The voice of a waterfall is a siren song.
One of my favorites is Houston Brook Falls in Pleasant Ridge in Somerset County. It can be reached in less than 10 minutes from the main road by following a path that meanders along a narrow brook through tall cedars and other evergreens. The trees shutter the sunlight, making the experience seem like walking through an immense room with a high ceiling.
A bridge across the brook is in bad repair so it helps if you have a sturdy walking stick in hand. Tree roots criss-cross the trail, making ideal places for toe-stubbing, so wear sensible shoes.
At the falls one can climb up a steep slope to investigate the brook as it tumbles along to become the falls. The sound of the tumbling water seems to envelop you, creating a sense of oneness with water and earth.
Getting down to the pool at the base of the falls involves clambering down a short, steep, rocky incline. But once there, it’s a great place for a picnic and a swim. The pool is not deep — don’t even think about diving — and has a sandy bottom.
Getting there: Take Route 201 north to Bingham, turn left on Route 16 just after the old Meeting House. Turn right at the end of the bridge across the Kennebec River and proceed until you see the Wyman Lake recreation area. The trail to the falls is approximately a mile beyond the recreation area on the right. Park by the fence of the Pleasant Ridge Transfer Station.