Fall foliage season is a great time to visit the coast of Maine. Here are some of the best places to see the beautiful colors all around Castine.
Take a drive up Cadillac Mountain on the auto road to see Acadia National Park from above. The fall colors are spread out before you as you look down over Bar Harbor and the ocean. You could also hike up Cadillac and really immerse yourself in the foliage during your hike. The Gorge Trail is a favorite way to reach Cadillac Mt. After a day of “leaf peeping” try the Jordan Pond House or Asticou for popovers.
Camden also offers a drive up the Mount Battie auto road. The view over Camden harbor is exceptional and is surrounded by oaks and maples displaying their leaves in fall. For the hikers, try the Carriage Trail and Tablelands Trail to reach the summit on foot. Camden offers many restaurants to explore after visiting Camden Hills State Park. The Camden Deli is an excellent choice.
Nearby Castine you shouldn’t miss Holbrook Island State Park. There are many easy walking trails there including the Iceworks Trail and Freshpond Trail. The drive over to Holbrook Island State Park is a treat in itself. This park is just across the harbor from downtown Castine and includes Holbrook Island which can only be reached by boat.
Just north of Castine is the Great Pond Mountain Trust in Orland. Many of the trails there are well defined and maintained roads, easy for walking and surrounded by beautiful hardwood trees. The newest trail up to Mead Mountain overlook provides a spectacular, sweeping view of a valley filled with fall colors. You can also drive up to Alamoosook Lake near the Craig Pond fish hatchery and enjoy a wide view of foliage on the lake or hike Great Pond Mountain just beyond the lake.
Between Castine and Camden, Sears Island is a lovely place to visit with great views to the ocean and many trees with excellent fall foliage. This island has an easy walking road from beginning to end with alternate trails leading off in both directions.
Taking a drive from Castine to Deer Isle there is a wonderful overlook on Caterpillar Hill which never disappoints with fall colors. You can pull off and take pictures of the blueberry fields below and the Deer Isle bridge in the distance or go for a walk through the fields to the trails that surround the old Cooper Farm location. Fall blueberry fields are alive with a deep red and make for excellent viewing.
On Deer Isle the Island Heritage Trust has many excellent trails which offer plenty of fall foliage opportunities. We particularly like the walk through the woods at the Tennis Preserve in Sunshine. Besides the foliage you have a good chance of seeing seals basking on the ledges just off shore. Just down the road from there visit Nervous Nellies Jams and Jellies for coffee and a scone. For an excellent meal stop at Aragosta on Main Street in Stonington.
The most popular place to see fall foliage on the Blue Hill peninsula is from the top of Blue Hill mountain. Many locals make this a regular trip year round, but in the fall it is a busy trail. Take advantage of this gem of a mountain and the view down over Blue Hill to the ocean and Mount Desert Island beyond. For a good meal visit Arborvine Restaurant right on Main Street.
Visit the Maine state foliage indicator here to see current leaf conditions.