West Mountain Falls Scenic Hike and Swimming Hole

By Gabrielle Martin

June 7, 2021

Warm weather is a sure sign that summer is, at long last, upon us: we saw temperatures enter the upper 80s and progress into the 90s for the first weekend of June, and the heatwave is forecasted to continue through the first half of the of the workweek.

There’s no doubt it’s going to be glorious for those gathering for a game of golf at our award-winning course. Allow me to paint a picture: attendees should prepare for beautiful blue skies and soft start-of-summer sunshine, with green grass for miles dancing in a gentle breeze and scenic sights of the Western Maine mountains. You can look forward to teeing off and then winding down with a cold drink at Strokes Bar & Grill. You might be asking, “But what next?”

What’s next, indeed!

Scenic shot of small waterfalls on the South branch of the Carrabassett River

Well, there’s no time like the present to visit the picturesque West Mountain Falls for a scenic riverside hike, complete with a chance to cool off and take a dip in several swimming holes on the South branch of the Carrabassett River. West Mountain Falls is located upstream of the Sugarloaf Golf Club, meaning adventure has never been so close or convenient! You’ll find the entrance on the left-hand side of the road when approaching the club’s parking lot.

Take advantage of our incredible outdoor oasis and venture into this wooded wonderland for half a mile (or so) of trails running adjacent to the rushing river waters. You’ll find a multitude of short paths stemming from the main trail; follow one down to the riverbank and discover a multitude of spots perfect for exploring, picnicking, sightseeing, swimming, or wading. You won’t have to go chasing waterfalls on this hike!

In addition to being family-friendly and accessible to hikers of all abilities, it’s also a-okay to bring your furry friends to West Mountain Falls: in fact, Amos (my four-month-old Black Mouth Cur puppy, affectionately named after Sugarloaf’s mascot Amos the Moose) and I ventured out to earlier this week on an afternoon assignment, and I’m happy to report that while you may break a sweat as you follow the ups and downs of this winding trail, this is ultimately a very relaxing hike, making a trip to West Mountain Falls the perfect way to round out an incredible day spent at Sugarloaf!

Amos looks over a swimming hole at West Mountain Falls

Once you’re warm enough for some wading, the water is refreshing and rejuvenating; in fact, Amos enjoyed himself so much that it took some coaxing—and a little bit of chasing, ultimately ending with bribery in the form of biscuits—to get him out. This swimming hole has certainly earned the Amos seal of approval, so if you're looking for a way to beat the heat this week, take a trip to West Mountain Falls.

Spending an afternoon at the South Branch of the Carrabassett River really reminded me that we are so fortunate to live and play in such close proximity to sights such as this—and really, what better way to celebrate the season than by enjoying some of the incredible natural amenities available to us?

Happy start of summer, Sugarloafers! Make the most of it.