Fall foliage fans flock to New England every year to marvel at the stunning displays of crimson, gold, and green. This year there are many reasons to choose Acadia National Park in Maine for your leaf-peeping tour.
Let’s start with the setting. Here mountains of color are surrounded by the ocean and intercut with glacial lakes of deep sapphire.
You can view autumn’s display from the comfort of your car, especially as you motor along Acadia’s 27-mile Park Loop Road. Reflecting the thoughtful partnership of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., it circumnavigates much of the park and provides access to Cadillac Mountain, which is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard.
Better still, you can experience fall’s finest up close as you walk, scramble, or hike Acadia’s 125 miles of trails. In addition, 45 miles of carriage roads take you deep into the park either on foot or bicycle. Here you can inhale the scent of balsam and hear the sounds of seagulls and waves, as your eyes take in the explosion of color.
Another reason visitors opt for fall vacations in Acadia is because the national park provides such an array of park ranger programs. Summertime favorites are still available, including Stars Over Sand Beach and the photography workshop Focus on Acadia, which has great appeal in autumn. The National Park Service adds special programs in the fall, such as an easy 1-mile Autumn Ramble and the Hawk watch atop Cadillac to learn about raptor migration.
Neighboring communities, Bar Harbor and Southwest Harbor among them, also offer many entertainment options. This year, Oktoberfest in Southwest Harbor starts with a wine and cheese tasting on Friday, October 10, then explodes on Saturday into a Beerfest, with games, music, and an antique car display—along with tastings offered by the best microbreweries in New England.
If fall flavors tempt your palate, Maine puts great local ingredients in the hands of nationally recognized chefs. They creatively explore what apples, pumpkins, squash, and corn can do to complement the lobster and seafood visitors crave. Some of the restaurants best known for their seasonal menus are Red Sky, Fathom, Mache Bistro, and Burning Tree.
So, if you’ve now know where you want to go, you just have to decide when. Maine’s Fall Foliage Website can help you start planning now.