September 26, 2018 — Maine’s leaf-bearing trees are starting to show off their dazzling colors of yellow, orange and red this week. The third Fall Foliage Report from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry reports moderate color change in northern Maine as we approach the last weekend in September. The rest of the state is seeing less than fifty percent color change with low leaf drop (less than thirty percent).
Typically, northern Maine (zones 6 and 7) reaches peak conditions the last week of September into the first week of October. The rest of the state’s progression of color will start occurring from north to south in mid-October. Coastal Maine typically reaches peak conditions mid-to-late October.
“Mother Nature has started playing her role in triggering the start of fall. As the days become shorter and we see a decline in sunlight, the leaf-bearing trees begin the process leading up to fall. I like to say it’s Mother Nature’s way of putting the trees to bed for the long winter ahead,” notes Gale Ross, Maine’s fall foliage spokesperson.
With fall now underway, now is the time to get outside and enjoy the colors of the season. On Saturday, for adults looking for a weekend activity, the Maine Maritime Museum will host their beer and cider-tasting event, Pints on the Pier, with live music during sunset over the Kennebec River. Sunday, October 1, marks the start of Maine’s largest fair dating back to 1851, the Fryeburg Fair, considered to be one of the best agricultural fairs in the United States. Enjoy livestock, an exhibition hall, a farm museum, craft demonstrations, harness racing and nightly entertainment.
For a relaxing fall touring route, pack up the car and drive the 78-mile Old Canada Road Scenic Byway, winding through Maine’s Kennebec Valley. The road begins in Solon and makes its way to the Canadian border. Stop at Robbins Hill for panoramic views of the valley and once in The Forks, don’t miss the right onto the Lake Moxie Road. Continue until you see a brown sign on the left for the Moxie Falls Scenic Area, where you will find a two-mile hike to one of the state’s highest waterfalls with a 92-foot vertical drop. For a few more weeks, 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 other fall foliage route suggestions, see this recent article from Bangor Daily News.
Autumn enthusiasts can visit the state’s official foliage website at www.mainefoliage.com to sign up to receive weekly reports by email and can share their photos from throughout the state as the progression of color begins. Our Facebook page will include statewide events taking place throughout the foliage season, and our Instagram account (@mainefoliage) will also feature colorful fall shots. For more information about fall activities and events in Maine, go to www.visitmaine.com.