Planning A Foliage Trip to Acadia National Park?

Witch Hole Pond, October 2, Courtesy of Clyde W. Voigtlander

Witch Hole Pond, October 2, Courtesy of Clyde W. Voigtlander

I’ll never forget the flight I took to Maine when, upon landing, the little boy behind me looked out the window at the evergreen forests and gleefully screamed, “It’s Maine!  It’s Maine!” 

With exactly the same excitement, I’m going to Acadia the weekend of October 16th.  But I’m eager to see trees of crimson, orange, and gold. 

As I sit here in New York City, I keep checking the “official” fall foliage site for Maine.  This week, although two northern zones are already at peak, Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island has only seen moderate color change in the leaves. 

My fingers are crossed that a wildly windy day won’t blow them all away before my visit.  As Robert Frost says, autumn’s gold is “her hardest hue to hold.” 

Weather.com says the October temperatures range from an average low of 38 to a high of 58.  However, I’m hoping for the golden days in the 70s that we experienced two years ago.  Still, I’ll pack plenty of fleeces and maybe even light gloves for hiking. 

The next thing I have to worry about: Which restaurants will be open when I visit? 

I checked around since many close after Columbus Day.  On its Facebook page Thurston’s, my favorite lobster pound, says it’s open through Columbus Day weekend.  But when I called, they told me they will be open through Sunday, October 18, this year. 

Duck BrookMany of MDI’s other top restaurants will also still be open.  Town Hill Bistro, rated #1 of 133 Bar Harbor restaurants by the TripAdvisor public, is open year-round.  Chef Kyle Yarborough is looking forward to bringing fall flair to lamb, scallops, and hanger steak at Mache Bistro in Bar Harbor.  And James Lindquist will surely offer seasonal temptations at Red Sky, although doesn’t this appetizer staple sound perfect for fall:  Shitake and Crimini mushrooms and sautéed locally grown Swiss Chard layered with crispy polenta and finished with a balsamic reduction and Parmigiano-Reggiano? 

Full reviews of all of these restaurants can be found at this round-up of the best restaurants in Bar Harbor and the other villages on Mount Desert Island

And you’ll also want to check out these other tips for fall trips at OUR ACADIA!

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3 Comments to “Planning A Foliage Trip to Acadia National Park?”

  1. At least you are going this October. I am looking forward to our visit already planned for October 1 through October 14, 2010. As you know, I do a lot of photography so I am praying for wonderful color a year down the road.

    And I have had that appetizer at Red Sky. It was wonderful! Red Sky and Town Hill Bistro are two restaurants we hit every visit. This year we visited in June and Mache Bistro opened the day we left for home. I am already looking forward to dining there next year!

    • Thanks for your comment, Ed. I have a problem now, though. Our mutual friend, the Bar Harbor Destination Expert on TripAdvisor, highly recommends the lobster tart for a starter at Red Sky. Ah, if my life in New York were only filled with problems like these! Be well, and enjoy your Pennsylvania foliage — surely better than on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

  2. Well Lynn, there is always the option of grazing from the appetizer menu. That way you get both the lobster tart AND the Shitake and Crimini mushrooms, etc. etc. Enjoy your visit. One of these years I will convince my wife to do a mid-winter visit to Eden.

    We’re off to the Delaware Water Gap tomorrow. I was up in Wilkes-Barre doing focus groups last night and saw some nice color on the drive up.

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