September 20, 2023 — At 2:50 a.m. on Saturday, September 23, nature marks the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. With the changing of the seasons just hours away, anticipation is building for Maine’s leaf-bearing trees to show off their colors. The second 2023 Maine Fall Foliage Report from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) reports very low (less than 30 percent) color change throughout Maine. As of September 20, 2023, DACF Maine Forest Service Rangers in northern Maine report very low to low color change (10-30 percent), with very low leaf drop throughout the entire state.

Typically, northern Maine (zones 6 and 7) reach peak conditions the last week of September into the first week of October. The rest of the state’s color progression starts from north to south in mid-October. Coastal Maine typically reaches peak conditions in mid-to-late October.

“There was concern that the strong winds and rain from Hurricane Lee this past weekend would significantly impact our fall foliage season. Our trees have remained resilient, and leaves remained intact. Now that it’s nice and quiet, with autumn arriving this weekend, let’s kick back and enjoy the changing season,” said Gale Ross, Maine’s fall foliage spokesperson.

Follow the 2023 Maine fall foliage forecast this season and take advantage of autumn events, activities and tips for colorful road trips throughout Maine:

  • With the official start of autumn on Saturday, the fall fair season is officially underway, with the Common Ground Country Fair opening this Friday, September 22-24, followed by the Cumberland County Fair opening on September 24 and running through September 30. The Common Ground Fair is known for highlighting organic agriculture, sustainable living, and local economies and will feature more than 1,000 exhibitors and speakers. At the Cumberland County Fair, fair-goers can expect a mix of agricultural fun, a demolition derby, live entertainment, a pumpkin contest and squash weigh-off.
  • This Sunday marks the start of the third annual Maine Lobster Week, dedicated to supporting Maine’s lobster industry and featuring lobster-inspired dishes. Check the website for participating restaurants and locations.
  • If Maine Lobster Week isn’t enough for seafood enthusiasts, the Pemaquid Oyster Festival is scheduled on Sunday, September 24 in Boothbay Harbor for all things oyster — raw, baked, in stew and more. Taste local oysters and learn about what makes them unique.
  • As foliage makes its way from Maine’s northernmost border in Aroostook County south through the state, the next region of Maine to experience a concentration of autumn color is The Maine Highlands. Home to many iconic landmarks, this large inland region provides spectacular scenic touring routes and backdrops specific only to this area. Head out on a road trip for scenes of Maine’s highest peak and largest lake, Katahdin and Moosehead, respectively, and the National Monument and Katahdin Woods & Waters Scenic Byway. Keep an eye out for wildlife among the untouched wilderness and bright foliage.

Foliage season enthusiasts can visit the state’s official foliage website to receive weekly reports by email. Everyone is invited to share color progression photos from throughout Maine. The Maine Fall Foliage Facebook and Instagram accounts feature gorgeous images and special activities statewide. For more fall-themed ideas and insights about visiting Maine, go to www.visitmaine.com.


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