Maine: Autumn Hikes, Rail Bikes and Made in Maine…

While the Maine Forest Service reports that fall foliage is past peak in many areas, it’s still a great time to take a drive, go for a fall hike or rail bike around the lovely state of Maine. Or, if you’re not going to be able to visit Maine anytime soon, but you want to support the local economy or need some gift ideas, there are some wicked awesome made in Maine products from toboggans, to kitchen pottery to of all things, hot sauce – Maine’s got it all!

There are moderate hiking trails that lead up to Bald Mountain’s open granite summit and lookout tower in Oquossoc. Mt. Megunticook, in Camden Hills State Park, is the second highest peak behind Cadillac Mountain. The trail is steep in some parts, but there is a nice view of Penobscot Bay. Then there’s the 1600-foot peak of Hedgehog Mountain in Aroostook County which stands along the Fish River Scenic Byway, Route 11.

The Maine Island Trail is a 375-mile waterway from the New Hampshire border to Machias Bay. The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is a paddling trail connecting watersheds across the Adirondacks and Northern New England. Of the 740-mile trail, 347 miles are in Maine, which canoeists and kayakers enjoy. The 281-mils of the Appalachian Trail in Maine is considered the most difficult of all the fourteen states that trail meanders through. People often enjoy Maine’s portion for the lakes, bogs and moose and loon sightings.

Rail Bike
If you feel like pedaling, something unique in Maine is a rail bike excursion along the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railway is another fun outing. These rail bikes are four-wheeled open air cars that ride on a railroad with pedals. Riders go through a spruce forest, ponds, swamp and fields. These must be scheduled by appointment. The Brooks Preservation Society, which works on preserving the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad corridor, the railroad station and locomotives, is offering a Halloween Ride this Saturday Oct. 29. It’s $5 and children in costumer 12 and under ride free.

Zombie Walk
Also this Saturday is the first Bangor Zombie Walk. Bangor is the setting for some Stephen King novels and this is the first public stroll for the “living dead” here. The Zombie Walk starts from the city’s Paul Bunyan statue and “zombies” of all ages are welcome for this two-hour walk and event that ends in downtown.

Maine Made Products
Even if you aren’t going to be traveling to Maine anytime soon, but you’d like to support Maine made products, a great website is the Visit Maine‘s site or Maine Made, which features a different locally made product each time you visit or refresh the site. We all know and love and use Tom’s of Maine toothpaste and other products,but the Maine Made site has got some great lesser known items that make some awesome gifts ideas if you want to support Made in America products this Christmas – such as the Camden Toboggan Company, which makes heirloom quality sleds that are all handmade from native ash. Just some other fun gift ideas include, coasters from the Maine Coastah Company, award-winning hot sauce made by the W.O. Hesperus Co., or herbal personal care products by Mountain Mama of Maine, made from ingredients grown in their garden, or classic pottery mugs made by Rackliffe Pottery.