October 8, 2020 – Maine is ready to welcome you back with a multilayered approach to protect Mainers and visitors, and reduce, to the greatest extent possible, COVID-19 risks associated with travel. All in an effort to make Maine one of the safest places to travel this fall. The Keep Maine Healthy FAQs have all the details.
Maine lodgings, campgrounds, restaurants, shops, museums and other attractions, have implemented recommendations from the state CDC and completed a safety checklist before opening to the traveling public.*
Hikes in Maine’s State Parks
One of the best ways to experience Maine’s dramatic fall foliage is to take a walk or a hike in one of Maine’s State Parks. They can be found all over the state, from Grafton Notch State Park in the dramatic Mahoosuc Range in Western Maine to Camden Hills along the coast. Bradbury Mountain in Pownal has amazing views of Casco Bay while Androscoggin Riverlands offers 10 miles of trails in Central Maine near Turner. Maine also has Public Reserved Lands, which consist of more than half a million acres of protected wilderness. They include the 36,000 acre Bigelow Range Public Reserved Land and the Cutler Coast Public Lands, which offers miles of ocean front hiking.
Outdoor Dining Continues in Portland
Thanks to newly constructed patios and heaters, outside dining will continue at many Portland restaurants through the end of October. Even amidst COVID-19, new restaurants have continued to open, such as the Italian-flavored Leeward and Ramona’s Sandwiches, which serves Philadelphia hoagies and egg and cheese sandwiches, as well as roast pork. Rigby Yard, a former private event space, is expected to open in October as restaurant and wine and beer hall while the Wharf Street Rathskeller is on tap to open soon with a full bar and a tavern menu.
Holiday Shopping in Freeport & Kittery
Two towns in Maine offer extraordinary deals for those getting a head start on their holiday shopping. Freeport is famed as the headquarters of L.L.Bean and home to dozens of outlets, such as Patagonia, Coach, J. Crew Factory, Talbots and The North Face. Kittery, just over the border from New Hampshire, has a wide range of outlets as well, including Eddie Bauer, Kittery Trading Post, Barbour, Orvis and Le Creuset. Expect special precautions for Covid-19 including increased sanitization and limited customers allowed in stores.
Saddleback Gets Ready to Open
Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley is getting ready to open again for skiing on December 15, 2020. The old chairlift, which took 11 minutes to get skiers and riders to the top of the mountain, has been replaced with a new $7.2 million high speed detachable quad lift that will shorten the ride to four minutes. Snowmaking has been expanded and the lodge has also undergone extensive renovations, resulting in enhanced views and increased seating capacity. Saddleback closed five years ago after experiencing financial problems. The mountain was purchased in January 2020 by Arctaris Impact Fund of Boston, which has a reputation for investing in economically challenged communities that have lost their primary employer.
Mythmakers at PMA
Mythmakers: The Art of Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington, looks at the work of these two American artists and seeks to show the connections between their artistic themes and techniques. Born a generation apart, these two titans of American art are credited with capturing the American spirit in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. Winslow Homer (1836-1910), created extraordinary depictions of the Northeastern Seaboard, while Frederic Remington (1861-1909) was the classic painter of the American West. During COVID-19, the maximum attendance in the large first-floor gallery that houses this traveling exhibitions is 35.
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay will once again hold their “Gardens Aglow” exhibit, lighting up the peninsula for the sixth year in a row. The biggest change is that what has been a walking tour in previous years will become a driving experience in 2020. At nearly 325 acres, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is the largest public Garden in New England. To ensure that traffic will flow smoothly, both on the peninsula and along the Gardens Aglow route, CMBG made the decision to establish limited entries per 15-minute intervals. Tickets will be sold by the car, not by the individual, and are only available in advance for a specific time slot. Gardens Aglow runs Thursdays-Sundays, November 21-January 2, plus the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, and every night, Christmas Day through January 2, 4:30-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $40/car for nonmembers and $30 for members. Book tickets at MaineGardens.org.
*Residents of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey can travel to Maine without testing or quarantine requirements. Everyone else is asked to complete The Certificate of Compliance in order to visit safely. Visitors must complete a certificate of compliance indicating they have either received a negative COVID-19 test, or agree to quarantine for 14 days (or the length of their visit, if less) upon arrival in Maine. For a comprehensive look at what the state of Maine is doing to keep residents and visitors safe, go to Visit Maine.
Welcome to Fall in Maine
Safely Get Outside and Enjoy the Colors During Indigenous Peoples’ Holiday Weekend
This week’s Fall Foliage Report shows 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.
This week’s Fall Foliage Report from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry (DACF) reports less than 30 percent color change for central, coastal, and southern Maine. Forest rangers in the higher elevations report high color (less than 70 percent) in the forest.
The first of this year's fall foliage reports. Maine’s leaf-bearing trees will show off their brilliant colors of yellow, orange and red in the upcoming weeks.