Enjoy the only natural waterfall in Portland by taking a short hike through Fore River Sanctuary!

Fore River Sanctuary is 85 acres in the heart of Portland right off of Congress Street. It is a unique place where the river meets the ocean and creates a marshland landscape, which provides a plethora of opportunities to see wildlife (especially a great diversity of birds - waterfowl, herons, egrets, etc). 

Upon entering the south entrance near the MaineOrtho parking lot, you are hiking on what used to be a canal towpath on a fairly flat grade. Shortly after crossing a large bridge, you enter the wetland area. The trail then turns to forest where there is a small loop leading to Jewell Falls. The falls are at the corner of the loop at the highest point of elevation. The waterfall itself is about 30 feet high, and definitely at its most impressive in the spring. There is a bench off to the side to sit and enjoy the view! The trails are also open to mountain biking, if that is your preferred way to get there. 

Fore River offers a little nature escape with the convenience of being in a city, and it is definitely worth a stop. Plus the sunsets are pretty great from the bridge near the entrance! 

Pack List

  • Water
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
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RT Distance 2 Miles
Elevation Gain 300 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Grew up going here, beautiful

A two minute walk from the Breakwater school, you must now cross a road that was built through the trailhead, possibly to access a nearby water main, once into the trail from this entrance, you will come to Jewell Falls in almost no time, a beautiful and peaceful sanctuary recently discovered my more and more greater Portland residents, one can walk for miles, through marshland or shaded pine forests, crossing railroad tracks, and town borders, wooden foot bridges across the marsh from which minnows and birds can often be seen, hills, roots, and waterlogged boots may await past jewell falls, some people bring dogs so keep them on leashes, you’ll expect to see several locals there on weekends, one guy was at the falls writing poetry, as a class of Breakwater second graders may also be found doing, but most people pass the falls looking for a good hike beyond.


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