Maine Waterfalls: Shin Brook Falls

Watch Video Footage of Shin Brook Falls:

Incredible Remote Beauty

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.

Grand Lake Road
Grand Lake Road.

How to Get There

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.

Driving directions to Shin Brook Falls.
Directions from Shin Pond Village to Shin Brook Falls. The red section is Route 159, the blue section is Grand Lake Road, and the yellow section is the dirt road that leads to parking and the trailhead.
Shin Falls sign.
The sign in the tree at the turnoff to the dirt road to the parking area and trailhead.
Dirt road to Shin Brook Falls.
The dirt road on the way to Shin Brook Falls.
Flooded dirt road to Shin Brook Falls.
The dirt road can become flooded if there has been a lot of rainfall.

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 when we visited.


Shin Brook Falls trailhead.
This is a close-up of the parking area and trailhead. Both the parking area and the trailhead weren’t well-marked.

The Hike In

Shin Brook Falls trailhead.
The trailhead may not be well-marked. When we visited someone had painted an orange arrow showing where to go and there was only one piece of flagging tape marking the trailhead.

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.

Stay to the left.
When the trail divides stay to the left. Someone who had visited before us put a log over the wrong way.

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.

Shin Brook Falls trail.
The short hike to the falls is beautiful.
Shin Falls hiking trail.
More incredible scenery along the hike in to the falls.

What to Expect

The remote falls are far from crowded, and when we visited we were the only two 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, making it possible to get VERY close to this raging beauty.

Angela at Shin Brook Falls.
It’s pretty awesome to sit right next to a raging waterfall!

Get More Outdoors!

This article was featured in UNTAMED Maine Outdoor Adventure & Recreation Magazine’s Spring 2018 issue.  Click here to download your copy of the magazine and enjoy even more Maine adventures!

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