Like the rest of you, we’re beginning to feel sad about the end of autumn and the soon-to-be-here winter. While snow is certainly in our future (isn’t it always in our future here in Maine?) we do have a bit more time to appreciate the fall foliage making all regions of the state more beautiful. If you’re trying to pack in as much autumn as possible, check out these lovely state parks in Maine. They’ve got the best foliage this time of year..if you hurry!
1. Sebago Lake State Park, Casco
Sebago Lake State Park opened to the public in 1938 as one of the five original state parks. This lakeside park is situated on the shore of Maine's deepest and second largest lake which provides year-round recreation for thousands of visitors each year. Near the foothills of the White Mountains, the park's 1,400 acres feature a leaf peepah's paradise, as well as sandy beaches, extensive woodlands, ponds, bogs a river and diverse habitat for a wide variety of plant and animal life.
2. Baxter State Park, Millinocket
Home to Katadhdin, many Mainers head straight here when it's time for leaf peeping. Something you may not know is that it's not actually part of Maine's state park system. Sole governance is provided by the Baxter State Park Authority, consisting of the Maine Attorney General, the Maine Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Director of the Maine Forest Service.
3. Bradbury Mountain State Park, Pownal
Situated on Route 9, about halfway between Portland and Lewiston-Auburn, the park attracts visitors who enjoy picnicking, hiking and camping on its 590 acres of perfectly autumn-kissed forested land. Bradbury Mountain is the only state park in southern Maine to offer shared-use trails for horseback riders, mountain bikers and snowmobilers. Snow shoe rentals are available.
4. Fort Knox State Park, Prospect
Fort Knox, Maine's largest historic fort, features military architecture and master granite craftsmanship. But, the true beauty could be considered its riverside Autumn view. Constructed between 1844 and 1864 by master craftsmen and never fully completed, it is an unaltered example of a large mid-19th century granite coastal fortification.
5. Camden Hills State Park, Camden
Camden Hills State Park's signature location is the scenic vista high atop Mt. Battie where sweeping Autumn views of Camden, Penobscot Bay, and surrounding islands await. On a clear day, visitors can see Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park. Mt. Megunticook, the highest of the Camden Hills - and highest peak on the mainland - is a moderate climb by foot trail.
6. Quoddy Head State Park, Lubec
Sometimes a photo just evokes the feeling of fall without showing a single leaf. It's funny how just the clouds can make this shot feel a little crisper. Located on the easternmost point of land in the United States, Quoddy Head is a must see. On its 532 acres, purchased by the state in 1962, the park features 4.5 miles of hiking trails, extensive forests, two bogs, diverse habitat for rare plants, and the striking, red-and-white striped lighthouse tower of West Quoddy Head Light. With its diverse landscape, breathtaking views, scenic picnic sites, and opportunities for hiking and whale watching, Quoddy Head is a great place to spend the day.
7. Peaks-Kenny State Park, Dover-Foxcroft
Dotting the shores of Sebec Lake, Peaks-Kenny State Park has had some of the best fall foliage this season. Campers can enjoy the peaceful, family-oriented campground with only 56 sites that are tucked away in wooded areas to promote privacy.
8. Aroostook State Park, Presque Isle
Aroostook State Park is the ideal starting point to discover the foliage of the North Woods and bears the distinct honor of being Maine's first state park. In 1938, interested citizens of Presque Isle donated 100 acres of land to the State of Maine, and following that gesture, the park became reality in 1939. Today the park totals nearly 800 acres thanks to subsequent donations and purchases.
9. Fort McClary State Park, Kittery Point
Built at the mouth of the Piscataqua River, Fort McClary was used primarily throughout the 19th century to protect approaches to the harbor of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The Fort and its surviving structures, including a blockhouse dating from 1844, are now owned and operated by the State of Maine as Fort McClary State Historic Site.