“Leaf peeping” is a very specific type of sightseeing where folks flock from all corners of the Earth to sneak a peak at the spectacular fall foliage that Maine provides. With 90 percent of our state being forested, there are countless scenic drives to choose from – and we’ve put together our own little sightseeing loop that we hope some of you will get the chance to enjoy this year!


Photo Credit: Maine Office of Tourism

The Bates Leaf Peeping Loop begins and ends in our hometown of Monmouth, Maine. Grab a cup of coffee at the Apple Valley Bakery right on Main Street then head down the street to visit our retail store


From there, you will hop onto Route 202 towards Augusta. We recommend that you stop at Fast Eddies Drive-In for some lunch before catching a left onto Route 17 in Manchester.


Photo Credit: Brenda Darroch & Yankee Magazine

Route 17 will guide you through the rural countryside past open fields, pristine lakes and of course, plenty of colorful leaves. In Kents Hill, be sure to stop by The Apple Shed where you’ll find all sorts of tasty treats and unique gifts.


Photo Credit: Ron Bell & MaineToday

You will cross the Androscoggin River in Livermore Falls and catch Route 4 towards Auburn. Round Pond in Livermore is a good place to stop and stretch your legs with ample roadside parking a lovely wooded area called “The Pines” that is maintained by the town.


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Further down the road in Turner you will want to stop at Greenwood Orchards for a cup of cider and perhaps some goodies from their farm stand.


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Continue on Route 4 into Auburn where you will once again cross the Androscoggin River, this time into Lewiston – the birthplace of Bates! The historic Bates Mill has been renovated and now plays host to an array of businesses including some of our favorites: Museum LA, Baxter Brewing Company and Davinci's Eatery. Visit one or all!


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Next, head east on Route 126 and catch Route 132 for the homestretch back to Monmouth. Finally, you can top off the day with a play at the Theater at Monmouth.


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We had a lot of fun mapping out the Bates Leaf Peeping Loop, and we hope that you will get the chance to enjoy it this fall. Remember, one of the trickiest parts of planning your leaf peeping tour is timing it so that you catch the leafs at “peak color". Maine's Official Fall Foliage Website has a very useful tool that lets you know how close the leaves are to “peak color” in each area of the state, so be sure to check it before you set out!

Have your own favorite sightseeing loop? Tell us about it in the comments!

August 26, 2015 — Katie Cloutier

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