Fall Foliage in Maine is to be savored and enjoyed. The predictions for the 2017 foliage season are that it will be an ideal season for leaf peeping and that you should make your plans now for your fall foliage leaf peeping tour. The state parks of Maine, of which there are two within 15 minutes of Freeport and James Place Inn, are said to be among the best places to view the foliage. Here are some other ideas to get your planning started:
This drive starts in coastal Freeport and heads Downeast along Route 1. There are countless possibilities for detours down the “fingers” of coastline. One takes visitors to Boothbay Harbor, where the 4th annual Claw Down on September 17 will attract 19 stellar Maine chefs to a friendly lobster bites competition. Or, head down to bucolic Pemaquid Point and its famous lighthouse. Visitors can amble down the back roads past saltwater farms to the scenic harbor at Friendship or to Wyeth country in Cushing. Back on Route 1, it’s time to carry on through to Rockland, where the full range of the artistic genius of the Wyeth family can be seen at the Farnsworth Museum. Finish the drive in Camden, and ascend to the 800-foot summit of Mount Battie, where spectacular views are enhanced by the foliage that runs right down to the harbor. Head back to homebase at James Place Inn in Freeport to rest and be ready for your next day of touring. It might include:
Featured State Parks
- The North Loop Trail at Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park in Freeport presents an exceptionally bright yellow display that normally peaks in mid-October.
- Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal provides views of surrounding forests and Casco Bay’s Calendar Islands. The foliage color peaks usually occur in late September to mid-October. The park is a popular place to observe migrating hawks in September.
- The park trails at Ferry Beach State Park in Saco offer a view of the park’s tupelo or blackgum trees which are uncommon in Maine. The tupelo trees turn a bright crimson and normally reach peak coloration in late September or early October.
Top Trip Ideas for the Mid-Coast
1. From Mountaintop to the Sea
Travel through MidCoast Maine for views of fall foliage from mountain-top to the sea as your vista spans from Mount Battie or the summits of Camden Hill State Park.
2. Country Roads and Apples
Veer off the beaten path down a country road inland to Hope, Appleton, or Union where there are pick-your-own orchards abound! The Common Ground Fair draws people from all over New England to Unity Maine for one special weekend, September 23-25. The drive there is spectacular.
3. Kayak Adventure
To enjoy the autumn foliage from the ocean, including the many vibrant islands of Casco Bay, you can rent a kayak for a few hours or an entire day! New to kayaking? Join one of the Outdoor Adventures offered through L.L. Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School.
4. Explore a New Peninsula
Travel down the Port Clyde, Boothbay or Pemaquid peninsulas, where vistas vibrant with red, gold, orange, and pine green will be interrupted by delicious seafood and secret beaches.
5. Education by the Sea
At the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, celebrate the changing colors of fall with miles of walking trails and an educational experience for the whole family.
Celebrate autumn with a quintessential New England festival, the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest, where giant pumpkins steal the show against a beautiful autumn backdrop in this small town. October 1-10.