Short Takes on the Best of Fall in Maine
With fall in Maine, things just seem to lean back and relax a bit. The days slowly cool and sky takes on a special quality of light. But there’s plenty of time in the year for some great adventures. Here are a few.
A Short Drive to a Great Ocean View
A quick, easy drive (think ten minutes) up Mt. Battie in Camden Hills State Park leads you to stunning views of the town of Camden, Camden Harbor and the sea beyond. The park is also renowned for its many great hiking trails.
Explore Casco Bay’s Islands by Ferry
Board a Casco Bay ferry mail-boat cruise and visit Little Diamond, Great Diamond, Long, Cliff and Chebeague islands as it delivers mail, passengers and freight. It’s a great way to see the bay and its many islands during the gentle days of fall.
Shop First, Revive with a Walk
Lace up your shopping shoes for a visit to Kittery’s famous outlets. When you’re ready for a break, drive out to the coast and Fort McClary State Historic Site. The old fort overlooks the Piscataqua River and is perfect for a seaside stroll. When shopping in Freeport, another of Maine’s focal points of retailing, consider a hike at nearby Bradbury Mountain State Park. Though the ‘mountain’ is only 407 feet tall, the trails up the slope – as well as others – are loads of fun.
Drive the Shores of Maine’s Largest Lake
Enjoy a Picnic by a Waterfall (or two)
Motor up to Maine’s western mountains to Grafton Notch State Park and the Mahoosuc Public Lands and you can picnic next to not one, but two waterfalls! The area includes both Screw Auger Falls and Mother Walker Falls, both of which are easily accessible. To enjoy more mountain views, steer up the Grafton Notch Scenic Byway, which travels through the park.
Sail the Maine Coast on a Windjammer
How about looking at Maine’s changing leaves from a new vantage point? The sea, perhaps? Some of the ships in Maine’s windjammer fleet ply the waters of the state’s coast in the soft, early days of fall. Hitch a ride on these traditionally rigged sailing craft and enjoy great food, relaxing days and all the seaborn sightseeing you want.
Enjoy the start of Fall at a Classic Country Fair
Maine’s country fair season is winding down by the end of summer. But you can still enjoy a Maine fair as summer fades into fall. The final fairs of the season include:
- The Common Ground Country Fair in Unity
- The Cumberland Fair in Cumberland – just north of Portland
- And the Fryeburg Fair (Maine’s largest) – in Fryeburg
See the Autumn Colors as you Ride the Waves
Many of Maine’s river adventure companies continue to take guests down the state’s big and brash whitewater rivers well into early autumn. This gives you a chance for some thrills as well as the opportunity to enjoy fall foliage in a unique and unusual way.
Look Up and Count the Stars
While much of the East Coast is sky is smeared each night with light pollution, Acadia National Park is compellingly dark. That’s a boon for astronomers, who come here in late September with their telescopes to celebrate the Acadia Night Sky Festival. The event includes speakers, workshops and lots of gazing at the stars. Neighboring Bar Harbor is a great spot for stay.
Clean Your Plate in Portland
Portland, Maine has earned a reputation as a food-lover’s city. And Harvest on the Harbor, Portland’s autumn celebration of Maine food, allows you to munch on the best the city and state have to offer. There are meals, tastings and even the competition for the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year.
Article originally written by publishing partner, Yankee Magazine. Updated on 8/26/19.