Of all the seasons we enjoy – and sometimes endure – in Maine, you have to admit, fall’s a particularly sweet one, and there are tons of activities, destinations and events that celebrate all things autumn.

To help pack in the seasonal fun, we’ve gathered a bushel of fall destinations, from corn mazes to cideries, along with suggestions for other fitting stops and events nearby, so you can have a full, fall-themed day in a short drive from anywhere in southern Maine.

The Maine Foliage site predicts that Northern Maine will be at its leaf-peeping peak this week and the rest of the state will follow suit over the next few weeks. Coastal parts of the state dazzle the strongest in mid-to-late October.

Fresh apples at Rocky Ridge Orchard in Bowdoin. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer


Rocky Ridge Orchard in Bowdoin is a place where you can stock up on apples and other fall fare on a Midcoast foliage drive. You can also get food for a picnic. Surrounded by hay fields, the orchard offers apples for picking, fresh apple cider doughnuts, homemade pastries and breads, deli sandwiches, Toot’s ice cream and Morse’s sauerkraut and pickles. There are also antiques and Maine gifts for sale.

A little farther up the coast, Wiscasset is full of beautiful, historic homes. Two magnificent examples are open for tours through Oct. 15, making them convenient stops on a fall drive. One is Castle Tucker, built in 1807 and situated on a hill with a commanding view of the Sheepscot River. Inside you learn about the story of the Tucker family, prominent in shipping in the area. The other is the Nickels-Sortwell House on Main Street, also built in 1807 by a shipping magnate. Both evoke a time when the sea brought Wiscasset residents wealth and prominence.


If you head that way this weekend, don’t miss the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest (and, if you stay until Monday, the pumpkin boat regatta) or the Fall Foliage Festival at Boothbay Railway Village.


You don’t have to go far outside the city to get a taste of rural life. Smiling Hill Farm in Westbrook offers wagon rides and pick-a-pumpkin every weekend this month, Friday through Sunday.

Not far, in South Portland, you can follow up your pumpkin picking by wetting your whistle with a Boo! Pumpkin Ale from Island Dog Brewing. In fact, any of the area’s abundant breweries is good bet for getting a literal taste of fall – whether it’s in the form of a Bunktoberfest from Bunker Brewing, Gretel from Foundation, Pumpkin Party from Lone Pine, or Portland’s OG fall beer, Shipyard Pumpkinhead.

If you’re in town on Oct. 14, check out the sixth annual Portland Lantern Walk in Deering Oaks park. On that same day, Highland Farm in Scarborough hosts a pumpkin festival.



The corn maze at Pineland Farms is a fun one to navigate, and when you’re through it, you can pick a pumpkin from the farm’s huge patch. On the evenings of Oct. 13, 20 and 27, the maze will be open for nighttime exploration, so be sure to bring a flashlight, lest you end up lost among the stalks. Visit the the maze through Oct. 31.

At Royal River Orchards, you can pick your own apples before or after you make your way through the corn maze, open Friday through Sunday all month. There’s even a special toddler maze for the little ones. And for something that takes a little less effort, grab some cider doughnuts while you’re there.

For cider in drinkable form – the adult version, that is – head to Norumbega Cidery, where a “tasting lawn” is open from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through the fall.

If you need help nailing down a date for your New Gloucester getaway, it might be good to know that Apples & Artisans happens on Oct. 14 and 15 at Thompson’s Orchards, where there will be an arts and crafts fair, music, pick-your-own apples, fresh doughnuts and more.


Hurricane Meadows in Falmouth offers one-stop shopping for just about every type of fall fun you can hope to have every weekend, from Friday to Sunday, this month. The corn maze is a challenging one, and you can also fire a potato cannon, ride on the Bee Train, bounce on giant jumping pillows and make corn angels in the corn pit. Pumpkins are also available.


Just up the road, the Freeport Fall Festival will be happening this weekend, all over the downtown area, with music, activities and more than 200 artists and makers.

An antique trolley by the pumpkin patch. Photo courtesy of Seashore Trolley Museum


Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunk offers 30-minute rides on its heritage railway that ends in a pumpkin patch where you can take your pick. Once back at the museum visitor’s center, you can paint your pumpkins and enjoy a cookie walk, photo scavenger hunt, craft room and festival fall photo ops. Catch a ride Friday through Sunday through Oct. 15. Costumes are encouraged.

Since there’s no bar car on the trolley, you can quench your autumnal thirst with an Oktoberfest lager from Banded Brewing in Biddeford or an Apples 2 Apples sour from Barreled Souls in Saco.

For full fall immersion, make your York County excursion coincide with the Saco Main Street Pumpkin Harvest Festival on Oct. 21 where there will be kids games, a costume contest, a trunk-or-treat area, pie-eating contests, horse-drawn wagon rides and more.



Maine’s western mountains are a great place to see foliage all around. One easy scenic fall drive is the Pequawket Trail near the New Hampshire border. It winds from Standish to Fryeburg on Route 113 then continues through Evans Notch and into the White Mountain National Forest. As a side trip, you can drive over the Hemlock Covered Bridge in Fryeburg, built in 1857.

At Snell Family Farm in Buxton, you can grab a pumpkin and several other vegetables. Apple picking winds down in mid-October.

An aerial view of the corn maze at Wallingford’s Orchard in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal


Wallingford’s Orchard offers plenty of pick-your-own apples and succulent baked goods. But there’s another reason to visit. The area they call the Backyard is home to several animals in a petting area, a kids play area and best of all, a fairly epic corn maze.

Bonney Park is situated in Auburn’s downtown and offers scenic views of the Androscoggin River. It’s also a hub for the Riverwalk Trail, which links hikers to the Lewiston park system by way of the pedestrian trestle bridge.

If you can’t get enough orchard time, Ricker Hill in Turner is another hot spot for all things fall, with apple-picking, a farm store, corn and hay mazes, disc golf and a tasting room featuring its own hard cider.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier and Features Editor Leslie Bridgers contributed to this story.

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