Screw Auger Falls is a granite gorge, carved out by the Bear River. According to some scientist, it was formed by a glacier that melted in this area in the distant past. There is also the possibility of it being formed by a global flood some 4600 years ago. However formed, the appearance matches it's name. It seems as if some one took a giant auger and drilled out large amounts of rock out of this very large granite formation! The main falls drop 30 feet below into the gorge. In the formation at the top, there is a little window where you can glance at the water before the drop. It is also a good spot for a photo.
After the falls, the Bear River than drops an additional thirty feet through a series of cascades. There is a large boulder at the final drop directly under the almost fanciful curvy carved out walls that tower almost fifty feet from the cold, dark, and rocky bottom below! For hard core climbers, there may be some pretty gnarly routes here! If you venture down into the gorge, some minimal rock climbing experience is highly recommended.
There are some nice slab formations to climb nearby as well!
The summertime here is very refreshing. Families picnicking, and tourist driving through the area make up most of the population! There are sunny pools right above the falls for a place to cool off with the family. Also included at this attraction, are picnic tables, and men and woman outhouses. The Gorge is fenced off fairly well for the average tourist to take some glances from above. note;
If you bring your children, I highly recommend never letting them out of your sight. A fall here would most likely be fatal if not severely debilitating! There are also many other sites here in this state park to visit.
While the most recommended way is by detouring off the "Appalachian Trail" and going about two miles south on Maine route 26, it is possible to get here by car. The easiest way is to take route 26 off the Gray, New Gloucester exit on the Maine Turnpike. Follow it right through the town of Bethel, and past the road to "Sunday River" ski resort. Watch closely as Rt 26 turns left right after the "Bear River Trading Post" Twenty minutes later you arrive in the Grafton Notch State Park. You will soon see the signs signaling the entrance to the parking lot for Screw Auger Falls to the left.
I am not sure about climbing permits.
These sites are visit at your own risk areas.
There is a $3.00 honor system fee, where you pay to use the whole park for the day. I highly recommend being honest about it. This park is clean, and we can keep it that way by not being slobs, and by contributing a mere three bucks to go towards any up keeping!
There is no camping allowed in this sate park. There are however plenty of hiking trails, and backpacking is permitted!
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