Although summer in Midcoast Maine is assumed to be the best time of year to visit, many people know fall is actually prime leaf-peeping and hiking season. The days are still warm, crowds are fewer and the Midcoast’s forests are dazzling in the sunlight.
After The Maine Lobster Festival, plan to come back and spend another Maine vacation around some of these fall hikes (from leisurely to challenging), and check out where to find them.
(1.8 miles) moderate to steep
Named for the little girl Elenora French, who fell to her death here in 1862 at 11 years old after chasing after her bonnet, this trail follows a brook for the first half mile before a steeper ascent to the top. But persevere, as it will bring you up to a giant cross (a tribute to Elenora) and to one of the most stunning vistas overlooking Megunticook Lake with a peek of the ocean. Dogs are permitted on this trail if leashed. Directions
(1.1 miles) moderate to steep
A little jewel of a hike within the Camden Hills State Park system, this trail can be approached two ways. The front trail is moderate with a little scrambling, but short! (Although it might be too much for beginners and families with small children.) At the top, you’ll see astounding vistas of the Camden harbor and surrounding bay. Alternatively, you can drive up the Carriage Road through the state park. There’s also a stone tower at the top, which you can climb. Directions.
(1 mile) easy
The Rockland Breakwater is a leisurely walk, but use caution and watch your step as the granite blocks are uneven. The stroll out is 4,364 feet out and back, but the scenic walk upon the seawall, built in 1900 to shelter ships from coastal storms, is a lovely way to see sailboats, sealife and lobster boats pass by. At the end, your reward is a quaint and short lighthouse. Directions.
Beech Hill Preserve
(2 miles) easy, moderate
This conservation property is perfect for folks who don’t want a huge hike or for small children. Two trails summit to the top of the hill with unsurpassed views of Penobscot Bay, Camden Hills and the St. George peninsula. Bring a picnic and enjoy it on the porch of the historic sod-roofed hut called Beech Nut at the top. Directions.
Georges Highland Path
(9.8 miles) difficult
The biggest challenges on this trail are the length and several sections that are steep. Cutting up through Ragged Mountain, the trail elevates to 1,200 feet with wild blueberries along the way. From the ridgeline, the Georges River watershed, views of Mt. Washington, the White Mountains, and Maine’s western mountains, are visible with the Penobscot Bay to the east. There are also smaller sections of the trail to try. Directions.
To learn more about why we love Maine so much year-round, check out our past Maine Lobster Festival blogs.