A view of the Meduxnekeag River surrounded by fall foliage in Houlton. Credit: Alexander MacDougall / Houlton Pioneer Times

Leaves are just starting to turn into the brilliant colors that the state’s autumns are known for in northern Maine.

Wednesday was the official start of the fall foliage season, according to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Fall  Foliage Report.

The agriculture department noted that because of the drought that the state experienced for much of the summer, this fall’s foliage could be less vibrant than in some previous years. However, due to the heavy rainfall across the state in July, some areas will still produce the bright colors that are associated with fall in New England.

The shorter warm days and cool nights will produce the prime conditions for beautiful fall colors, according to fall foliage spokesperson Gale Ross.

The northern regions of Maine will experience the peak of fall foliage before southern Maine. Leaf-peeping season in The County is expected to peak during the last week of September, and continue into the first week of October.

Some good places for leaf-peeping in Aroostook are the Wassataquoik Management Unit, the Eagle Lake Management Unit and the Aroostook State Park in Presque Isle.

Central Maine can anticipate seeing the most brilliant colors in mid-October, while coastal communities can expect the most vibrant leaves at the end of October, the agriculture department said.

Grafton Notch State Park and the Bigelow Preserve in Carrabassett Valley are good places to take in fall foliage in central Maine.

Meanwhile, Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park in Freeport and the Ferry Beach State Park in Saco are popular areas in southern Maine to take a look at the vibrant fall colors.

Check out this guide to plan the best way to catch all of Maine’s fall beauty.

Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley and staying active in the Maine outdoors.