Five Maine Destinations to Experience Astounding Foliage
Whether you’re a hiker, a fisherman, or a village vacationer, here are the five spots to book this fall.
Autumn in Maine is a magical season. The cooler temperatures and crisper air invite the leaves to turn their distinct yellow, red, and orange hues, hinting at the change of seasons and beckoning winter. A foliage-focused trip to Maine has something for everyone, from forested hikes and shimmering lakes to farm strolls and small-town boutiques. Whether you’re a hiker or a beer drinker, there’s a great weekend awaiting you.
Tops’l Farm is an autumnal wonderland, perfect for both kids and adults in need of a getaway. Situated in a wooded escape in Waldoboro, the glamping destination is surrounded by 83 acres of trees and trails, flush with fall colors. Rent the farmhouse, or grab a spot in the Petite Pause weekend for women or Flow on the Farm for men, complete with yoga, meditation, and included dinners.
*From now until the end of September, use coupon code “FLOW” for Flow on the Farm and “PAUSE” for Petite Pause to receive $100 off your spot.
While you’re in the area, it’s just a 30-minute drive to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, which contrains over 300 acres of gardens, plant science collections, and activities for kids and adults alike, including the awe-inspiring Guardians of the Seeds trolls. It’s also just 15 minutes from Tops’l to Oyster River Winegrowers, a local winery making excellent wines and ciders from grapes grown right on the farm. Grape leaves show off brilliant fall colors—ask to take a look at their home vineyard.
North Haven Island, Maine
Maine’s islands are not just for summer. As the weather gets cooler and island traffic dies down, North Haven slows and exemplifies the ideal of “island time.” Fall foliage is highlighted by the shimmer of the Penobscot Bay in the October sun. Nebo Lodge makes an excellent home base with comfortable rooms and great proximity to local businesses.
For dinner, stop by North Haven Oyster Company to pick up a dozen or two bivalves on your way to Turner Farm. Their organic farm stand specializes in vegetables, flowers, and pasture-raised meat, and is an excellent place to take in the fall colors. Stay in the cabin rental overlooking the ocean and the farm fields for a fully integrated island experience.
Pleasant Mountain, Maine
Region: Lakes and Mountains
There’s no shortage of incredible hikes in Maine, a state with tens of thousands of miles of wilderness and waters to traverse. Pleasant Mountain, with over two thousand acres of land and the highest mountain peak in Cumberland County, has autumnal views for days, overlooking the vast White Mountains. There are two ways to get up to the peak—Ledges Trail is a 3.3 mile out and back, while Bald Peak Trail is a bit more challenging at 4.6 miles. The views in autumn are exemplary, overlooking deciduous trees and rolling hills.
Close-by Moose Pond has landlocked salmon, lake trout, bass, perch, and smelt for interested fishermen, and gorgeous views of Pleasant Mountain for families looking to take a load off. Fluvial Brewing is a 30-minute drive from Denmark—grab a flight and take in the views. At the end of the night, relax by a fire or jump in the jacuzzi at the Noble House Inn.
Region: Lakes and Mountains
Waterford is nestled in Maine’s Lakes and Mountains region, surrounded by natural beauty. The Waterford Inne, which first opened in 1978 but reopened under new ownership last year, offers twenty-five acres of woods with stunning fall colors. The locally focused wine, cider, and cocktail list is a great representation of Maine’s bounty, and breakfast options come straight from the owners’ own organic farm. Three beautiful lakes within a fifteen-minute drive provide public beaches, waterskiing, boating, and relaxing. Bear Mountain Inn is another excellent option for the area, with cozy rooms and a filling breakfast to fuel you up for your hike.
The trail up Mount Tire’m boasts stunning autumn views of Pleasant Mountain, Bear Pond, Keoka, and Long Lakes. If hiking isn’t your thing, take your clubs down to Kezar Country Club for a little golf in the crisp fall air.
Aroostook State Park
Maine’s first State Park, established in 1939, has 898 acres of public land, much of it reminding visitors of what our New England wilderness looked like many hundreds of years ago. Fishermen will find brook trout and smallmouth bass, and families can enjoy picnics while taking in the foliage. Campers can reserve a space at the Aroostook State Park campground, or explore the many bed and breakfasts in the area such as The Old Iron Inn or Red River Camps.
Hike the three-mile trail to the summit of Quaggy Joe Mountain for incredible fall colors on the surrounding paper birch, American beech, and aspen trees. You’re likely to stumble upon white-tailed deer, moose, and red fox tracks on your way up.
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