Posted on October 22, 2018 and last updated on October 23, 2018

French Falls Recreation Area, Jay


  • Preserve Size: 30 acres
  • Trail Mileage: ~ 2 miles in network
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Sights: Androscoggin River, mill

Parts of this 30-acre riverside park are really charming. I recommend you begin your walk on the blue trails, they take you to some nice rocky outcrops and views of the river. The paths are fairly wide and smooth, and make for easy walking. The other side of the preserve, with the yellow, red, and white trails, is also nice but the trail system is a bit convoluted and complicated. If you stick to a perimeter walk, from, say, the white trail to the red trail to the yellow, you’ll have a satisfying stroll. Downriver, the sight of wind turbines spinning behind the steam rising from the mill’s smokestacks is quite striking.

Because the paths are fairly smooth, you should be able to push a sturdy wheelchair and stroller here, especially on the blue trails. There were also laminated trail maps available at the trailhead kiosk when I visited.

Directions: From Route 17/4 in Jay, turn onto French Falls Lane across, across from the Spruce Mountain Schools. Follow this road for 1/10 of a mile to the large parking lot. You’ll see the trailhead under a charming arch.


Let me know if you have any trail updates or corrections!