The Perham Family Quarries, Greenwood, Maine
Maine Geological Survey - Oxford County is world-famous for its pegmatites and the spectacular minerals they produce. Granite pegmatites are coarse-grained, igneous rocks that contain exceptionally large crystals of feldspar, mica, quartz, and sometimes a suite of rare earth elements and gem-quality minerals. Those large crystals owe their size and magnificence to the crystallization conditions in a magma body. The most spectacular crystals are found in “pockets”—open cavities in the rock that allow minerals to grow unimpeded. Minerals here tend to have few flaws.
The Little Androscoggin River cuts its way through a narrow gorge at Snow Falls in West Paris. At this special rest stop, the state of Maine has constructed a fine picnic area complete with trails on both sides of the gorge, picnic tables, rest rooms, and plenty of parking.
There are four distinctive cascade sets at Snow Falls, with the last being our favorite. It is a thin plunge flowing into a dark pool just below the footbridge over the river. The gorge, with walls up to 30 feet in height, is surrounded by a fence, making this place family friendly and safe for the little ones. The water may be dark and slightly foamy, but the gorge is interesting, and the falls are right off the road, so include Snow Falls if you are close by.