AUGUSTA, Maine – Maine residents and visitors alike will be able to experience the brilliant beauty of the fall foliage season next month with 10 special outdoors events at Maine state parks and lands, according to Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL) officials.
BPL, under the Maine Department of Conservation, has scheduled the unique events – including hikes, a river paddle and a trail ride – to highlight the fall landscape features of Maine’s special places. The first event, a hike at Peaks-Kenny State Park in Dover-Foxcroft, will take place Saturday, Oct. 1.
Because of the popularity of past fall events, BPL staff have scheduled even more outings this year than in previous years to meet public interest.
“We hope to see as many people as possible join us for viewing the fall foliage across the state,” Will Harris, BPL director, said. “This is a great time of year for the whole family to get out and enjoy some of the best of what Maine has to offer.
“Come out and join us!” Harris said. “The colors are great!”
“Our fall foliage events provide a great opportunity for families and fall foliage connoisseurs to revel in the fiery colors of autumn and learn about Maine’s forests, all the while enjoying exercise within the fresh air and beauty of Maine’s parks and lands,” Jocelyn Hubbell, BPL interpretive specialist, said. “Through these guided events, led by Maine foresters and park staff, participants will learn first hand about the triggers of foliage change, forest types and heath, and tree identification.”
The Fall Foliage events are co-sponsored by the: Androscoggin Land Trust: Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance; Sunrise Trail Coalition; Maine Forest Service; and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands.
Led by Maine foresters and park rangers, the guided events consist of hikes, a paddle on the Androscoggin River, and a trail trip for ATVs and bikes on the Down East Sunrise Trail, which is owned by the Maine Department of Transportation and operated by BPL. The hikes range in skill level from easy and wheel-chair accessible, such as the Oct. 23 hike at Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, to moderate and last about one to three hours.
Participants not only will be able to enjoy the great outdoors, but they also can learn something about what causes this beautiful time of year to take place, Hubbell said. The events also focus on the special features of the locations, such as the Wade Kavanaugh outdoor picnic-table sculptures at Peaks-Kenny and the spectacular views from Mount Battie at Camden Hills State Park.
“Autumn in Maine is one of the best times of year,” Hubbell said. “Fiery forest colors, cool dry days, and crisp nights make for great outdoor activities and perfect sleeping nights. Our guided fall foliage events provide a great way for both first-time and seasoned visitors to explore a park for the first time or learn more about an old favorite.”
New this year is the addition of the fall foliage trail ride on Oct 22 along the Down East Sunrise Trail, organized with the help of the Sunrise Trail Coalition. Leaving from two different locations at two different times, ATV-ers will take an easy, 56-mile round trip and bikers will take a fun, 18-mile round trip on one of the best and most scenic multi-use trails in Maine. Riders need to bring their own ATVs or bicycles.
Complete information, including full descriptions and downloadable flyers with photos, is available through the “Featured Event” link at www.parksandlands.com Skill levels and mileages are listed so participants can be sure to find an event that is suitable for them and family members.
All participants should bring a camera, binoculars, snack, lunch and water. Park entry fees will apply for park events.
For more information about Maine state parks, lands and historic sites, go to: www.parksandlands.com
For more information about Maine fall foliage, go to: www.mainefoliage.com
September 23, 2011