Overview: Very nice waterfall complex. Location: Newry, ME Stream : Wight Brook Finding : Fairly Easy Access : Some hiking Legal : Public access
These falls were located just off Rt 26 in Grafton Notch. About a half mile south of Grafton Notch State Park and immediately south of the bridge over Wight Brook there was an inconspicuous gravel driveway on the east side of the road. A few yards from the road there was a parking area nestled under some pine trees.
Step Falls was located on land owned by the Nature Conservancy (I'm a member!). The Conservancy had a couple of signs next to the parking area so if you see them, you know you're in the right spot. Keep in mind that camping and fires are not allowed at this site.
From the parking area, there was reasonably well marked trail that went to the falls. It was about a 0.5 mile walk over generally easy grades. The only real climbing occured once I reached the falls. The trail roughly followed Wight Brook for a while and ran right along side the brook as it approached the falls.
The falls themselves were fascinating! As with Glendale Falls in Massachusetts, Step Falls was really a long sequence of short falls and cascades that flowed over a wide expanse of rock. The water was quite low today, and so I was able to walk out onto the rocks and hop across the stream with ease. There were so many different interesting little spots, I could never fully describe the falls here!
I was impressed by the size and depth of some of the pools. The rock has obviously been well carved by the flowing water; some of the pools must have been ten feet deep (and only perhaps five feet across!). In many places the rocks were polished smooth and had grooves and pockets that were dry today but clearly wet during high water. All in all, it was a fascinating waterfall. Highly recommended.
If you are in the area of Step Falls, be sure to also check out Screw Auger Falls just a couple of miles farther up into Grafton Notch.
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