The vast interior of Maine is a wonderland for fall foliage seekers, and even along the coast, the fall color change can be observed and appreciated. These Maine fall foliage driving tours lead to a variety of scenic places that are even more spectacular when fall foliage season arrives.
Georgetown Island Driving Tour
Detour off Coastal Route 1 in Bath for a chance to see quiet fishing villages, ocean views, and foliage, too.
Portland to Rangeley Lake Driving Tour
Set out from Portland for a day of leaf peeping. The last leg of this journey is one of Maine's most cherished fall drives. Route 17 winds along the Swift River and leads to the shimmering scene of leaves reflected in Rangeley Lake. Along the way, don't miss the stunning panorama of mountains and lakes known as Height of Land.
Scenic Fall Foliage Drive from Portland to Freeport
Freeport is a quick, 20-minute drive up Interstate-95 from Portland, but to get the best look at the foliage, try this route instead.
Warren Fall Foliage Loop
This fall driving tour that begins and ends in Warren, Maine, takes in lakes, mountains and more as it travels across the Appleton Ridge and into Camden via backroads.
Wiscasset to Thomaston Driving Tour
Wiscasset has been called the "prettiest village in Maine," so why not set out from here in search of all the state is known for.Along this drive, you'll see a lighthouse, a fishing village, historic coastal towns and venerable oak and maple trees sporting their new fall hues.
Cruising Old Canada Road
From Frommer's, here's a description of what you'll see as you drive along Old Canada Road (Route 201), a National Scenic Byway in northwestern Maine, this fall. You'll be tracing the path along the Kennebec River once followed by Benedict Arnold on his way to lay siege to Quebec.
Franklin Heritage Loop
You may want to split this scenic trip over two days, especially if you enjoy fly fishing, golfing or hiking. It takes in some of Maine's most dramatic fall foliage in the western part of the state.
Lakes and Leaves
You'll see some of Maine's most pristine lakes and rural towns on this drive, which begins in Skowhegan. There's also stunning foliage to see in this region, where moose are commonly spotted (increase your chances!) and surrounding mountains add to the visual appeal.
Windjammers and Water Views
Explore some of Maine's most charming coastal towns on this tour, which begins in Brunswick. In this picturesque region where rolling hills and mountains meet the sea, fall colors add to the glory of the scenery.
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The drive from Warren to Union, across Appleton Ridge and into Camden the back way is a favorite scenic Maine driving tour at any time of year, but it's spectacular during fall foliage season. Distances are approximate. It's a good idea to have a copy of DeLorme's Maine Atlas & Gazetteer with you.
From Route 1 in Warren headed north (approximately four miles north of Moody's Diner in Waldoboro), turn left on North Pond Road.
This is a well maintained, narrow, winding road that hugs the shores of North Pond and offers several long views of sparkling blue water against the backdrop of the mountains of Union.
Follow North Pond Road until you come to a stop sign. Turn left onto Western Road. Just up the road is Beth's Farm Market on your left, definitely worth a stop. Beth's is one of the finest farm markets in the state, with high quality produce picked fresh daily, including Maine blueberries, strawberries and apples in season. Their aged cheddar cheese is out of this world.
Just past Beth's, the road forks. Keep to the right to continue on Western Road, which soon becomes Route 235, part of the Georges River Scenic Byway. As you approach Union, you'll drive along a high ridge overlooking a large blueberry field sloping down to Seven Tree Pond on your right. Depending on the time of year, it may appear to be a blanket of blue, laden with Maine's favorite fruit, or, in the fall, a carpet of blazing red, known as blueberry barrens.
There's a small dirt roadway on the right that you can pull into to enjoy the view.
Follow Route 235 to the stop sign at the intersection with Route 17 in Union. Turn left and drive through the center of this small farming community, settled in 1774 along the St. George River. The quaint town, surrounded by hills, lakes, rivers and rolling farms and blueberry fields, is set around one of the oldest public commons in the state of Maine.
Many of the homes were built before the 1840s.
Turn right onto Route 131 North, which follows the western shore of Sennebec Pond. After several miles, you'll come to the intersection of Route 105. Turn left, headed northwest, and go approximately one mile, watching for Appleton Ridge Road on your right (the sign may simply say Ridge Road). Turn right onto Appleton Ridge Road and follow all the way to Searsmont (about five miles). Take your time: The road may be a bit rough, and you don't want to miss any of the spectacular scenery along this hilly ridge with beautiful views of fall foliage and more blueberry barrens.
In Searsmont, continue on Route 131 to Moody Mountain Road. Turn right and continue south for roughly seven miles until the road ends at Route 235. Turn left onto Route 235 and continue until it ends in Lincolnville Center. Turn right onto Route 173 and head southeast for a mile or less until the road forks.
Keep to the right to leave Route 173 and follow Route 52, which will soon take you along the edge of Camden's beautiful Megunticook Lake under the towering sheer rock face of Maiden's Cliff. Legend has it that a young maiden, picking berries at the top of the cliff in 1862, reached out to catch her bonnet, which had been taken by the wind, and fell to her death.
The white cross at the top was erected in her memory.
Megunticook Lake ends at Barret's Cove, which has a public beach and boat launch area with views down the length of the eastern part of the lake. To reach the beach parking lot to savor the view, turn right down the sloping road at the end of the lake.
Retrace your steps back out to Route 52 and follow it into the town of Camden to the intersection of Route 1. It would be a shame to have come this far without driving to the top of Mt. Battie to see the astounding panoramic views of Camden Harbor and the islands of Penobscot Bay, so if time allows, before heading south on Route 1 to return to Warren, turn left and follow Route 52 north a few miles to Camden Hills State Park on your left. The drive to the summit takes only minutes--time you will not begrudge when you see the colorful view, beautiful any time of year.
This is where famous American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay stood as she penned the famous poem that begins: "All I could see from where I stood was three long mountains and a wood. I turned and looked another way and saw three islands in a bay."
Whether or not you visit Camden Hills State Park, turn right on Route 1 and follow it all the way through Rockport, Rockland and Thomaston, all towns well worth exploring. You'll arrive back in Warren, where this drive began.