When summer begins to fade and autumn colors appear, there is no better place to be than New England. The region’s foliage is renowned for its vibrant hues and postcard-worthy views. Each state has something unique to offer, but Maine is where you will find the best fall foliage in New England.
Nothing beats fall in Bar Harbor, Maine. Located on Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor is the perfect place to visit if you are seeking Maine fall colors, outdoor recreation, delicious food and one-of-a-kind experiences.
FALL FOLIAGE IN MAINE
When do leaves change in Maine? Peak foliage in Maine depends on where you are. The colder the region, the sooner fall comes. The northern part of the state meets autumn first, often reaching its foliage peak around the end of September through early October.
The best way to plan your visit is to check with a Maine fall foliage report, which splits the state into different zones depending on their foliage peaks and estimated leaf drop time. Bar Harbor falls within zone two, where autumn is on full display around the middle of October.
BEST FALL FOLIAGE PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES NEAR BAR HARBOR
Some might say Bar Harbor and the surrounding area is the best place to spend autumn in Maine, and we are inclined to agree. There is no shortage of places to snap the perfect fall photo with towering mountains, lush forests or lulling ocean waves. You will also find plenty to do and see around Mount Desert Island.
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is home to several foliage-friendly destinations, including trails and shoreline, but the entire park is worth a visit during autumn. The park is full of activities and recreational opportunities, like birding, biking the Carriage Roads, climbing and horseback riding, but its hiking trails offer unbeatable autumn views.
Some of the most colorful trails in the park include:
- Cadillac Summit Loop Trail: This is a beginner-friendly hiking trail that gently guides you in a loop near Cadillac Summit, where you can see the water, nearby islands and plenty of vibrant colors.
- The Beehive Trail: Beehive Trail is a gorgeous trek that gives you an aerial view of Sand Beach and its surrounding forests. While the walk itself is fairly easy, there are some steep and narrow paths along the way, making it ideal for experienced hikers hoping for a laid-back journey.
- Jordan Pond Path: Jordan Pond Path is a mild, family-friendly walk with close-up water views, easy to navigate walking paths and ample photo opportunities along the way.
- Jordan Cliffs Trail: Experienced hikers will love the thrill of Jordan Cliffs Trail, which takes you on a challenging uphill trek on a cliff. Your determination is rewarded when you reach the top and see calm waters and an ocean of autumn forest.
When you are out hiking, biking or photographing in Bar Harbor, see how many of the island’s stone bridges you can find. These stone bridges are a part of the island’s historic carriage roads, which once guided travelers and residents around Mount Desert Island.
Two of the most popular stone bridges are Duck Brook Bridge and Bubble Pond Bridge. Duck Brook Bridge is a short trip from New Mills Meadow Pond, very close to Bar Harbor and Mt. Desert Narrows. Bubble Pond Bridge is near Bubble Pond, located further inland from Bar Harbor. You will find each bridge nestled among some of the prettiest forests in the area, making the perfect photo opportunity.
While Somes Sound is not technically in Bar Harbor, it is only a short drive away and too beautiful to leave off the list. This deep fjord of water borders a section of Acadia National Park and offers a panoramic view of the trees and islands surrounding the water. If you are in a boat, it is also a good place to rest for a while and capture some on-the-water shots of the view.
THINGS TO DO WHILE ENJOYING FOLIAGE IN MAINE
The perfect autumn day means something different to everyone. Some people plan fall getaways to find relaxation in scenic places, while others use the seasonal change to embrace outdoor adventure. Whether you want to try something new, take it slow or dabble in a little bit of everything, Maine has what you are looking for.
These are some of our favorite autumn traditions:
- Attend an autumn event: Autumn in Maine brings dozens of popular fall-only events in every region. Most cities and towns host cook-offs, historic and haunted walking tours or family-friendly harvest festivals throughout the season. You could also attend something like the Acadia Night Sky Festival or Portland’s Harvest on the Harbor.
- Spend the day apple picking: Apple pies, mulled cider, sticky caramel coatings — apples are an autumn staple and picking them is a fall tradition in Maine. You will find many u-pick farms that allow visitors to spend the day walking the orchard, roaming through the trees, harvesting your own apples to take home.
- Go for a brisk bike ride: Cooler temperatures make for a comfortable bike ride through some of Maine’s most popular trails — many of which are dotted with red, orange and yellow trees.
- Enjoy a seasonal dish: Stay warm and cozy with traditional Maine fare and autumn favorites like beans and brown bread, lobster rolls, clam chowder and boiled dinners. Don’t forget to try a pumpkin and cream cheese whoopie pie, the fall variation of Maine’s favorite sweet treat.
- Relax on the beach: Maine in the fall also means fewer crowded beaches. Grab a thermos of cocoa or cider, your favorite warm blanket and head to the coast for a peaceful day by the waves.
- Take a drive: No matter which part of Maine you are visiting, you are never too far from a scenic byway or driving tour. Many places advertise autumn-specific driving tours that lead you through forests, quaint villages and near tree-speckled shorelines for a comfortable day trip.
- Enjoy the weather at Terramor: Autumn in Maine is chilly and refreshing — the perfect weather for sipping a mug of hot cocoa or a handcrafted cocktail by your private campfire at Terramor Outdoor Resort. While you enjoy a cozy drink, take in the sights of the starry night sky from your on-site telescope.
EXPERIENCE MAINE’S FALL FOLIAGE AT TERRAMOR OUTDOOR RESORT
Terramor Outdoor Resort is an immersive destination on Mount Desert Island, located near both Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. Spend your autumn trip with us and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of fall from your luxurious glamping tent. Enjoy on-site activities and indulgences, like expertly crafted seasonal dishes and drinks and interactive recreation areas and campfires. Each cozy tent has a private fire ring and lush bedding, creating the perfect ending for each foliage-filled day.