Fall foliage report: Peak conditions occurring in most of Maine

This week’s Fall Foliage Report from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry (DACF) reports peak and slightly beyond peak conditions for this upcoming weekend in northern, western, and central Maine. Coastal and southern regions are displaying moderate color changes (less than 50 percent color change).

Typically, northern Maine (zones 6 and 7) reach peak conditions the last week of September into the first week of October. The rest of the state’s color progression will start from north to south in early to-mid-October.

“The lack of rain this summer and the early widespread frost jumpstarted the progression of foliage colors this season,” noted Gale Ross, DACF’s fall foliage coordinator. “Color is still emerging daily in portions of southern and coastal regions of Maine beyond this week and into October. But remember, it has been the shorter sunny days, followed by the cool nights of autumn that brought about the brilliant colors being displayed this week. It’s Mother Nature’s way of protecting and putting her trees to bed for the long winter months ahead.”

This weekend, take in the quickly progressing foliage from Sunday River’s Chondola scenic lift rides, or for coastal explorers, Camden Snow Bowl’s chairlift rides. Maine Craft Weekend, an annual statewide tour, will take place on October 3 and 4, with safety measures and changes to the typical weekend format. Check the website to learn about Maine-made crafts and support local artists and craftspeople.

For those looking for a fun virtual experience, the Maine Whoopie Pie Festival has been reimagined this year as a virtual event and a month-long ‘WHOOPtoberfest’ celebration.

For this week’s fall adventure, make your way to Maine’s Kennebec Valley for a relaxed leaf-peeping tour. Begin in Solon and wind your way to the Canadian border along the 78-mile Old Canada Road Scenic Byway. Pack a picnic for a stop at Robbins Hill for panoramic views of the valley, and don’t miss the Moxie Falls Scenic Area in The Forks, where you have the chance to enjoy the changing leaves on foot with a two-mile hike to the 92-foot vertical drop of the falls. Adventure seekers can still feel the thrill of whitewater rafting on the Kennebec River, a great way to experience fall foliage from the water for a few more weeks. And for leisure peepers, enjoy the fairytale-like trail system of Vaughan Woods in historic Hallowell.

During these unusual times, please be safe while exploring Maine this fall. For travel and visitor information as it relates to COVID-19, go to visitmaine.com/travel-with-care.

Autumn enthusiasts can visit the state’s official foliage website at www.mainefoliage.com to sign up to receive weekly reports by email and are encouraged to share foliage images from regions throughout Maine as the progression of color unfolds. Be sure to tag your pictures with @mainefoliage on Instagram and use #MaineFoliage. The Maine Foliage Facebook page also includes safe ways to enjoy fall this year. For more information about visiting Maine safely this fall, visit maine.gov/covid19.

Autumn enthusiasts can visit the state’s official foliage website at www.mainefoliage.com.


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