INside the OUTside: Pandemic weighing you down? Take a hike!

Kathleen Cassidy at the foot of the trail, and above, Moxie Falls. (photo by Dan Cassidy)

by Dan Cassidy

With all the turmoil going on in not only our country, but throughout the world that has affected our lives, I try to keep my mind occupied with more positive things. What I tell my wife when she asks me “what do you plan to do today?” … I respond by saying, “I’m going to putter!”

One of my daughters has been home for several weeks from the west coast so we have spent many great days at beaches, riding bikes and doing other family things.

We decided one morning to take a trip up to Moxie Falls. She had never been, so off we went. It’s a pretty ride up Route 201 taking us through Skowhegan, Madison, Bingham, Moscow, Carratunk and meandering along the Kennebec River to The Forks. It’s about a two-and-a-half hour drive from the Central Maine area.

Moxie Falls. (photo by Dan Cassidy)

On the way, we passed through Bingham and from there the road begins to wind as we passed close to the Kennebec River, with sharp curves. Along the way, we passed by steep rock/ledge walls where some people have erected bird houses with numbers on them, all homemade and beautiful.

It’s a very picturesque ride to The Forks and what we noticed was the lack of traffic, with the exception of several tractor trailers heading in both directions, but a lack of Québec vehicles as the borders are still closed.

We took a right hand turn at The Forks and traveled about a mile-and-a-half to the entrance of Moxie Falls parking lot.

The walk is about a mile each way on a dirt path, shaded by overhead trees, making it very nice as the heat of the sun was getting quite hot.

Be prepared for your hike. You should wear sneakers, hiking boots, shorts and a light jacket in case of rain. I wouldn’t recommend flip-flops as there are rocks, roots of trees and other obstacles along the route. Bug spray is a good idea to carry.

We noticed several families, walking along the way and the mile trek took us right to the rushing waters of the falls. We spent about a half hour looking around the different look-out spots.

The hike back was about the same, as there was little elevation going in both directions. The best part was the shade from the hot sun. The trail meanders through the woods with wooden stairs and platforms to get a better view of the falls.

The falls area is one of the highest waterfalls in Maine, reaching vertical drop of about 90 feet. Caution here, as it’s best not to go off trail as the terrain gets very steep and rocky and the water is flowing at a very high speed.

While there is no overnight camping, there are several camping and lodging facilities in The Forks area. There are also several rafting outfitters and restaurants in the area.

Our choice for lunch was right after the bridge at The Forks at the Hawk’s Nest Lodge and restaurant. It has a picturesque outside seating and a great view of the Dead River across the road.

Enjoy your trek and be safe.


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