There is nothing like autumn in New England and Maine tops the list for breathtaking vistas and amazing fall color. Crisp mornings, misty lakes reflecting the reds and oranges of maples, the brilliant white of birch trees tracing up through colorful leaves—there is nothing quite as stunning.
Keep an eye on Maine’s Official Fall Foliage Report for the latest news on the leaves! These reports are updated weekly through October once colors start to change in mid-to-late September. Red means peak colors, which tends to be late Sept-early October here in The Forks. Northern Outdoors and The Forks are in Zone 5. Start your planning–Kennebec and Dead River rafting trips run into mid- October.
Whether visiting for a day or a week, fall in Maine offers plenty to see and explore among a natural riot of color. Take a raft trip on the Kennebec or Dead River. Hike to a waterfall, crunching through fallen leaves under a vivid canopy of foliage. Pack a picnic and take a drive or a motorcycle ride along back roads, stopping at overlooks and creekside rest areas along the way. Whatever you choose, don’t forget your camera!
Fall rafting on the Kennebec and Dead rivers is a fantastic experience. Crisp mornings, perfect for coffee and hot chocolate. Rivers reflecting the colors of the trees in endless patterns, making it hard to know where water ends and land begins. The rivers are even more wild and solitary than usual (thanks to the long-departed summer crowds), making each outing more intimate. The trip through the Kennebec River Gorge, dark walls topped in blazing color, is simply unforgettable.
An easy ½-mile hiking trail to the top of one of the highest waterfalls in New England. View 90-foot Moxie Falls from one of several boardwalks built atop the steep, wooded gorge. The stream has numerous swimming holes and is a popular spot on warm days, even in fall. A great hike for young and old so bring your bathing suit!
Directly across from the Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort, this five-mile, multi-purpose trail follows the Old Canada Road along the Kennebec River north to The Forks, located at the confluence of the Kennebec and Dead River valleys.
Outstanding half-day hike along the Appalachian National Hiking Trail that takes you to an open summit atop Pleasant Pond Mountain with spectacular 360° views of seemingly boundless forests and lakes.
This full-day hike takes you into the heart of Maine’s North Woods. The mountain is a long ridge running north-south for about 4 miles. Although the summit is not very high, it has many features of above-timberline summits because of its extended ledges and open crest.
For a four-wheeled adventure of a different kind, ATVs offer a great way to explore the unique beauty of fall in Maine. Leaves cover the trails and provide a striking overhead canopy under which to ride. Ride directly from your cabin door at Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort! Ample parking and room for trailers.
Many overlooks and picnic areas dot the trails offering ideal opportunities to take breaks and enjoy fantastic views. Fall ATV adventures in Maine take fun to a new level! Learn more about ATV trails at Northern Outdoors.
The Old Canada Road Scenic Byway and Moosehead Lake
Follow the route of generations of travelers between Maine and Quebec, Canada. This stretch of US Route 201 parallels the Kennebec River, Wyman Lake, and the Dead River. Also known as “moose alley,” you’ll get lots of opportunities for spotting wildlife and leaf peeping. Add to this drive by looping up toward Moosehead Lake and Greenville, Maine. If you are driving at dawn, dusk or dark, BE ALERT for moose on the road! Travel & Leisure rates the drive from The Forks to Moosehead Lake as one of America’s Best Fall Color Drives.
Learn more about Motor Touring trip ideas.
We would go back to Northern Outdoors in a heartbeat and probably lodge there next time. Going there was a real highlight of our trip other than the beautiful Maine country that we were able to look at with the vibrant fall colors.
Aaron D. Westfield, MA
Newcomers, Explorers, Action Family, and Fun Posse
Sept - Oct
Finish (or start) your rafting trip at our Adventure Resort right here in The Forks. From cabin tents to deluxe cabins, you can choose a lodging option that suits you best. Resort amenities include a hot tub, game room, on-site brewery, full-service restaurant and swimming pool.