Mariaville Falls Preserve in Mariaville, Maine, is a conservation area along the banks of the West Branch of the Union River in Hancock County, owned and managed by the Frenchman Bay Conservancy, which has a trail map on its website. This woods and waters gem, the former site of a small village, lies off 181 between Amherst and Ellsworth (look for the wooden sign on the west side of 181).
We were fortunate enough to visit on a sunny day during the peak of autumn foliage. The trails are short, and the Fisherman’s Trail (.85 mi) follows the river, with the New Trail (.48 mi) looping further east from the first parking area (look for the kiosk), and joining the Fisherman’s Trail near the falls.
We walked slowly, and made the trip out and back from the second (gravel pit) parking area along the Fisherman’s Trail in about 35 to 40 minutes. The trail is steep in places, but this walk is short enough to be suitable for kids, and the views of the falls are excellent, particularly in foliage season.
A bench sits high above the rapids, a contemplative spot to pause and enjoy the view. Those feeling more adventurous can scramble down closer to observe the falls more closely. Those in transit in the Downeast region, or anyone looking for a short hike in the area, will enjoy this small but beautiful place.