fall leaves

Experience the Best of Fall in Camden, Maine

September 26th, 2019 by Hawthorn Inn B&B

Two well respected travel resources, Frommer’s and Travel and Leisure include Camden, Maine in the list of best places to see fall foliage in New England. We certainly agree and it is easy to see why!

fall foliage in Camden, Maine

Town and Country named Maine’s coastal Route 1 as one of the 14 Incredible Spots to See Fall Foliage Across New England. Town and Country suggests starting in Portland and ending in Camden. The drive along coastal Route 1 provides glimpses of the ocean through colorful leaves. You may ask, but where should we stop to not miss anything? Here is one insider’s view of where to stop for the best experience of fall in Camden, Maine.

Maine’s Pumpkin Trail

Heading north on Route 1 from Portland, Maine’s Pumpkin Trail includes Freeport, Maine Maritime Museum, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta. Click here for the complete calendar of events.

Maine Maritime Museum

At the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, one can board the Merrymeeting to cruise the Kennebec river viewing fall foliage, wildlife and lighthouses. The Merrymeeting offers an open upper deck and enclosed lower deck for those chillier days. There are a number of different cruises of varying length.  On Saturdays during the fall, one can take the Lighthouse Legends and Lore Cruise.  Red Cloak Haunted History Tours explore the legends and lore of up to 7 Midcoast Maine’s lighthouses (conditions permitting). This tour includes a shore landing at the Burnt Island Light for a look at the keeper’s house and tower.

Red Cloak Tour at Burnt Island

Red Cloak Tour at Burnt Island, Photo Credit: Red Cloak Haunted History Tours

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

The next stop on Maine’s Pumpkin Trail is the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Located on 295 tidal acres along the MidCoast, it is the largest botanical garden in New England and offers a true Maine experience. In addition to the fall foliage, one can still find flowers in bloom.  Scarecrows are found throughout the gardens during the fall to bring a smile to your face.

Scarecrow atop of a trellis at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Scarecrow, Photo Credit: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Scarecrow in row boat at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Tidely Idley Scarecrow, Photo Credit: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

If you have read any of our previous blog posts about Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ Gardens Aglow, you know we are huge fans of the creativity and beauty.  In 2019, the Gardens introduce Scarecrows at the Gardens. Local artists, businesses, students, organizations and individuals will handcraft kooky, spooky and creative scarecrows.  After that, the scarecrows will be on display during the month of October. Visitors to the gardens will vote on the winners.

Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta

Final stop on Maine’s Pumpkin Trail is Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta.  Most of the events take place over Columbus Day Weekend.  However, the decorated pumpkins line the streets of Damariscotta until the end of October.

Cinderella fairy godmother and coach pumpkins in Damariscotta

Cinderella Fairy Godmother and Coach Pumpkins

One of the most fun events to watch is the Pumpkin Regatta. There are 2 divisions of the regatta, the “Paddleboat” and the “Powerboat” Divisions. In the Powerboat division, participants craft boats out of pumpkins and outfit them with a 5-10 hp outboard motor.

Pumpkin Regatta in Damariscotta

Pumpkin Regatta in Damariscotta

And the winner in 2018 was the Viking, Russell Orms.

Man dressed as a viking in a boat carved out of a pumpkin

2018 Pumpkin Regatta Winner, Russell Orms

Best Ways to View the Fall Foliage in Camden, ME

After leaving Damariscotta, continue north on Route 1 until you reach your final destination of Camden, ME.

Main Street in Camden, Maine with fall foliage

Main Street in Camden, Maine

One can do a scenic drive or walk through the beautiful tree-lined streets.  There are however, more unique ways to view the foliage. Where the mountains meet the seas, one can view the colorful leaves from the top of Mount Battie.

View of Camden Fall Foliage from the top of Mount Battie

View of Camden Fall Foliage from the Top of Mount Battie

Auto road coming down from the top of Mount Battie

Auto Road from the Top of Mount Battie

From the Harbor

One can take one of the many tour boats that run out of Camden Harbor.  As you cruise through the harbor, you can admire the spectacular colors on the shore.

Heading back into Camden Harbor after a boat tour in the fall.

Camden Harbor Fall Boat Tour, Photo Credit: Dan Dishner

Lake Megunticook

One can enjoy the colors as they reflect off the lake.

Trees lining Lake Megunticook in the fall

Tree-Lined Lake Megunticook

Or one can go rock climbing with Equinox Guiding Services, and get a whole different perspective.

Man rock climbing near Lake Megunticook during the fall.

Rock Climbing Near Lake Megunticook, Photo Credit: Equinox Guiding Services.

Camden Snow Bowl

Sundays in October, Camden Snow Bowl offers chair lift rides to see the amazing colors and the ocean.

Fall chairlift rides at Camden Snow Bowl.

Fall Chairlift Rides at Camden Snow Bowl, Photo Credit: Camden Snow Bowl.

Find Your Home Away from Home in Camden

Reserve a room at our Camden Maine Inn. Check out the Promotions page to find our current offerings to enjoy the spectacular fall foliage in the Camden area! Follow the official report for status/progress of the changing leaves in Maine.

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