Dunkin’ has pumpkin spice, the flannels are out, the morning air is as crisp as the apples we’re chowing down on, and the leaves have begun to reveal a colorful array of gold and maroon. In the words of Oscar Wilde, “all at once, summer collapsed into fall.”
In my words: “OhMyGodIt’sSweaterWeatherAndFiresAndHalloweenAndScaryMovies-TheMostWonderfulTimeOfTheYear.” Bottom line, it’s fall, and what better place to be than Maine? Here’s a list to help you get the most out of the next couple months, whether you’re an Autumn Enthusiast or just looking for something new to do. Most are right in Bangor, but some you’ll have to venture a little further for.
1. Listen to Some Ghost Stories
Have a spooky story to tell, or just like listening to them? On Friday, October 5th, West Market Square Artisan Coffeehouse is hosting a Story Slam, the theme being ghosts, of course. The event starts at 6:30, and it’s located downtown right next to the Charles Inn.
2.Get Lost in a Corn Maze
Treworgy Family Orchards in Levant tends to be my one-stop-shop every Autumn, where I can pick apples, buy decorative gourds, choose a pumpkin to carve, and stuff my face with cider donuts. But the biggest highlight is taking a swing at the corn maze, which USA Today included in the 10 Best Corn Mazes in America contest. Tickets are $9, and trust me when I say it’s a blast for kids and adults alike.
3. Enjoy a Seasonal Drink
You can support local business by getting your drink on – even if it is just a spiced latte. Ditch the Starbuck’s and check out some place local like the Wicked Brew Coffee Bar on Park Street, or sit outside in your beanie at the Grind House downtown. If coffee isn’t your, um, cup of tea, pretty much every restaurant has some sort of seasonal specials right now (my drink from Blaze was described to me as,”Fall in a glass”). My usual go-to is Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead Ale.
4. Go For a Haunted Walk
It turns out that Bangor has a lot of chilling history, and you’d probably be surprised to hear about the mysterious and murderous pasts of some of the more recognizable buildings. The Bangor Historical Society leads popular Ghostly Walking Tours starting October 1st that last between an hour and an hour and a half. Tickets are $10 and can be found here (these do sell out).
5. Explore a Historic Fort
If you’re from Maine, you’ve probably heard of Fright at the Fort, and if you’re from anywhere in the world, you’ve probably heard of Stephen King. The Friends of Fort Knox host an attraction where daring spectators can wander through the fort, surrounded by frightening props and actors. This year’s theme is “King of Horror”, and I have a feeling we can expect clowns and maybe even the creepy twins from The Shining. The event is only five nights: October 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27 from 5:30 to 9 p.m at the Fort Knox State Historic Site in Prospect. Tickets are $10.
6. Take a Hike
Before the weather get’s too cold for us fair-weather fans, bundle up and hit a trail! Chick Hill in Eddington and Bald Mountain in Dedham are great not-too-far options that offer stunning views of New England in the fall. Not up for huffing and puffing in your Bean Boots? The Bangor City Forest gets you out in nature without all that up. Seriously, if you haven’t done the boardwalk/Orono Bog Walk, add it to your list for October.
7. Binge on Scary Movies
My recipe for a good time: pajamas, my couch, and Friday the 13th on the TV. That’s normal, right? If you’re looking to enjoy the classics but still, you know, get out- Queen City Cinema Club on Main Street has an impressive film archive with a whole slew of thrillers available for rent. Their film database can be searched right on their website, along with other info about all the cool stuff they offer (private theaters to reserve, concessions, and over 100 board games and video games, just to name a few). Plus, I’ve heard they’re pretty into Halloween over there, and that we can expect the spot to be decked out next month.
8. Hop a Train
Ok- I’m excited about this one, as it was my favorite thing I did last October. The Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad takes passengers on a one-hour scenic ride through Waldo County, a perfect opportunity to see some dramatic and photo-worthy foliage. The Fall Foliage Train Ride is $15, and runs October 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 20 and 21. More information and tickets can be found here.