For centuries, Maine has been a popular spot for summer tourism thanks to its cool climate and beautiful scenery. But, it’s also a great place to visit in the autumn. During this time, you can expect to see stunning fall foliage, native wildlife, and much more. Here are the best places to visit in Maine in fall.
Boothbay Harbor is located on the central coast of Maine, about a one-hour drive north of Portland. This lovely small town is a popular spot for summer tourism, weddings, swimming, and boating. But, when autumn arrives and the temperatures drop, the fun continues.
Boothbay Harbor remains a top spot for ocean cruises, hiking, festivals, and much more throughout the fall. The town is the site of the annual Fall Foliage Festival, where you can shop for handmade crafts, specialty items, and locally-made food and beverages.
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is undoubtedly one of Maine’s most famous tourist destinations. This stunning park includes part of the Schoodic Peninsula and 18 islands off the coast. One of the best times of year to visit is in the autumn when the Maine fall colors are at their most brilliant.
There are many popular fall activities throughout the park, which covers an astounding 49,075 square acres. These include hiking, rock climbing, kayaking and fishing on the lakes, as well as taking tours off the coast. Visitors also flock to the park to enjoy horseback riding on the trails and fall foliage tours.
Pleasant Mountain is a popular hiking spot in Bridgton Maine. Throughout the year, you’ll see tourists and locals alike heading there to enjoy breathtaking scenery from the highest peak in Southern Maine at 2,006 ft.
The mountains include 10 miles of hiking trails, with a wide variety of options for easy, moderate, and difficult hiking. From the peaks, you can enjoy beautiful views of the Saco Valley, the White Mountains, and even Mount Washington. This is a particularly pleasant hike in the autumn when temperatures are cool and the foliage is at its most brilliant.
Mount Battie is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Camden Maine. Located in Camden State Park, this short trail offers breathtaking views of the native pine forest, Camden Harbor, and Penobscot Bay.
It’s a popular spot in the spring when wildflowers are in bloom. But, it’s also worth a visit in the autumn. During this time, you’ll see a wide variety of unique flowers and foliage. And of course, there’s no beating that crisp New England autumn air during a hike.
Camden Hills State Park
Camden Hills State Park is one of the most popular state parks in Maine. The park, which includes nearly 6,000 acres of land, overlooks Penobscot Bay. It draws visitors all year long for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, ATV riding, camping, and more.
Autumn is the perfect time to enjoy any of these activities, with beautiful views of the fall foliage and crisp air being ideal for hiking! The park’s Mount Battie is one of its most popular sites, but the entire park is worth exploring.
Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway
The Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway is one of the most picturesque destinations in Western Maine. Thanks to its wild, rural scenery, it’s a popular route for autumn road trips, offering unmatched views of New England forests, lakes, and mountains.
The byway passes by the 112 connected lakes, as well as historic districts, forests, mountains, rivers, and much more. There are few better places to see the full variety of Maine wilderness on display!
Old Orchard Beach
Old Orchard Beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Maine. Located on the state’s southern border, it’s crowded with visitors throughout the summer. But, it’s also worth a visit in the fall!
During this time, most of the crowds have dispersed, which means that you’ll have the beach to yourself. It might be too cold to swim, but there are plenty of other things to do.
Boat tours are popular here, as are visits to nearby Funtown Splashtown USA. This beachside amusement park is one of the oldest and most popular in the state.
Androscoggin River Trail
Androscoggin Riverlands State Park surrounds the Androscoggin River, which flows 178 miles through the state before crossing the border to New Hampshire. It’s an extremely popular site for angling and kayaking throughout the year.
The state park includes 12 miles of the river and several hiking trails running alongside. These are popular spots for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and ATVs, especially in the autumn to view the fall foliage. Several of the trails offer scenic outlooks of the surrounding mountains, forest, and nearby historic buildings.
Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park
Pemaquid Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse located in Bristol Maine. Commissioned by President John Quincy Adams and built in 1827, it now serves as a museum and a working light for the U.S. Coast Guard.
The museum and adjoining art gallery include exhibits on the history of the structure and area. But, it’s also worth visiting for the breathtaking view of Muscongus Bay and Johns Bay. During the fall, it’s the perfect spot to admire the New England fall colors!
Baxter State Park
Baxter State Park is one of the most stunningly beautiful sites in Millinocket Maine. This enormous wilderness area covers 200,000 acres in Central Maine, located in the North Maine Woods area. Baxter Peak is the northern end of the famous Appalachian Trail and is one of the most popular places to explore on the property.
However, there are many attractions throughout the park, including hiking trails, waterfalls, and a variety of wildlife. Visitors may see black bears, moose, white-tailed deer, beavers, otters, red foxes, hawks, bobcats, and martens. The fall brings brilliant colors to the park’s deciduous forests, with trees shedding their leaves fully by the end of October.
Acadia All-American Road
The Acadia All-American Road is one of the most popular short road trip routes in Maine. This 40-mile road offers an unrivaled view of Maine’s natural beauty, wildlife, and other attractions. The route takes roughly three hours to complete, making it perfect for a day trip.
It follows the northeastern coast of the state, offering stunning views of the Atlantic shoreline, cold-water lakes, deciduous forests, granite mountains, and much more. This route is perfect for a fall road trip when the colors are at their brightest.
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is a large nature preserve in Northern Maine, encompassing more than 87,000 square acres. These include forests and mountains, as well as a small section of the East Branch Penobscot River.
This wild, rural preserve offers a quintessential experience of natural Maine, untouched by humankind. It’s a popular spot for outdoor activities, including kayaking, hiking, rock climbing, and camping.
The preserve is particularly beautiful in the fall when the forest colors turn and temperatures start to fall. Bear in mind that there’s plenty of wildlife nearby, including bobcats, moose, and lynx!
The Kennebec Valley extends through South-Central Maine. It’s a particularly fun place to visit in the autumn thanks to its high concentration of apple orchards. The valley is home to at least a dozen!
Many of the orchards offer the opportunity to pick your own apples and have annual family-friendly fall events. You can find fun attractions of all kinds at these apple orchards. Apple season in Maine starts in August and goes until October, so take advantage of the fun while you can!
Moosehead Lake is one of Maine’s northernmost attractions. Located in the rural Longfellow Mountains, this freshwater lake feeds the Kennebec River and is one of the largest in New England.
This peaceful lake is ringed by stunning cliffs. Thanks to its natural beauty and remote quiet, this is a perfect spot for outdoor adventurers in the autumn.
The lake contains many islands, and there’s no better place for kayaking and admiring the Maine wilderness in the fall. Just bear in mind that the lake gets its name from the large local moose population, so practice safety.
Casco Bay is an inlet beside the city of Portland Maine. It’s a popular spot for summer tourism since it’s easy to access from Maine’s southern border and provides many fun recreational opportunities.
But, it’s also a great travel destination in the fall! When temperatures cool, you’ll see tourists visiting to enjoy cruises around the bay within sight of the abundant fall foliage.
Explore More of the Best Places to Visit in Maine in Fall
Whether you’re heading to Maine’s isolated northern region or sticking to the southern coast, there are countless things to do in this beautiful state. Though temperatures are falling, you’ll find activities galore throughout the fall. By exploring, you could find more excellent places to visit in the state during the season.