Location: Madrid, Franklin County
Description: A 54-foot waterfall on the Sandy River
Activities: Swimming, hiking, photography, picnicking
Favorite season to visit: Early fall
Why it’s special: This waterfall is beautiful! You can hike up to the top, swim in the fresh, clean water at the bottom of the falls, and enjoy a picnic lunch while you’re there. This is a beautiful drive in western Maine, and there’s a rest stop here for easy access to the falls and plenty of parking. You can leave Smalls Falls and head out to view the beautiful western Maine mountains after a quick dip in the water, lunch, and a bathroom break. Visiting in the fall gives you spectacular fall foliage to photograph. The drive through western Maine to get here is also colorful—you pass by vistas with mountain views, beautiful babbling brooks, and very little traffic, and usually it’s still warm enough, once you get there, to take a quick swim in the river.
Tips: Bring sturdy walking shoes, as the climb to the top of the falls is not for the faint of heart. It’s a steep, root-filled climb to the top, but once you’re there, you’ll be happy you made the trip. Also, bring your camera to capture the beauty of this little piece of Maine. If you didn’t bring lunch, make sure to stop before you get too far outside Farmington on your way to Madrid (pronounced MAAH-drid). There aren’t a lot of places to stop for a sandwich or drink once you’ve left Farmington.
More info and directions: www.mainehuts.org