10/07/2011 05:45 pm ET | Updated Nov 28, 2011

Maine Fall Foliage: A MapQuest Guide

Maine fall foliage features brilliant hues and spectacular scenery. The changing colors of leaves in autumn is one of nature’s most beloved rites of passage -- and makes for one of the most popular and inexpensive getaways for families. As part of LeafQuest -- a MapQuest series helping leaf peepers across North America find easy and rewarding destinations -- here are three recommended spots for viewing Maine fall foliage. — Andres Jauregui

Acadia National Park

It's hard to picture coastal Maine without first thinking of Acadia National Park, whose scenic drives, quaint maritime towns and resplendent natural beauty typify why the state is nicknamed "Vacationland." And while high season for tourists is during the summer, it's arguable that the best time to visit is in fall, as the crowds thin and the colors turn. Enjoy a dazzling sunset drive up Cadillac Mountain, or hike (or bike) the 45 miles of historic carriage roads that crisscross the eastern half of the park.

Hull's Cove Visitor Center, Bar Harbor, ME 04609 | Get Directions

Old Canada Road Scenic Byway

Cut northward on Maine Route 201 outside of Fairfield for a swing up what locals call "Moose Alley," also known as the Old Canada Road Scenic Byway . During summer months, the conduit attracts adventurers seeking the best white-water rafting in the state, but fall is ideal for leaf peeping -- and moose-spotting! The half-ton giants can often be seen sporting large racks of antlers, which they shed in the winter and regrow in the spring. Take a pit stop in Moscow and the Wyman Dam before driving up the edge of scenic Wyman Lake.

Wyman Dam, Moscow, ME 04920 | Get Directions

Rangeley Lakes

In the Rangeley Lakes region of western Maine, peak colors generally arrive in mid-October. Routes 4 and 17 wrap around the lake "like a loose scarf," which, because of the crisp weather, travelers might want to wear themselves. The Height of Land overlook on Route 17 provides renowned, panoramic views of Mooselookmeguntic and Upper Richardson lakes. (There are no signs, but it will be on the right driving south from Rangeley -- a new overlook and picnic area is currently under construction.) Antique collectors should consider a stop in the town of Rangeley or nearby Oquossoc.

Height of Land Overlook, south of Rangeley, ME 04970| Get Directions

Misty mountain vistas from Acadia National Park in the fall.

Did we miss a Maine fall-foliage spot? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Want other great fall-foliage destinations? Check out more LeafQuest.