Scenic USA - Maine

Screw Auger Falls

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Screw Auger Falls - Grafton Notch State Park, Maine

Photo by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

   Not only did retreating ice sheets leave behind a beautiful western Maine filled with crystal clear lakes and rugged mountains, glacial meltwater carved its way through two layers of bedrock, creating Grafton Notch and Mother Walker Falls. Here in The Notch, the Bear River cascades through a narrow gorge, dropping nearly a 100 feet over its 1000 foot length. Nearly impossible to photograph this ancient marvel, Grafton Notch photographers are still in luck.
   Here at the end of Maine's Mahoosuc Range, Route 26 parallels the Bear River and provides Grafton Notch State Park visitors with easy access to Mother Walker Falls, Moose Cave Gorge and Screw Auger Falls. Scouring out a site for this well named falls, the river has intricately cut a twisting cork-screw through thick layers of granite. There are many viewpoints to see Screw Auger Falls, but for a head on view the undaunted photographer will have to secure a perch on the gorge rim. For those that are a little more insecure, sliding their way up to the edge in a prone position works just as well.
   Aside from these cascade and waterfall features, the Notch area is also a beautiful U-shaped valley carved by glacial ice. The Appalachian Trail crosses here between Old Speck and Baldpate. For avid hikers, these two landmarks provide a challenging hike and fantastic views of the Swift Cambridge River Valley. Old Speck is Maine's third highest peak, topping out at 4180 feet. Baldpate, separated into east and west peaks, also offers splendid viewpoints, but are typically undertaken by advanced hikers.

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