October 2017 — This is the month that's synonymous with foliage in Maine, and we have suggestions for checking out some of the state's best colors on a walk or a hike. But, since Maine has become synonymous with food, there are also new restaurants to try and the 10th anniversary of Harvest on the Harbor. Art lovers still have more than a month to see Marsden Hartley's paintings at Colby and craft devotees can celebrate with the annual Maine Craft Weekend. Those who love winter can check out the latest from Maine Huts & Trails and learn the great news about Saddleback in Rangeley.
For writers, editors and bloggers looking for short-lead news, there are details under Happening Now. Those in search of longer lead news can scroll down to the Looking Ahead section.
Harvest on the Harbor
Harvest on the Harbor™, Maine's leading food and drink festival, is celebrating its 10th year with an array of events dedicated to celebrating Maine's local food and drink scene. This year's event starts with Sustainable Suppers on Tuesday, October 17, followed by Flavors of Maine grand tasting event, Maine Lobster Chef of the Year competition, and Market on the Harbor one-stop taste and sipping experience. The finale is on Sunday, October 22, with a new event, the Harvest Crawl. Tickets for all events are available at harvestontheharbor.com.
Best Bets for Peak Foliage
Maine's dramatic fall foliage is second to none in the Northeast. While a foliage drive is great, one of the best ways to take in the colors is to get out of the car and take a walk or a hike on one of Maine's Public Reserved Lands, which comprise more than half a million acres of protected wilderness. They include the Bigelow Preserve, in western Maine, which includes more than 36,000 acres of public land. Located about 40 miles north of Farmington, the preserve has hiking trails, mountains, ponds and streams. Both the Mahoosuc Public Lands and Grafton Notch State Park are also worth exploring, lying amidst some of Maine's most spectacular mountains, the Mahoosuc Range. These lands offer rugged terrain for backcountry hikers and include 12 of the most challenging miles along the entire Appalachian Trail. There are also Maine State Parks that offer even easier access for leaf peepers, places such as Camden Hills, Bradbury Mountain and Baxter State Park.
Maine Craft Weekend
This Maine classic, on October 14 and 15, is an annual statewide tour of Maine craft studios, breweries and businesses held in conjunction with American Craft Week, a nationwide event promoting craft events each October. It's a chance to visit individual potters' home studios, craft galleries, glass-blowing studios, outdoor installation sites, nonprofit craft organizations, craft-based schools, craft beer breweries and craft beer brewery restaurants. Go to Maine Craft Weekend for more info.
Marsden Hartley's Maine at Colby Museum of Art
After a highly acclaimed three-month run at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Met Breuer Galleries in New York City, Marsden Hartley's Maine is now home. The exhibition is on display at the Colby Museum of Art at Colby College through November 12, 2017, a landmark show that is inspiring visitors to experience Maine this fall and retrace Hartley's footsteps for themselves. Hartley was one of Maine's best-loved painters and the exhibition celebrates his lifelong artistic engagement with his home state of Maine. At VisitMaine.com, a map traces the locations throughout the state that inspired Hartley, along with suggested itineraries and sightseeing, lodging and dining recommendations.
New Restaurants for Fall
The parade of new eateries in Maine continues unabated this fall. Check out Pearl Kennebunk, the seafood and raw bar restaurant of New York Chef Rebecca Charles. In Belfast, Ondine Oyster is the brainchild of Chef Evan Mallett of the Black Trumpet in Portsmouth. El Jefe Taco Bar in Freeport is from the folks behind Conundrum Wine Bar. Meanwhile, North 43 Bistro in South Portland is the vision of Chef Stephanie Brown, with water views and rooftop bar. Go to Visit Maine for more on dining.
Winter at Maine Huts & Trails
Alpine huts were the inspiration for the hut and trail system at Maine Huts & Trails. The four huts are architect designed, with vaulted ceilings, leather furniture, crackling woodstoves, and walls of windows that welcome you in the common rooms. Design aside, they're also off-the-grid eco-lodges situated along a picturesque 80-mile trail system. Every hut is equipped with hot showers, toilets and comfortable heated bunkrooms, both shared and private, as well as gear drying rooms. The full-service winter season runs from December 15, 2017 to March 25, 2018.
Saddleback Mountain Resort Has New Owners
The best news for Maine skiers and riders is that Saddleback Mountain Resort in Rangeley, Maine, which has lain dormant for the past two winters, has new owners and big plans for the future. The Majella Group of Australia signed an asset purchase agreement to secure ownership of Saddleback Mountain Resort this past summer. The purchase includes all holdings of Saddleback Mountain Resort, including the resort, base lodge, ski lifts and surrounding timberland, totaling 6,337 acres. Go to Saddleback Mountain Resort to stay in touch with developments for winter 2017-2018.
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