Gulf Hagas: North Maine Woods Review & Guide

Gulf Hagas is one of the most well-known attractions in the North Maine Woods, and for good reason. It has a long but moderate hike with some of the most stunning payoffs in New England.

Walking along a river overlooking a series of waterfalls, Gulf Hagas is a must-see hike for any adventurer. Here’s what we have to say about it!

View from top of Gulf Hagas lookout point
North Maine Woods (Near Beaver Cove) 45.5398° N, 69.3212° W
Trail Length
8.2 miles 
Trail Type
Elevation Gain
954 feet
Trail difficulty
Moderate – Long
Wheelchair Access
$11 ME residents, $16 non-residents
Waterfalls – Great views – Fair hike

Getting to Gulf Hagas

Driving to Gulf Hagas may be a longer trip than you’re expecting, even in certain parts of Maine. From Portland, the drive will take around 3 hours and 20 minutes. It will take around 2 hours from Skowhegan, Waterville, or Bangor. Route 6 is the most popular route to get to Gulf Hagas, and we strongly suggest downloading the map ahead of time and using GPS coordinates (45.5398° N, 69.3212° W), as service is limited in Northern Maine.

Parking & Fees

Gulf Hagas is operated by the state of Maine, and Maine residents will pay $11 for entry, and non-residents will pay $16. When you arrive, park across from the house (you can’t miss it) and walk in to pay. It’s an old-school building that usually has one person working inside. Children under 18 or seniors over 70 may will receive a free day pass to the waterfalls.

If you plan to camp, you will need to pay an extra $14 on top of the fee for your day pass. Season (day) passes are also available to both residents and non-residents for $100.

View of Gulf Hagas waterfall from above

Hiking Gulf Hagas

You’ll start out on a small corridor of the trail that will lead you to a river. Always check the weather ahead of time or ask the desk operator for information about the depth and temperature, which can change dramatically. You will have to cross this river by foot, which can be anywhere from 6 inches to 3-feet deep.

We did this hike in May and started at around 8 am. The water was about 2-feet deep and extremely cold.

You will need to walk in water and on slippery rocks. We recommend bringing a waterproof case for your phone and/or trekking poles to help with stability as you cross. If you come during the colder months, be mindful of the temperatures and pace, and bring extra layers or toe warmers to prevent tissue damage.

The Hike

The hike is not very strenuous with an elevation gain of only 954 feet spread across 8.4 miles. It feels more like a long walk than a strenuous hike.

We planned on hiking for 7 to 8 hours, as that is what we were advised. However, the hike only took us 4.5 hours to complete, and we aren’t the most advanced hikers in the world.

It was an enjoyable hike to say the least. We only ran into one other person during our entire hike, likely because we started so early. There were others in the parking lot when we returned in the early afternoon, so start early if you want to be alone!

The Views

The hardest part about reviewing destinations like this is to capture the views with words. You simply can’t, especially in a unique place like Gulf Hagas. The trees are a stunning shade of green, the views from the lookouts are incredible, and the waterfalls are some of the best in New England.

Take a look at the pictures to see for yourself, but understand that they don’t do it justice (they never do). These photos were taken with an iPhone, and they go all around in person. You have to see it for yourself to understand the beauty.

View of Pleasant River at Gulf Hagas Rim Trail

See For Yourself

Now that you know more about Gulf Hagas, go see it for yourself! Reading about it online doesn’t do this gem any justice, so plan your trip today.

Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below, and check out our review of Houston Falls for other great waterfalls in Maine!

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