Who does’t like to see a good waterfall? We’d heard rumblings of a waterfall in Portland, and as the summer heat continued to blaze, we headed to the Fore River Sanctuary in search of falling water. We prepped a little better for this hike bringing actual sunscreen and water so we were ready to enter this little oasis surrounded by city.
The entrance to this trail is located at the end of Rowe Avenue and easy to find. After a short walk from the parking area, on a path that runs parallel to railroad tracks, we hit the main part of the trail and turned left towards the falls. It was an easy walk with a few small hills, although nothing too steep. The roots of the trees that flank the path create a random, uneven obstacle course and do require that you gaze down at regular intervals so as to not trip. It’s nothing too difficult just something to keep in mind.
We arrived at the falls in no time. Being August, they were not robust but more of a few intertwined trickles. I’m sure in the Spring there is a more impressive water display. We climbed the stone steps off to the side of the falls which led to a wooden bridge that spanned the top of the falls and provided a higher vantage point. It’s definitely a falls, but again, on this particular visit, not a lot of water.
The trail connects up with others if you want to continue past the falls, but we opted to head back from where we came and extend our walk within the Fore River Sanctuary by using some of the connecting trails that loop through the area.
While we did encounter other hikers around the Jewell Fall’s area, the rest of the hike was serenely quiet and we passed only one other lone hiker chatting on his cell phone as his happy, well behaved pup ran ahead. As we got closer to the end of the trail that we had taken, we crossed the railroad tracks but not before carefully reading the detailed sign with serious instructions on how to cross the tracks. After safely crossing the empty tracks, the trail made a short circle through the woods before looping back and crossing over the railroad tracks again but this time without any sign warning us of the dangers of crossing.
We walked past our original entrance to the trail before we realized we were headed back to the falls. Fortunately, we didn’t get too far and were able to double back easily, and head back out to the parking area.
In the end my husbands phone app indicated we’d walked about two miles but it felt even shorter than that to be honest. I think it might have been all the starts and stops. But, one of the great thing about hiking on the Portland Trails, is that we could have easily extended and made it a more robust hike if we desired as the trails do interconnect with one another.
|things to know|
|Trail||Fore River Sanctuary & Jewell Falls|
|Address||Rowe Ave., Portland, Maine|
|Website||Fore River Sanctuary|