From all over the world, Maine is renowned for its stunning fall-foliage color palette and the amazing opportunities Mainers have to take in our own gorgeous autumn landscape. Without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable and immersive ways to experience Maine’s resplendent fall-foliage is to load up your car with family and friends and drive. Here are three trips you’ll especially love!
Belgrade Lakes Drive
To begin this enchanting road trip, we suggest starting in Augusta by traveling west on Route 201. The route will weave you past area after area of breathtaking scenery as you make your way through Winthrop and the Belgrade Lakes region. Then, once you’ve snapped a boatload of unforgettable photos—or simply committed the dream-like landscape to memory—take Route 27 back toward your journey’s start in Augusta.
Want to make your experience even more stimulating and enriching while you enjoy your fall-foliage drive? Listen to one of the scores of podcasts that bring Maine even more to life. Depending on your taste and mood, you might select “Dark Downeast” (true crime), “This Day in Maine” (daily news brief), or “Historium Unearthia: Unearthing History’s Lost & Untold Stories.”
The Attean Route
Just off I-95 North in Waterville, you can pick up Route 201 and follow it all the way to Quebec City on one of the most scenic fall-foliage drives in Maine. The leg between Skowhegan and Jackman offers 73 miles of some of the most magnificent fall foliage views you’ll ever experience. Twisting and turning alongside the Oxbow meanders of the Kennebec River, you’ll cruise through Caratunk, East Moxie Township, and The Forks. Be sure to keep a lookout for a rest area about 4 miles southwest of the Jackman Trading Post off Route 201. Known locally as the Attean Overlook, this panoramic view of Attean Pond and the Moose River is one of the most magnificent examples you’ll ever see of Maine’s autumnal beauty.
Traveling through Acadia National Park and the historic villages of Bar Harbor and Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert Island is yet another incredible fall-foliage drive for your viewing pleasure. Connected to the mainland by a bridge, Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park are Maine’s most frequently visited locations—and you’ll completely understand why. The byway follows Route 3 into Bar Harbor, then follows the park loop road after that. By autumn, the seasonal tourist traffic should be reduced, but if you’d like to be sure to avoid it, you can enjoy the Acadia Byway aboard the free Island Explorer bus network, which also connects the park with campgrounds, inns, and the island’s village centers.
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