What have you been doing to celebrate fall? Have you gone apple picking? Drank some warm cider? Bought (or even carved) a pumpkin? With Columbus Day weekend on the horizon fall foliage in southern Maine is reaching its peak. So, celebrate the season by checking out these spots for great fall foliage viewing.
5 (more) spectacular spots for enjoying fall foliage:
1. Hobbs Farm, Acton. This trail is currently very well maintained and well marked, so it’s a great time to visit if it’s your first time there. A two mile loop trail begins by following a hedgerow to the north edge of the property. The trail passes a cemetery with Revolutionary War veterans’ graves. From there it enters the woods and goes down to one of the South Acton swamps with views of the wetlands.
The trail continues on a logging road through areas of young pine trees and hedges of Oriental bittersweet and multiflora rose (both invasive species). The trail loops back to the parking area along the edge of the field that is being managed for hay production.
The easiest way to find Hobbs Farm is by entering #651 Foxes Ridge Road into your GPS. It’s just north of County Road.
2. Salmon Fall Preserve, Lebanon. From the parking area you’ll find the trail on the right. In about 350 feet, the property opens up and the trails branches. Go right to head downhill to the river’s edge where you’ll meet up with a well established narrow walking trail along the river. Follow the river by turning left and heading south. Look for the trail to the left; it climbs uphill and loops back to where you began. If you take time to explore a little further down river there’s a beautiful waterfall.
Access the trail from Prospect Hill Road, which is easiest to find from Main Street (Rte. 125) in Milton, NH. Cross the bridge and follow the road to Prospect Hill Cemetery on the right. Park just a bit beyond the cemetery.
3. Sanford Trails. The Sanford Trails organization has a detailed map on their web site. Walkers/hikers can take the trail in pieces or in longer stretches depending on their time commitment. The trail is great for both young and old alike as well as dogs. Be aware that you’ll share the trail with ATVs.
4. Shapleigh Town Forest, Shapleigh. From the parking area follow the trail that begins on the north side of Square Pond Road. This rugged trail passes through a well managed pine forest, past the cellar hole of the old town farm, and through a treeless natural ampitheater called a kettle hole or frost pocket. Follow the green paint blazes carefully as this trail gets little use.
Access the trail from Square Pond Road; park at Square Pond Beach parking lot.
5. Shapleigh Pond, Shapleigh. For those of you who prefer to take in your foliage on the water, versus on foot, put your canoe or kayak in the gentle waters of Shapleigh Pond (a.k.a. North Shapleigh Pond). The pond is shallow so you will not be disturbed by motorized boats; this truly is quiet water.
From Route 11 in North Shapleigh turn left on Main Street and proceed to take the left onto Balch Mill Road. Go a very short distance down Balch Mill Road and park on the left at the foot of the pond.
What are your favorite spots for viewing fall foliage? Share them on our Facebook page.
photo of fall foliage via pexels.com