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Experience autumn in Maine



Posted on: 19 Sep 2016

Foliage season is fast arriving, with the first red and gold leaves appearing in northern Maine. It's a great month for observing wildlife and watching the annual coastal bird migration. Families love fall for apple picking and the state's many festivals. For beer lovers, the Maine beer trail has become a worthy autumn pilgrimage. 

Wildlife Viewing

Fall is for wildlife lovers, one of the best times of the year to spot moose and enjoy the coastal bird migration. Moose can be seen throughout the state, but their population is greatest in the Western Lakes and Mountains, the Kennebec Valley, the Maine Highlands, and Aroostook County. Strike out on your own on a road trip or head out with companies like.

Maine Moose Watching Tours or Northeast Whitewater, who provide guided excursions to some of the best moose-spotting areas in the north woods. Dusk and dawn are prime times in the fall during their breeding season. Birders have ample opportunities to spot rare species, thanks to the Maine Birding Trail, which covers 382 miles and offers 82 official birdwatching sites for the fall migration. Or, they can choose an excursion, such as one offered by the Maine Audubon Society, which sponsors an annual Pelagic Trip on September 17 from Bar Harbor. Previous excursions have spotted a great skua, thousands of shearwaters and storm petrels, and common murres and puffins, with an added bonus of whale and dolphin sightings.

Fall Festivals for Families

Fall festivals are a great getaway for families to enjoy the autumn in Maine. A Halloween-centric festival is the theme of the OgunquitFest Fall Festival in Ogunquit, from October 13 - 23. It includes ghostly tours, with ghostly tales told on the streets of Ogunquit, and a Monster Mall Marketplace with crafts. There are horse-drawn wagon rides, a Great Pumpkin Patch Celebration and a costume parade. Up in Boothbay, Family Harvest Days at the Boothbay Railway Village invites families to celebrate the bounty of autumn at an old-fashioned, family-friendly festival on Saturday and Sunday, October 3 - 4. Expect barrel train rides, farm animals, a butter churning demonstration and complimentary cider and homemade cookies. Then, take a hayride to a pumpkin patch. In the Western Mountains, the Fall Festival Weekend at Sunday River in Newry offers a family-friendly celebration of the end of summer with live music, the legendary North American Wife Carrying Championship, the annual Blue Mountain Arts & Crafts Fair and the New England Corn Hole Championships. The Maine Pumpkin Trail is already underway with events extending into October in Bath, Boothbay, Damariscotta and Rockland. Finally, don't miss the Maine Craft Weekend on October 1 and 2, a statewide festival in conjunction with American Craft Week that's an opportunity to explore the life and work of craft artists and craft brewers in Maine. The weekend features statewide tours of craft studios, breweries, businesses and events.

Maine Beer Trail

Brewing in Maine started with Geary's Pale Ale back in the mid 1980s and has grown to close to 50 breweries statewide. The easiest way to visit all of Maine's breweries - or perhaps just a few - is to follow The Maine Beer Trail. It connects most of Maine's breweries, from Shipyard Brewing Co, Sebago Brewing and Rising Tide Brewing Company to Kennebec River Pub & Brewery and Black Bear Microbrew. Visit 10 breweries to receive a Brewers' Guild hat or hit 20 breweries and get rewarded with a t-shirt. If you can't find a designated driver, make the tour with The Maine Brew Bus, complete with beer, snacks, tours and beer trivia. Or simply stick to Portland, where there are nearly a dozen breweries within walking or cab distance. Of course, there's always the temptation to start brewing your own. Stop in at The Hop Yard to get your fresh hops while the fall harvest is underway. They have hop fields in Gorham, not far from Portland and up in Fort Fairfield in northern Maine. You can also check out Aroostook Hops in Westfield. Check out the multi-media The Maine Thing Quarterly to learn more about Maine's beer scene.