Gulf Hagas is often referred to as the "Grand Canyon of the East" (or of Maine) because it is a spectacular four mile long gorge with vertical slate walls dropping nearly 150 feet. The total depth of the valley is about 400 feet. The west branch of the Pleasant River flows through the gorge forming magnificent falls, chutes and pools that are especially torrid during the spring runoff. The fall foliage in this back country is spectacular and provides a colorful backdrop for the many hiking opportunities that abound throughout the Gulf region.
The Gulf Hagas trail is part of the Appalachian corridor, which is federally owned and managed by the Maine Appalachian Trail club under delegation from the National Park Service and the Appalachian Tail Conservancy.
The Hermitage, a majestic stand of old growth white pine, was added to the National Landmark registry in 1968. The Hermitage is now a part of the Appalachian Trail corridor owned by the National Park Service. This area is located about Â½ mile from the Hay Brook parking lot, where you may access the Trail. Spectacular Screw Auger Falls is about a mile beyond the Hermitage.
The Gulf loop trail is about 5.2 miles of moderately difficult hiking. The round trip distance from the parking area near the West Branch is 8.2 miles and takes between 6-8 hours. The reward is magnificent scenery.
Season: Gates manned: May 1 – November 30
Off-season: Gate is open. No Fee. Winter hiking is especially hazardous in this region.
Special Notes of Interest:
Hiking in the Gulf is a primitive hiking experience. Assistance may be hours away. The trail is rough, steep and strenuous in places. This is not a good location for young children or inexperienced hikers. Hiking boots, sufficient food, water supplies and seasonally appropriate clotg are a necessity.
Important Natural/Cultural/Heritage Links:
For important information on what to take and safety see:
- Maine Woods Tourism "Waterfalls Tour"
From Greenville: Travel through the blinking light to the first street on the right, Pleasant Street. Turn right onto Pleasant St. and travel straight approx. 2 miles. At the airport, the road makes a sharp right turn around the end of the runway. Continue approximately 8 miles, past Autumn Brook Farm and Rum Ridge. You will arrive at a gated North Maine Woods checkpoint (Hedgehog Gate). Fee required. Get directions from the gate attendant.
From Milo: Travel Route 11 toward Millinocket. Approximately five miles north of Milo, take a left-hand turn at the sign that leads down an unpaved gravel road six miles to KI. Continue past KI to the gate and obtain directions from there.