and swimming holes safer and more enjoyable. Merrill and Keen make some fantastic watershoes (here are some great ones from Merrill: womens / mens).
  • LEAVE NO TRACE - When you visit waterfalls and swimming holes, you'll often see some trash and sometimes you'll even find clothing left behind by others. It's really, really sad, and it irks the heck out of us. Won't you consider carrying out some of trash and clothing left by others when you leave? That would leave the spot more beautiful for the next person. Bring a trash bag and be a hero!
  • PRIVATE PROPERTY - Many waterfalls and swimming holes are located on private property and so we are truly fortunate that many landowners allow us to enjoy them. If you want to ensure that they stay open to the public, please do your best to leave no trace. If you see a sign that says 'Private Property', turn around and find another waterfall to visit or a different place to swim.
  • BRING A DSLR CAMERA AND TRIPOD WITH YOU - If you want to take high-quality photographs of waterfalls, your smart-phone just won't cut it. Get a DSLR camera, a tripod, and learn to master the art of waterfall photography.
  • SCOUT FIRST, SWIM SECOND - Never enter a swimming hole without first scouting it, even if you see somebody else swimming in it. Stop and access the risks based upon the depth of water, the power of the current, evidence of slippery rocks, and other safety factors.
  • CLIFF JUMPING - Cliff jumping is dangerous. Like, seriously dangerous. Understand the risks before you partake in this activity. Many have died from doing this in New England. Here is a list of all known deaths at waterfalls and swimming holes in New England.
  • PLEASE DON'T BUILD ROCK CAIRNS - Please do not build new rock cairns at waterfalls or swimming holes. Cairns are a strong reminder of human presence, and don't we all want to see waterfalls in their natural state and glory? Photographers get particularly annoyed at seeing cairns, so please resist the urge to build them.
  • DON'T RELY ON YOUR GPS TO GET YOU TO THE TRAILHEAD - Waterfalls don't have addresses, so relying on your GPS to get you to a trailhead is great way to get yourself lost. You need a guidebook, a road atlas, and/or a hiking map to visit the vast majority of waterfalls in New England. Also keep in mind that waterfalls are often located in wild areas, where smart-phone map apps and car GPS units may not work at all.
  • WATERFALLS IN SPRING - The best time to visit waterfalls is generally in the spring during the annual snowmelt (which is April to June). However, most waterfalls will often look great for several days after a significant rain storm.
  • HELP KEEP THE ULTRA-SECRET SWIMMING HOLES A SECRET (FOREVER) - If you find some ultra-secret swimming holes, please do your best to keep them a secret. Do not post their locations online or wildly share directions or photos with others. All of the swimming holes that are included in the guidebook and online through this website are the well-known swimming spots. There are many more holes that are much further off the beaten path, but they deserve a chance to stay wild and pristine.
  • DON'T SCRAMBLE UP WATERFALLS - So many people been seriously injured and killed in the waterfalls of New England. Many of these folks got too close to a waterfall and slipped and fell. Don't become a statistic: stay far back from the edge.
  • WEAR TRACTION IF YOU VISIT WATERFALLS IN WINTER - Visiting waterfalls in winter can be rewarding, but there is often a higher element of danger. You may need crampons, snowshoes, and/or some other form of traction (like Microspikes) in order to safely hike to waterfalls in winter.
  • SUPPORT NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS THAT CONSERVE WATERFALLS & SWIMMING HOLES - There are some organizations in New England that work diligently to conserve and maintain waterfalls and swimming holes. Please consider supporting these organizations, either with their trail maintenance projects or with monetary donations. Here are three excellent organizations engaged in this extremely important mission: the Trustees of Reservations, the Vermont River Conservancy and the Nature Conservancy.

HELPFUL LINKS

Here are some helpful links to help you explore and enjoy more waterfalls and hikes throughout New England:
  • Waterfalls of Connecticut = link
  • Waterfalls of Maine = link
  • Waterfalls of Massachusetts = link
  • Waterfalls of New Hampshire = link
  • Waterfalls of Rhode Island = link
  • Waterfalls of Vermont = link
  • Best Waterfalls in New England = link
  • Best Swimming Holes in New England = link
  • Top 25 Day Hikes in New England = link
  • Top 25 Family-Friendly Day Hikes in New England = link
  • Waterfalls Near Boston, Massachusetts = link
  • Waterfalls Near Lincoln, New Hampshire = link
  • Waterfalls Near North Conway, New Hampshire = link
  • Waterfalls Near Stowe, Vermont = link
  • Waterfall Photography Tips = link

OTHER WATERFALL GUIDEBOOKS

In addition to the New England Waterfalls guidebook, there are several other guidebooks that can help you find waterfalls and swimming holes:
  • Vermont Waterfalls (1st Edition: 2015) = link
  • Hiking Waterfalls in New England: A Guide to the Region's Best Waterfall Hikes (1st Edition: 2015) = link
  • Waterfalls of the White Mountains: 30 Hikes to 100 Waterfalls (2nd Edition: 1999) = link
  • Connecticut Waterfalls (1st Edition: 2014) = link
  • Rodrick's Guide to Vermont Waterfalls, Cascades & Gorges (1st Edition: 2014) = link
       

WATERFALLS ON FACEBOOK

Join the growing communities of waterfall aficionados on Facebook! You can share your photographs, follow the adventures of other waterfall hunters, and find new places to explore:

  • Request to join the "New England Waterfalls" community > link
  • Request to join the "New Hampshire Waterfalls" community > link
  • Request to join the "Northeastern Waterfalls" community > link
  • Request to join the "Vermont Waterfalls" community > link
  • Request to join the "Waterfalls of the United States" community > link

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Waterfalls, swimming holes, and hiking can be extremely dangerous. Hundreds of people have been injured or killed in the waterfalls and swimming holes of New England over the years. Never swim in strong water currents. Don't jump into a swimming hole without scouting it first. Do not climb up or along the side of waterfalls. Be weary of slippery rocks. Never swim in pools above waterfalls. Use of this website and all of its information is at your own risk! Newenglandwaterfalls.com and the authors of the New England Waterfalls guidebook will not be held liable for your actions. Be safe out there - and always use common sense!