Appalachian Trail to Niagara Falls – Baxter State Park

The hike from Daicey Pond to Little and Big Niagara Falls at Baxter State Park is one of the easiest and most fun hikes in the park.  At only 2.6 miles there back, the hike can be done in under 2 hours, but you’ll want to spend some time enjoying the falls.

The falls vary greatly depending on water levels.  The first time I went in September, water levels were very low, making Little Niagara Falls a great place for a picnic on the rocks and a nice play to swim.  There are several rocks you can jump off or slide down if that’s your thing.  The next time I went in July of the following year after a big rain storm, the falls looked completely different.  No longer a relaxing place for a picnic and a swim, this time the falls were absolutely raging.  The rocks that we had walked on were now covered in white water.

I went again in October of the same year from a trail on the other side of the stream, the Lily Pad Pond Trail to Windy Pitch Pond Trail, again after a big rain storm and again the falls were raging.  It’s quite a sight to see the falls when they are so powerful but I prefer when the water levels are lower so that you can walk around on the rocks and go swimming.  Either way, Little and Big Niagara Falls are among my favorite falls in Maine.

Duration Distance Ascent Difficulty
2 Hours 2.6 Miles 705 ft Easy

The hike begins at the Day Use Parking Area at Daicey Pond Campground where you’ll get on the Appalachian Trail (AT).  If you’re staying at the campground, the Daicey Pond Nature Trail will connect you to the AT.  The trail consists of a well cleared dirt path through the woods.  If it’s rained hard recently, bring water shoes or waterproof shoes, as the trail can get muddy and you may have to navigate around (or through) some large puddles.

After only 0.9 miles on the AT, you’ll arrive at Little Niagara Falls.  When you’re done enjoying Little Niagara Falls, hike another 0.3 miles south on the AT to Big Niagara Falls.  These were my favorite of the two falls, as there are lots of huge rocks to walk around on and a great place to swim (if the water levels are low).  I’m including pictures below of times when the water levels were high and low.




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