Dunn Falls Trail

Scenic day-hike along the West Branch of the Ellis River through conserved wilderness, passing pools, cascades and the spectacular Upper and Lower Dunn Falls. Return along the Appalachian Trail for an exciting loop hike.
Trail Activity
Hiking
Length
2.50 miles, Loop
Difficulty
Moderate
Town
Andover North Surplus
Surface
Dirt/Forest Floor
Pets
Permitted
Fees
No

Description

From East B Hill Road, descend southwest along the white-blazed Appalachian trail to an intersection with the Cascade Trail on the banks of a stream 50 meters from the road. This intersection can be confusing; do not cross the stream. Take note of the MATC sign on the tree which points left towards another junction with the Appalachian Trail in 0.7 miles and Dunn Falls in 0.9 miles.

Turn left and follow the blue-blazed Cascade Trail south, towards Dunn Falls. This narrow trail winds its way over roots and rocks as it follows the stream through dense forest. In less than 0.5 miles, the trail crosses the stream and switchbacks up the steep opposite bank. After another 0.2 miles, the trail descends to the West Branch of the Ellis river and crosses it. Small pools, cascades, and sand banks abound on this stretch of water. The Cascade Trail continues due west along the south bank of the river, traveling upstream towards the falls. In just over 0.1 miles, the blue-blazed Cascade Trail forks. The right fork continues for a short ways along the banks of the West Branch of the Ellis River, providing access to the pools beneath Lower Dunn Falls. The trail's left fork provides access to all points further upstream and ascends rapidly to the top of Lower Dunn Falls. At the top of the Falls, the Cascade Trail intersects the white-blazed Appalachian Trail which continues southbound to the left and northbound across the river to the right. A small clearing at this intersection provides an excellent rest spot beside the river immediately before its plunge over Lower Dunn Falls.

To continue to Upper Dunn Falls, cross the West Branch of the Ellis River, turning north on the Appalachian Trail. Once across the river, the trail ascends a short, yet steep bank to another small clearing. Here, the blue-blazed Cascade Trail departs the Appalachian Trail and turns uphill and northwest towards Upper Dunn Falls. The Cascade Trail reaches the Upper Falls in less than 0.25 miles, but features several short ascents of steep banks and at times passes very near the drop-off to the river below. Along the way to Upper Dunn Falls, several smaller, but equally spectacular falls may be accessed from the trail. The Cascade Trail ends at the base of Upper Dunn Falls and overlooks a small gorge at the confluence of two streams below the long drop of Upper Dunn Falls.

Optional loop-hike: Hikers seeking to return along a different route may take the northbound Appalachian Trail from its junction with the Cascade Trail at the top of Lower Dunn Falls. The Appalachian Trail heads northeast along a ridge, descending rapidly after 0.6 miles to the stream bank opposite the Cascade Trail. The Appalachian Trail then continues northward along the stream for 0.1 miles until it crosses the stream and arrives at its first junction with the Cascade trail a short ways downhill from the trailhead. This section of trail is challenging and includes difficult uphills and steep descents.

Trail Manager

For more information, please contact Maine Appalachian Trail Club.

Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC)

Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC)
PO Box 7564
Portland, ME 04112
info@matc.org
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Trail Tips

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Trailhead Information

Access to the Cascades Trail to Dunn Falls is a short distance south along the Appalachian Trail from the intersection of East B Hill/Andover Road and the Appalachian Trail.

  • From Errol, NH: Travel east on ME-26. 2.5 miles after passing the Lake Umbagog NH State Park Campground on the left, turn left onto East B Hill Road. Note the large sign notifying commercial vehicles of winter chain laws. Drive with caution, frost heaves and steep grades on this road are a significant hazard for any vehicle without high clearance. In 6 miles, turn-in to a small dirt parking lot on the left. The trailhead is another 100 meters down the road on the right at the small sign for the Appalachian Trail.
  • From Andover, ME: Travel north on ME-5. In Andover Center turn left onto Upton Road which turns into East B Hill Road in about 2 miles. Continue on East B Hill Road (also noted as Andover Road on some maps) to a small dirt parking lot on the right side of the road 8 miles from the general store in Andover Center. The trailhead is 100 meters back towards Andover along the right (southeast) side of the road.
Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
Please Log In or Create Account to add comments.
jennacs4
May 19, 2023
Absolutely stunning trail! Highly recommend. We started by taking the white Appalachian trail, made it to the lower Falls, then went on the quarter mile out-and-back to the upper Falls. We took the blue blaze cascade trail back. Next time, we will plan to do the blue trail out and back. The AT was nice but very wooded and not much for views. The blue trail on the other hand ran directly along the river with soooo many falls, cascades and little swimming holes the whole way. Gorgeous! There is an easy-to-miss offshoot from the blue trail as you’re heading south on blue, that goes to the base of the lower falls. It veers off to the right ever so slightly, you don’t even really see it heading north on blue. Can’t wait to go back in the summer with suits and water shoes!!
toneman10
August 06, 2020
I wasn't clear exactly where Dunn Fall was. The trail descends along the West Branch of the Ellis River and there are a few smaller cascades and pools along this trail. Once you cross the river a little farther down the trail, you climb the hill with a few switchbacks then drop back down to the river. I followed that to the Y in the trail and took the lower trail to Lower Dunn Falls. I didn't really know there was an Upper Dunn Falls...I guess that will require a trip back some day. The lower falls were quite impressive.
207hiker
March 27, 2019
This loop trail is Amazing!! Be prepared with extra shoes and socks if hiking during early Spring or long periods of rain and make sure to visit the Cataract Falls after (in the direction heading towards downtown Andover) for a short hike in to and alongside of another beautiful spot in Maine.
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