Unforgettable Fall Foliage Camping Adventures in Northern Maine

The Beehive during peak fall foliage season. Photo Credit: Heather Anderson

Each year, guests from around the world travel to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park to take in the vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges of our famed foliage. Year after year, what keeps our visitors coming back are the numerous activities specifically catered to each traveler.

Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park offer by far the best leaf-peeping experiences and a variety of things to do all the way to the first frost. Sadly, the colorful leaves won’t last until November, but Bar Harbor continues to celebrate the season until then.

For those who make it for peak season
Peak foliage in Bar Harbor, located on Mount Desert Island, is typically from mid-September into the first two weeks of October. Check out Maine’s official fall foliage website to keep up to date on the status of the turning leaves and keep in mind there’s one way you can see the leaves that people often forget.

Above the trees: Hop aboard a closed-cockpit aircraft or open-cockpit biplane to soar above the foliage colors in Acadia National Park and the lighthouses surrounding Mount Desert Island.

For those who love soaking up the fresh fall air

All season long, see the remarkable trees’ transition by people-powered transportation: hiking and biking. One trail for hikers looking for a serious adventure while leaf peeping is the Beehive Trail, complete with an exposed iron rung climb. The 1.9-mile advanced loop overlooks Sand Beach, Great Head and beyond. If you’re interested in pedaling through the park, the carriage roads weave through beautiful vistas and valleys, and during peak, offer constant foliage views and iconic stone bridges.

One outdoor fall event not to miss is watching runners from around the world tackle the Mount Desert Island Marathon. Runners will be striding through Acadia National Park and along Somes Sound, the only true fjord on the Atlantic Coast. This year’s race will happen October 15.

For those who enjoy a hearty harvest

After being outside in the fresh air, either strolling the trails or along the shops in one of Mount Desert Island’s downtown villages, taking time to sit down, take in the sights and enjoy a delicious meal is essential.

Share stories of exploring the park over hot tea and the infamous popovers served traditionally with warm butter and strawberry jam at the Jordan Pond House. Popovers are deemed to be one of the culinary great wonders and paired with tea will have you asking for seconds. The restaurant looks over the enchanting Jordan Pond and The Bubbles, making for a lunch or dinner not shy of views.

Don’t worry, just because the air is a bit cooler doesn’t mean you can’t still feast on seafood.  Dig into lobsters, steamers, mussels, clam chowder, and corn on the cob, with fresh blueberry pie for dessert.

There is still time to plan a last-minute fall getaway to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. Several local inns, hotels, and B&Bs offer fall packages and specials. Information on all these activities and more can be found at www.visitbarharbor.com.

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