As the calendar turns to October, the days are cooler, the nights are longer, and the annual fall color show is about make its way into Southern Maine. Patches of yellow and red have started to pop up in the region, but we’re still a couple of weeks away from the full, vibrant display that makes the area such a special place to live or visit. This gives you ample time to plan a day of shooting leaves when the peak does arrive. Here are a few prime spots for viewing and shooting foliage, but please share others in the comments below.
Perhaps the best-known leaf-peeping place in Southern Maine is atop Bradbury Mountain on Route 9 in Pownal. Reaching the summit requires a fairly gentle hike that most will be able to complete in about 15 minutes, but you can also climb via mountain bike or horseback. Once at the top, visitors are rewarded with miles of brilliant color that stretches all the way to Casco Bay. Normal State Park use fees are charged. Those living further to the east may wish to visit the peak of Mount Battie, which is part of Camden Hills State Park.
Hacker’s Hill in Casco, accessible via Quaker Ridge Road, offers sweeping panoramic views of the Lakes Region and the White Mountains in New Hampshire. This property has long been held in private hands, however the Loon Echo Land Trust is in the midst of a campaign to preserve the property forever. Follow this link for more information on the property, and to find out how you can help.
Any hill or mountain with an open peak will do. Others in the area that offer easy access are Jockey Cap in Fryeburg, Fort Hill Park in Gorham, and Mount Agamenticus in Kittery. As a special bonus, those with mobility (or time) issues can drive to the top of Mount A.
There are plenty of options for those who prefer lower elevations. Maine’s college campuses contain many stately oaks and maples. Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Bates College in Lewiston, the University of New England in Biddeford, and the Gorham campus of the University of Southern Maine are all picturesque locations. College campuses offer piles of leaves at the base of a tree, and sweater-clad college students walking between classes. Cemeteries likewise provide quintessential fall photo opportunities.
Another great option is to just hop in your car or on your bike and take a ride. Even those who live in the heart of Portland are just a few miles away from rolling hills and sweeping vistas. You may even come across a farm stand with inviting displays of apples, mums, pumpkins and hay bales. Find a safe place to stop, and fire away.
Maine’s foliage season will last through most of October, but even past peak leaves are great for photographs. Refer to the Maine foliage website to track the progress of the changing leaves in your neck of the woods.
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