Tidal Falls

Frenchman Bay Conservancy owns the 8 acres of Tidal Falls Preserve overlooking the reversing falls in the Taunton River. The State of Maine holds a conservation easement on the preserve.

A closed pavilion and wooden picnic tables make Tidal Falls an excellent place to enjoy the falls and wildlife. Please do not bring dogs to Tidal Falls Preserve to keep the lawn green and the wildlife happy.

The best time to view the falls is 2 hours before or after low tide. Find the local tide chart here.

Events

The property is open to the public for day use. FBC’s office and Exploration Center is located in the red house.

If you’re planning a gathering at Tidal Falls Preserve, please read the event policy and email info@frenchmanbay.org or call (207) 422-2328

History

Twenty Native American grave sites of the Red Paint People have been excavated at Tidal Falls, dating to 5,000 years ago. Beginning in the 1870s, granite was quarried locally, loaded on Schooners and shipped over the falls. In the 19th century, Tidal Falls was the first site for a railroad and ferry terminal that transported passengers to Bar Harbor. In the 1950s the Hodgkins family operated a lobster pound and later a seafood take-out restaurant at Tidal Falls.

Wildlife Conservation

Here, large differences between high and low tide and mixing between fresh and saltwater creates a nutrient-rich environment that is incredibly productive for wildlife. The surrounding waters between Sorrento and Hancock north through Taunton Bay are part of a Maine focus area of statewide ecological significance. This area provides high value habitat for numerous state and federal species of concern, including many shorebirds and waterfowl.

Visitors will commonly see seals, osprey, king fishers, and eagles. Otter, mink, blue heron and other wildlife have also been spotted here.

Directions

From Ellsworth travel north 8 miles on Route 1 to the village of Hancock. Go through the village, turn right onto Eastside Road, go .7 mile to Tidal Falls Road, turn left and drive to the end of the road. From Sullivan, Eastside Road is the first left after you cross the bridge.

Address: 72 Tidal Falls Road, Hancock, Maine 04640

Land for Maine's Future

A generous grant from Land for Maine’s Future helped preserve Tidal Falls.

Ellsworth photographer Debbie Stahre shared the wildlife photographs.

Top photo credit Jeff DiBella