Buttermilk Falls

DESCRIPTION: Buttermilk Falls is the first falls in Gulf Hagas proper that can be accessed directly from the Gulf Hagas rim trail from the east or the third from the north. Other falls lower in the Gulf (Hammond Street Pitch and the “Jaws”) must be viewed from above, unless you are willing to climb down precipitous (and dangerous) cliffs to reach them. Buttermilk is considerably easier, although it still involves a bit of a climb down a short access trail from the rim trail. The falls is an attractive, 12 foot drop over slanted ledge into a broad, deep pool, suitable for swimming. However, children should be closely supervised.

Scenic Rating: 3/5
Difficulty Rating: 4/5
Hike Duration: 6-7 hours
Handicap Access: No
Fees: Yes
GPS Reading: N45.4889 W69.3259
County: Piscataquis
Township: Bowdoin College Grant East
DeLorme Atlas: Map 42 D1 marked in DeLorme


Route 1: From Gulf Hagas Brook, follow the Gulf Hagas rim trail for 1.8 miles. This route provides views of the “Jaws” and Hammond Street Pitch from the rim of the lower gorge. This is a difficult, rocky trail, not to be casually attempted. Adequate water and good hiking shoes are a must.

Route 2 (easier): From Gulf Hagas Brook, continue 0.6 miles west on the Pleasant River Tote Road. An 0.1 mile connector trail to the left leads to the rim trail (sign). Follow the rim trail 0.9 miles to Buttermilk Falls. A short access trail leads down from the rim trail to the pool below the falls.

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Waterfall Trail Map for Gulf Hagas area

Waterfall Trail Map for Gulf Hagas area

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Photos: ┬ęBob Hamer