Rangeley gears up for leaf watchers
RANGELEY - The Rangeley Lakes region is famous for its beautiful lakes, abundant wildlife, numerous outdoor activities, and its vibrant foliage season. Autumn is an excellent time to visit the Rangeley area as it ushers-in Maine's leaf peeping season.
"The abundance of lakes and ponds tend to enhance the foliage season, as water reflections and lake-effect fogs, common in fall, can add to foliage aesthetics," stated Forest Pathologist William D. Ostrofsky of the Maine Forest Service. "Trees at higher elevations change earlier than those on lower slopes, these factors result in an extended season, with a changing mosaic of colors as the season progresses," he said.
A scenic drive through the region in early September can reveal color vistas quite different than the same drive taken in mid-October. The balanced mix of hardwoods and conifers makes the Rangeley area especially appealing. "The dark green of the conifers provides a great background and accents the bright colors of the hardwoods," said Ostrofsky.
According to Executive Director Judy Morton of the Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce, the last week of September and the first week in October are the best time to visit the region for leaf peeping, in her opinion. However, both months prove to be exceptionally beautiful for fall outdoor activities like hiking along the Appalachian Trail up Saddleback Mountain; fishing, canoeing, or kayaking on Mooselookmeguntic Lake; ATV riding on miles of well-maintained trails; or even taking a scenic flight with Acadian Seaplanes.
It is difficult to predict how the foliage will look, or exactly when the leaves will change, but experts do know that there are many factors that make Rangeley a shoe-in for scenic autumn beauty.