This blog post was updated August 25, 2020 for current status due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
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! The spectacular colors and views can still be enjoyed while socially distancing!
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. Unfortunately, a number of the events have been cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the planners hope to bring all events back in 2021, bigger and better, I have not removed the information so that you can mark your calendars for 2021. Check out Maine’s Pumpkin Trail Event Calendar to find the events that will occur in 2020.
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.
In a pivot due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Cloak Tours are offering TeleTours. These TeleTours are private, live, guided walks done with your own personal storyteller via conference call on your phone. They are offered to your family or small group 7 days a week at times from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The price is only $19.99 for the whole group – up to 10 people. Family friendly topics offered include Haunted History, Maritime History, Historic Cemetery Exploration, in towns all along the Maine Coast.
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.
Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta – CANCELLED for 2020
The final stop on Maine’s Pumpkin Trail, the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta, is cancelled for 2020. This is one of the most fun, interesting fall events! Mark your calendar for 2021. Most of the events take place over Columbus Day Weekend. However, the decorated pumpkins line the streets of Damariscotta until the end of October.
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.
And the winner in 2018 was the Viking, Russell Orms.
Camden International Film Festival — reimagined for the pandemic
Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) usually takes place for 3 days during September in Camden, Rockport, and Rockland, Maine. CIFF has completely pivoted this year in the pandemic. The festival this year will take place from October 1 through October 12 and be a hybrid film festival. For full details see the CIFF announcement. Hawthorn Inn is a proud sponsor of CIFF. In years past, you would not find openings at the Hawthorn Inn during CIFF because we hosted CIFF festival guests. This year, we have openings. Come see why Peter Keough of The Boston Globe said “Camden has grown into a major documentary event.”
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.
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.
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.
One can enjoy the colors as they reflect off the lake.
Or one can go rock climbing with Equinox Guiding Services, and get a whole different perspective.
Camden Snow Bowl
Sundays in October Camden Snow Bowl offers chair lift rides to see the amazing colors and the ocean. Chairlifts will run in 2020. Check Camden Snow Bowl for dates and times, not posted at the time of this update.
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 best of fall in Camden Maine! Follow the official report for status/progress of the changing leaves in Maine.