Guantlet Falls

During my teenage years living in Millnocket, Maine my friends and I spent a lot of time at various swimming holes around the Katahdin area. One of my favorite places to go was a little falls tucked away in the Jo-Mary Lakes Region.   About 15-20 miles southwest on Rt 11 out of Millinocket is the entrance to Jo-Mary Lake Campground.  You have to stop at the Gate House and pay a fee to get in.  Ask the attendant for a map and specific directions to the falls.  It is a dirt road and during the week they are logging, so take caution when driving.  

On a recent trip to Millinocket, I was having difficulty deciding where to take my family swimming as there are so many choices.  Since my daughter has become a better swimmer, I decided I wanted to take her to one of my favorite places, Guantlet Falls. I was a little concerned as the last time I was there, over 10 years ago, the road of close to impassible.  We decided to take the chance.  Also I was reading the Untamed Mainer's blog and she talked about a falls lower than Guantlet called Mud Falls, in the many times I went I never knew there was other falls so I wanted to check it out.  

We packed our picnic lunch for the day and my parents joined us for the day trip.  My father asked the gate attendant about Mud Falls and they had never heard of it either. To our surprise the road into the falls has been fixed up and was easy to get through.  We arrived at the falls and it was exactly as I remembered it.  


Before jumping into the water I explored around to see if I could find the path to Mud Falls.  When you are standing on the rocks looking downstream there is a trail off to your left that leads down to Mud Falls.  About a quarter to a half mile down the trail to come to two small waterfalls.  My guess is the last one is Mud Falls, this does not look like a great area for swimming, but still pretty to check out.  


We spend a few hours enjoying the falls jumping from various size cliffs. The water was cold, but we could still get in and enjoy it.  The day we visited the water had a good current to it.  I use to be able to swim up into the falls, but the current was too strong and my husband and I could not get up into the falls. It could also be that I have gotten weaker, but I am blaming it on the current.   


While you are in the area make sure you stop and check out Jo Mary Lake and Campground.  There is a beautiful beach and view of Mt Katahdin.