Maine Preparing for Spectacular 2014 Fall Foliage Season | Events

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Maine Preparing for Spectacular 2014 Fall Foliage Season
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With the start of the Maine Fall Foliage season soon to begin, The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) reports that conditions in the northernmost part of the state are prime for subtle color changes with very low leaf drop.  Beginning Wednesday, September 10, the Maine Office of Tourism and DACF will provide an update on the gradual change in leaf color from north to south culminating in peak conditions in late-October.

The reporting of Maine’s fall foliage conditions statewide by the DACF first began in 1959.  Forest rangers submit their on-the-ground observations each week throughout the reporting season (September 10 through October 25) at http://www.mainefoliage.com/ – Maine’s official fall foliage website.  A map indicating current foliage conditions with a useful foliage color key is updated weekly. Visitors to the site can also find information on Facebook.  While navigating the website, leaf peepers can register to receive weekly reports and submit their favorite fall foliage photos.  The site also provides information about complimentary ranger-led fall foliage tours in Maine’s state parks.  A trip to Maine would not be complete without a visit to one of 48 state parks and historic sites, and vast acres of public reserved lands.

Generally, the northern region of Maine is at or near peak the last week of September into the first week of October.  Central, Southern and Western mountains are nearing peak conditions October 6 through October 18.  Coastal Maine reaches peak conditions October 13 through 25.  Maine is a very popular destination during the foliage season, especially throughout the Western mountains and the Bar Harbor region that includes Acadia National Park.

As part of a last-minute, end-of-summer Labor Day weekend escape, visitors can stop at the Blue Hill Fair (August 28-September 1) for a blueberry pie-eating contest and aerial fireworks display; the Belfast ArtWalks (August 29) for a blend of the visual arts with performance art and music; and the Brunswick Bluegrass Special (August 29-31) with bluegrass bands from around the country performing at Thomas Point Beach. The 143rd Cumberland County Fair takes place September 21st to 27th in Cumberland, Maine.  

Now is the time to plan a late-September getaway to Zone 6 and 7 in northeastern and northwestern Maine which includes Fort Kent, Caribou and Presque Isle to experience the first colors of autumn. There are scenic driving tours recommended on http://www.mainefoliage.com/ for the St. John Valley Cultural Byway and the County Circuit in the area.

More to See and Do during Maine’s Fall Season

  • Food, Farmers’ Markets and State Fairs

While enjoying Maine’s brilliant foliage, visitors can dine on fresh Maine lobster and other seafood overlooking beautiful ports and harbors.  Maine farmers' markets located throughout the state offer high quality, delicious foods and agricultural products, each with a unique blend of personalities and products.  There are many state fairs to be enjoyed, including Maine’s largest agricultural fair at Fryeburg, September 28 through October 5 that showcases beautiful fall colors in Maine’s western mountains; and the annual Columbus Day Weekend Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta, October 11 – 13, featuring children’s activities and all things pumpkin including pie-eating contests, pumpkin desserts, a pumpkin derby and pumpkin boat regatta. 

  • Leaf Peeping and Maritime Maine

Maine’s famed Fall Foliage can be enjoyed concurrently with the state’s maritime heritage.  Enjoy spectacular foliage views of surrounding mountains while cruising Moosehead Lake aboard the Katahdin Steamship now celebrating its 100-year anniversary.  Or tour the islands aboard a windjammer for a breathtaking coastal view:  From Friday, August 29 through Sunday, August 31 the ships of the windjammer fleet join together to celebrate Camden’s maritime heritage.  A parade of sail, live music, dancing, flag-raising ceremonies and fireworks are all part of the festivities.  And for those who choose rafting and kayaking as favored activities, Maine’s fall season is the best time of year to convene with nature on the water.

Go to www.visitmaine.com  for more information about fall activities and events in Maine.

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