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!
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, 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, Photo Credit: 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
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
And the winner in 2018 was the Viking, Russell Orms.
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
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
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.
Camden Harbor Fall Boat Tour, Photo Credit: Dan Dishner
One can enjoy the colors as they reflect off the lake.
Tree-Lined Lake Megunticook
Or one can go rock climbing with Equinox Guiding Services, and get a whole different perspective.
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, 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.