Watch Video Footage of Shin Falls:
Just North of Millinocket
Shin Brook Falls (Shin Falls) is an incredible hidden gem just north of Millinocket. The road to the falls starts at Shin Pond Village, a small community that rests on the edge of Maine’s pristine, untamed wilderness. Beyond the village is where you leave the paved road for a remote dirt road until you reach the incredible 44-foot waterfall.
Directions to Shin Falls
The journey starts in Shin Pond Village, a small and remote town just off Route 11 north of Millinocket. Follow Route 11 until you reach Route 159 and follow it west for 9.8 miles to Shin Pond Village. Drive past Shin Pond Village on Shin Pond Road (Route 159) which will become Grand Lake Road (where Route 159 ends). Follow Grand Lake Road for about 3.1 miles until you see a dirt road to your left with a sign similar to the one in this photo on a tree pointing you in the direction of the falls.
I’ve seen photos of different signs in the past so it appears as though it’s updated every now and again. As you can see by the sign locals call it Shin Brook Falls. For my GPS fans, the coordinates are 46.146035, -68.615930. Turn down this road and go until you reach a parking area and trailhead at GPS 46.142406, -68.615622. Be aware that the dirt road can be flooded or have large puddles depending on the rainfall. It had recently rained a lot when we visited the falls. The parking area is not well-marked. We saw flagging tape marking the trailhead and someone had spray painted a large orange arrow pointing to the trailhead.
The Hike to Shin Falls
The hike is only 0.4 of a mile in, taking only about 10 minutes to complete. The trail wasn’t well-marked when we visited, although you could see where to go by following the beaten path. There is one place where the trail divides and you need to go left. I’m sure you can still get there by going right, but it will probably take longer! Someone had marked the right way by placing a downed log over the path to the right.
Despite the short distance, just before you reach the base of the falls it gets VERY steep and could be dangerous for small children to hike down. There is another trail that leads to the upper falls which isn’t as steep and allows a birds-eye view of the largest falls below. Since the falls are on private land that allows public access you can bring your dog, although the steep descent to the bottom of the main falls could become a problem.
What to Expect: It Depends
The remote falls are far from crowded, and when we visited we were the only people there. The waterfall has three drops with the main falls reaching 30 feet high and a total drop of 44 feet. Climb above the main waterfall to see several other 7 to 8-foot waterfalls.
Many people go swimming or fishing at the base of the falls when the water flow is right. Keep in mind the falls aren’t nearly as impressive in low-water conditions and can slow to a trickle. Shin Brook Falls is perfect for photo-ops, with the best lighting in the early morning. The water from the falls curves to the right immediately at the base. This makes it possible to get VERY close to this raging beauty.
Get More Outdoors!
This article was featured in UNTAMED Maine Outdoor Adventure & Recreation Spring 2018 issue. Click here to download your copy of the magazine and enjoy even more Maine adventures!
Angela enjoys exploring the many beautiful and unique natural places in Maine and sharing her outdoor experiences with others.When not out exploring Maine woods, trails, mountains and waterways Angela can be found plotting and planning her next adventure or buying another backpack.(Because you can never have too many).