Explore Gulf Hagas
Region: The Maine Highlands
Activities: Hiking (Moderate to Difficult), Sightseeing
Day Fee: Collected at Ki-Jo Mary Checkpoint, CASH OR CHECKS ONLY
Note: No Bicycles Allowed
Often described as ‘The Grand Canyon of Maine,’ Gulf Hagas is a striking slate gorge in Northern Maine. Over the decades, Gulf Hagas has drawn lumbermen—who once ran logs down the narrow waterway—along with hikers, swimmers and even adventurous kayakers who take on the gorge’s often-ferocious Class V whitewater.
About three miles long, the gorge was carved deeply through the slate by the waters of the West Branch of the Pleasant River. Its stark, stone walls rise over 100 feet high in places. Inside the gorge, the river drops hundreds of feet through a series of rapids, pools and waterfalls.
The Gulf Hagas area is included in a tough section of Maine’s Appalachian Trail known as the 100-Mile Wilderness. Gulf Hagas is extremely popular with day hikers. There’s good access and it offers visitors both short walks and all-day adventures, along with extraordinary views. Those looking for something short and scenic opt for a trip to Screw Auger Falls, a 3.5-mile hike from one of the area parking lots. Hiking the whole gorge, round trip, is more than 8 miles, depending on which end of Gulf Hagas the hike starts from. A round-trip hike offers many waterfall and cliff overlooks.
But be prepared: Gulf Hagas includes plenty of tough hiking with rocks, roots, loose dirt and other challenges. Sturdy footwear and a hiking stick or poles are recommended. On one popular route, hikers must ford the West Branch of the Pleasant River which, depending on the season and the weather, can be from ankle to waist deep.
From Greenville: 15 miles (approximately)
From Bangor: 85 miles
From Portland: 170 miles
From Lewiston/Auburn: 145 miles