We’re rapidly approaching autumn’s peak here in Camden, Maine, a quintessential New England harbor town. Early to mid-October is the best time to visit Maine in the fall when the dense forestry transforms into an awe-inspiring meld of amber, marigold, kelly green, and crimson. “Leaf peepers” from across North America flock to our oceanside haven to observe the vibrant Midcoast Maine foliage, savor fresh-caught seafood, and bask in luxury at Camden Harbour Inn, a proud member of Relais & Châteaux.
Visiting Midcoast Maine in the Fall
There are dozens of classic things to do in Maine in October, especially near Camden, so we’ve compiled our three favorite hikes and drives. All of these destinations can be easily combined with our two-night fall package, which includes a luxury suite, four-course dinner at Natalie’s, half-day bike (or kayak) rental, one-hour massage, and much more! If you plan to visit Midcoast Maine in the fall, you cannot skip these top-rated overlooks and drives.
Camden’s Top 3 Hikes and Overlooks
There’s a seemingly endless wonderland of vibrant foliage along Maine’s coast, but it’s hard to top the ocean overlooks, deep-wood trails, and back-lake vistas at Camden Hills State Park. All three of these trails include at least one sweeping, panoramic overlook.
1. Maiden Cliff Trail – 1.7 miles, moderate
The best vantage point of scenic Megunticook Lake can be obtained atop Maiden Cliff, an 800-foot-tall overlook inside Camden Hills State Park. It takes most hikers approximately 50 minutes to make the steep climb to the peak. The elevation gain is gradual, however, so we recommend this hike to all ages. Maiden Cliff provides sprawling views of the colorful valley, including the Camden “Snow Bowl.”
2. Mount Battie Trail – 1.1 miles, moderate
If you’re planning a trip to Maine in the fall, you must trek to the top of Mount Battie. Mount Battie is perhaps the most popular scenic overlook in the state, so expect a bit of foot traffic, but the breathtaking Atlantic Ocean views are well worth the trip. The foliage on this journey doesn’t quite rival Maiden Cliff, but we cannot think of a better picnic locale in New England.
3. Bald Mountain Trail – 2.4 miles, moderate
Bald Mountain is perhaps the most underrated hiking destination in the region. At the peak, you’ll obtain faraway views of the Atlantic Ocean as well as a secluded backcountry lake. The bald, rocky mountaintop is also a splendid spot for an afternoon picnic amidst crimson shrubberies, singing birds, and occasional wind gusts.
3 Classic Maine Fall Foliage Drives
For some, the best way to experience Midcoast Maine in the fall is by hopping in a car and hitting the open road with nothing but a map and a little intuition. Countless backcountry roads weave through lush, colorful forestry, but we’ve chosen three of our favorite drives to ensure that your mid-day adventure is memorable.
- U.S. 1 (from Portland to Camden): There are countless quintessential small towns from Portland to Camden, including Wiscasset, Damariscotta, and Rockland.
- Camden to Marshall Point Lighthouse: The journey to Port Clyde (and back) along State Route 131 is filled with ocean vistas, pretty villages, and miles of vivid foliage.
- Camden to Pemaquid Point: A trip to Midcoast Maine in the fall is incomplete with a short drive to one of North America’s most-recognized lighthouses.
Best Hotels in Camden, Maine
Start and finish each day of “leaf-peeping,” sailing, and shopping at Camden Harbour Inn, Midcoast Maine’s crowning hospitality jewel since 1874. Our luxurious ocean-view hotel has a AAA Four-Diamond restaurant, on-site spa services, and, of course, dozens of lavish suites. Polish off each evening with a four-course dinner at Natalie’s, a signature cocktail at dusk, and a late-night soak in your private UltraBain Therapeutic Air Bath. To learn more about our top-reviewed boutique hotel, please give us a call today at 1-800-236-4266.