Where to Enjoy Fall Foliage in Central and Western Maine

Nature + Exercise = Health

Spending time in nature is excellent for your health, and so is exercise. When you combine these two activities and exercise outdoors, you enjoy many health benefits, including lower stress and anxiety levels, a better mood, and lower blood pressure. This fall, we share our favorite spots in our central and western Maine community to hike and enjoy the breathtaking views on display during peak fall foliage season. 


When Is Peak Fall Foliage Season in Central and Western Maine?

Lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails this month to enjoy peak foliage in our area. In general, the trees display their most brilliant fall colors during the second and third weeks of October in central and western Maine. If you want to be more precise or travel to other parts of the state, you can find the best dates for peak foliage in the Maine Forest Service’s annual foliage reports.

Where To See the Best Fall Colors, By Region

Best Fall Leaf-Peeping Hikes Near Turner and Leeds

Androscoggin Riverlands State Park in Turner, Maine, offers 2,675 acres with 12 miles of river frontage, making it the fifth-largest park in the state. There are extensive trails available for all ability levels. Please note that hunting is a popular activity in this area, so be sure to wear blaze orange in the fall.

If you’re looking for a bit of a challenge and awe-inspiring views, you might like Bear Mountain Trail in North Turner. At 3.9 miles with some elevation, this moderately difficult out-and-back hike is well worth the views of Mount Washington and the Presidential Range in the White Mountains. 

If history is more of what you’re after, try Monument Hill in Leeds, Maine. The 1-mile loop is moderately difficult, rewarding you with healthy exercise as you climb up. When you look west, you’ll see a Civil War monument from the late 1800s erected by Major General Oliver Otis Howard. 

Torsey Pond Nature Preserve in Readfield, Maine, is mostly wooded, which makes for a beautiful autumn display of foliage. The easy paths include two lookout points over Torsey Pond, where you can see wading birds and other waterfowl.

Favorite Hikes Near Turner and Bridgton in Autumn

Hike Hawk Mountain in Waterford, Maine, is a family-friendly 1.4-mile trail with spectacular views. Try going in the late afternoon so you can see the sunset across the fall foliage. 

The Witt’s End Trail is a 4.5-mile year-round, out-and-back hiking trail near Norway in Maine’s Oxford Hills area. The easy walk is family-friendly, including those with strollers. People of all ages enjoy its stone walls and woodlands, which produce a stunning array of colors during leaf-peeping season. 

Also near Norway is the Roberts Farm Preserve. This 212-acre former farm has more than 12 miles of trails managed by the Western Foothills Land Trust. Centered around Lake Pennesseewassee, the autumn colors are especially beautiful because they are reflected in the water. You can also enjoy two large sculptures by Maine artist Bernard Langlais at this location.

For our Bridgton-area community, the Burnt Meadow Mountain Trail, a 3.6-mile loop in Brownfield, and the Jockey Cap Trail in Fryeburg, a half-mile hike, both offer panoramas of the White Mountains. 

Top Spots Near Monmouth for Fall Colors

Considered a great place for a walk, run, or bike ride right by Lake Auburn, the Whitman Spring Road trail in Auburn, Maine, offers an easy 2.1-mile trail on gravel and crushed stone. See loons on the lake and enjoy the peaceful woods.

Kennebec County trails include nearly five miles of paths within the Woodbury Nature Sanctuary in Monmouth and Litchfield, Maine. The Blue Trail offers three lookout points, including beautiful views of Woodbury Pond and Mud Pond. Please note that dogs are not allowed in this sanctuary.  

Top 11 Accessible Trails in Maine

Time outdoors provides a range of physical, emotional, and mental benefits for your health and well-being and is something that people of all abilities should be able to enjoy. Whether you have a wheelchair, walker, stroller, or another mobility device, or simply want to spend time in nature, here’s our list of some of Maine’s best accessible trails.

Wheelchair-Friendly Trails in Central Maine

1. In Central Maine, the Peabody-Fitch Woods and Narramissic Farm in Bridgton is a must. Go for a walk on this Loon Echo Land Trust property and see a Civil War-era farmhouse maintained by the Bridgton Historical Society. There is a half-mile, wheelchair-accessible trail around the meadow that has stunning mountain views.

2. In the Bangor area, the 1-mile Orono Bog Boardwalk is a wheelchair-friendly hike through a wide range of plants and animals in a Maine bog, some of which are described on illustrated signs along the way. Benches are provided at least every 200 feet along the trail. Please note that the bog walk is closed in winter.

3. Range Pond State Park in Poland, Maine, has a couple miles of handicapped-accessible trails, as well as a swimming transition dock for wheelchair users along the sandy beach and two accessible playgrounds. Open year-round, this is a popular place to be in Androscoggin County!

Wheelchair-Friendly Trails in Western Maine

4. The Bethel Pathway is a flat, paved, nearly 1-mile section of the 1.7-mile trail, with a main trailhead that begins at the Davis Park picnic area on ME-26 in Bethel, Maine. This easy-to-follow path connects several public areas, including the skate park, and goes over a miniature covered bridge and a single-span bridge over the Androscoggin River. There is another section of the pathway that is made from crushed stone, which goes east to Sunset Road. Though that portion of the path is not paved, it is still very hard and smooth.

5. The Sandy River Trail in Farmington, Maine, is a half-mile hike on crushed stone to the river banks. It is flat, fully accessible, and dogs are welcome. Begin at Prescott Field and travel out to the water and back.

6. If you’re looking for a chance to see moose, birds, and loons, the Magalloway River Trail has a three-quarter-mile section of the 1.3-mile trail that is wheelchair accessible. OK, technically the trail is in Wentworth’s Location, New Hampshire, but it is part of the Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, which is in both Maine and New Hampshire. Follow the easy trail through the forest to a wildlife viewing platform that looks across the river. The orange and green trails are at least four feet wide and open year-round.

7. Paved and suitable for all ages and abilities, the half-mile Swift River Trail in Rumford, Maine, is through a forest that follows along the shallow, rocky Swift River at the edge of Hosmer Field Park.

Wheelchair-Friendly Trails in Southern Maine

8. In Southern Maine, the Timber Point Trail in the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is a 1.4-mile, universally accessible loop near Biddeford. You’ll pass salt marshes, cattail marshes, forest, mudflats, shrublands, and rocky shores on this hike. There is an elevated platform with views of the Little River, estuary, and islands.

9. Near Freeport, Maine, you’ll find Wolfe’s Neck State Park. The park is known for its nesting ospreys, white pine and hemlock forests, salt marsh estuary, and the rocky shoreline on Casco Bay and the Harraseeket River, and there is an ADA-compliant, family-friendly, gravel, half-mile loop trail along the shore there called White Pines Trail. The picnic areas and restrooms are large and include accommodations for people who use wheelchairs. There is a small entrance fee to access the park, and guided walks are offered sometimes.

Wheelchair-Friendly Trails in Midcoast Maine

10. Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson, Maine, has an extensive network of trails over 1,000 acres of protected land in Lincoln County, including a mile of shorefront on Little Dyer Pond. Maintained by Midcoast Conservancy, several trails are made of gravel and crushed stone and are wheelchair accessible. There are guided walks and events here at times.

Wheelchair-Friendly Trails in Downeast Maine

In Downeast Maine, popular Acadia National Park is one of the most accessible parks in the U.S. With several wide carriage roads, it is a popular destination for those with strollers, wheelchairs, and bikes. There are also accessible trails, including Jesup Path and a route from Witch Hole and the Pond Carriage Trail to Eagle Lake. Please note that the national park charges an entrance fee.

Bonus: For more accessible hikes throughout the state of Maine, check out a comprehensive list created by Maine By Foot.