There’s a new Andrew Wyeth exhibit to catch and some late-season hikes to plan that offer tremendous views. It’s time to start planning the first runs at Sunday River, which is expanding its beginner facilities, and to map out a game plan for holiday shopping at the state’s outlets and boutiques. As for the Portland food scene, it’s getting bigger and better with every month. For writers, editors and bloggers looking for short-lead news, there are immediate details under Happening Now. Those in search of longer lead news can scroll down to the Looking Ahead section.
5 Great October Hikes
Sunny days and cool temperatures make October one of the best months for hiking in Maine. Five great choices include Bridgton’s 2,006-foot Pleasant Mountain, which offers a 3.6-mile moderate out-and-back hike along the Ledges Trail. The reward is a breathtaking view of the entire White Mountain range to the west, including the summit of Mt. Washington. For those looking for a challenge, the 11-mile hike on Baxter State Park’s Traveler Mountain can be steep and involves some scrambling. About half of the 3,541 foot mountain is above tree line so the views are simply awesome. On the coast, Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park is the East Coast’s tallest peak, at 1,529 feet, and offers incredible ocean and island views. The best views of Moosehead Lake are from the top of 1,788-foot Mount Kineo while Tumbledown Mountain is a great choice in Central Maine, with a 3,054-foot summit and a high mountain lake that’s a great place to jump in and cool off. Go to Visit Maine for more ideas.
Andrew Wyeth: Witches, Ghosts and Mischief at the Farnsworth
Andrew Wyeth may well be Maine’s most famous artist but a new exhibition at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland reveals a different side to the painter. Andrew Wyeth: Witches, Ghosts and Mischief, which runs through March 1, 2020, shows how Wyeth engaged with Maine’s shifting seasons. Responding to the annual cycle of death and rebirth, Wyeth blended carefully observed details with his imagination and memory. Many of the resulting paintings of storms, wet leaves and peculiar figures are infused with an eeriness that can leave viewers unsettled and questioning. The drama and excitement of Halloween exhilarated Wyeth, who reveled in the scarecrows, pumpkins, costumes and pranks of the night when spirits of the dead can supposedly mingle with the living.
Maine State Parks for Fall Foliage
Maine’s dramatic fall foliage is arguably the best in the Northeast. While a foliage drive is great, one of the best ways to take in the colors is to take a walk or a hike in one of Maine’s state parks that offer even easier access for leaf peepers, places such as Camden Hills, Bradbury Mountain and Baxter State Park. Grafton Notch State Park is well worth exploring, close to Maine’s spectacular Mahoosuc Range. Maine also has public reserved lands, which consist of more than half a million acres of protected wilderness. They include Cutler Coast Public Lands, which offers miles of ocean-front hiking, as well as the 36,000-acre Bigelow Preserve, in Western Maine, which has hiking trails, mountains, ponds and streams.
Sunday River News
Sunday River Resort is installing four new surface lifts in preparation for winter 2019/20. These surface lifts will include three covered conveyor lifts to access the learning terrain on South Ridge, as well as a T-bar on Locke Mountain for alpine race and boardercross training and competitions. With the new and beginner skier in mind, the resort will replace the existing surface lift on the Sundance trail in South Ridge with three new covered conveyors, which will allow for easier access to the learning terrain, and the ability to implement more progressive steps to the learning process. Go to Sunday River for more info.
Holiday Shopping in Maine
Kick off your holiday shopping in Freeport, home to more than 150 outlet stores and specialty shops offering high fashion, outdoor wear and Maine-made gifts. It’s also home to L.L. Bean since 1912, which has a sprawling campus that’s famously open around the clock. Kittery offers The Kittery Outlets, more than 120 stores offering clothing and goods at discounted prices. In downtown Portland, there are unique shops well worth a visit. Coastal hubs such as Kennebunkport, Camden and Rockland also have one-off shops with goods from local designers. Go to Visit Maine for more on Maine shopping.
News About Portland’s Food Scene
A new food hall is headed to Portland at 58 Fore, the former Portland Company Complex. Expect upwards of 30 restaurateurs and purveyors offering prepared and specialty foods, as well as produce, meats and seafood in the complex. The award-winning Evo Kitchen + Bar is planning on moving to the Pattern Storehouse, expanding to a 100-seat restaurant. Helm, a new oyster bar and bistro, is planned to open in December on the first floor of the new WEX building on Thames Street. The focus will be on the bounty from Maine’s farmers and fishermen and they will offer natural, biodynamic and organic wines. Expect Maine brews on draft and classic cocktails. Ada’s Kitchen will open soon on Congress Street near Longfellow Square. It will offer an open kitchen and counter service serving pizza and house-made pasta, as well as a retail store and olive oil tasting room. Pizza and pasta-making classes are planned. Anoche, a cider and spirits bar serving Basque cuisine, will open soon on Washington Avenue.
Slow Travel in Maine
April 2022 News
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Still Plenty of Winter Fun, Despite Spring’s Approach
March: Summer Planning