There is something so satisfying about a tasty beverage after a thrilling hike. Sipping a craft brew with your hiking buddies allows you to rest and reflect on your accomplishment. One such pairing can be found in Piscataquis County between Monson and Guilford.
Those of you who have hiked Borestone Mountain may know about nearby Big and Little Wilson Falls. The bumpy road to the trail is unmarked, and unremarkable. Trucks and SUVs can traverse the pot-holed dirt road slowly. If you have a car, I suggest you park it in the lot at the entrance and hike in.
Little Wilson Stream feeds the falls. Once you park the car, Little Wilson Falls will greet you at the trail head. This is a great place for dogs and kids to splash about during a hot summer day. My family brought a picnic lunch and we ate on the rocks before starting our hike.
The trail to Big Wilson Falls is 3 miles out and back. At 1.3 miles you’ll come to an Appalachian Trail Sign pointing you toward the larger falls. It’s a lovely hike and suitable for kids. The ground is springy and crisscrossed with roots and gently meanders upward throughout the trek. You’ll get glimpses of the stream and smaller falls on your way up, up, up to Big Wilson Falls. The way the sunlight poured down through the trees gave this hike a magical quality. There was a fairy house built by some creative hikers a little more than half way up the trail, which the kids thoroughly enjoyed.
Follow the trail all the way to the top to get a heart-pounding view. The stream is quiet and peaceful before plummeting over the edge of the falls. Just before you reach the top there is a little side trail to the right that takes you a little more than midway up the falls. It’s a great spot for photos but watch your step. It’s a long way down.
About 10 miles south of the entrance to the falls is Turning Page Farm. This isn’t your typical brew pub. In fact, you can only stop in and sample their two beers—Red Ale and Pale Ale—on Sundays and Mondays (so plan your hike accordingly)!
Turning Page Farm is a working goat farm. Owners Joy and Tim Bueschen purchased the farm as a way to start a new chapter in their lives. They raise and sell Guernsey goats and Tamworth pigs. They make goat milk soap, goat milk cheese, salad dressing, and honey! The brewery is Tim’s passion. Grab a pint and a delicious salted pretzel with mustard, and take a seat at one of the picnic tables or Adirondack chairs.
The goats are friendly and will meander over to see what you’re up to. They’ll even let you scratch their head if you feel so inclined. The beer garden is outside, so take that into consideration when visiting in inclement weather. Feel free to bring your dog and bring home a growler (of beer, that is).
Photos and story by Melanie Brooks