Location: Rumford, ME Stream : Androscoggin River. Finding : Easy. Access : Both easy and difficult, depending on what you mean.
I was driving through downtown Rumford when I saw these falls. Just as I was turning west on US route 2 at its junction with route 108, I looked across the Androscoggin River to see a spectacular waterfall some ways in the distance! Thinking quickly I pulled into a tourist information center that was across the street and from its parking lot I was able to get a very nice view of the waterfall.
Rumford Falls (as it is called on The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer ) is a massive waterfall where the Androscoggin River pours over a large rocky spot. The Androscoggin is a major river; one of the most significant waterways in central Maine. To see such a large river pouring down maybe 100 feet in a series of wild, violent cascades was an impressive site!
Alas, I was some distance from the falls themselves. What looked like some sort of power station was built into the rocks next to the falls and, as I drove up the road later, I saw that it was clearly off limits to ordinary people like me. Thus getting close to this rather impressive waterfall would be difficult. It might be possible to bushwack to it from the other side of the river, but I didn't investigate that.
Rumford Falls is obviously an example of an urban falls. Although the rock formation over which it pours is clearly natural, the drop has also clearly been harnessed for electrical power. Such is the nature of many New England waterfalls.
Worth a stop for sure if you are driving through Rumford. Bring a spotting scope.
A reader of this site who grew up in Rumford pointed out to me in email that Rumford Falls is the largest waterfall in terms of water volume east of Niagara Falls. I hadn't realized that! Thanks for the information!
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