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.
An observation deck and wooden picnic tables make Tidal Falls an excellent place to enjoy the falls and wildlife.
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.
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.
A generous grant from Land for Maine’s Future helped preserve Tidal Falls.