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.