The end of summer doesn’t mean the end of fun, active things to do. It only means that now we do fun, active things surrounded by colorful trees and apples and cider and soup. Coming up, there are forest walks and trail runs, fall bikes rides and hikes, outdoor yoga and 5Ks we get to run in Halloween costumes.
Here are 35+ active things to do in Maine this fall:
Acadia Night Sky Festival
Acadia National Park
Some events free, various prices for others
Go on a Bioluminescent & Star Gazing Paddle (7-10 p.m. each night – $55) in Castine Harbor under a blanket of stars and in the midst of bioluminescent organisms of the water that swirl and light up with every stroke of your paddle. There’s plenty of star gazing all weekend long, as well as speakers, photography workshops, boat cruises and a Star Party on Cadillac Mountain.
Noyes Mountain Summit Run or Walk
9-11 a.m. Sept. 23
Noyes Mountain, Greenwood
Tackle this challenging 2-mile jaunt up Noyes Mountain. The first mile brings you through the rolling fields at the base of Noyes Mountain, then trail climbs steeply up! Runners and walkers welcome, and proceeds benefit Western Foothills Land Trust.
Black & White 2 Peak Challenge
8 a.m. Sept. 24
Black Mountain of Maine, Rumford
Because running up one peak isn’t enough, this race has two! This challenge is an exceptionally hilly, technical single-track point to point trail race that takes you up & down two mountains – 8.7 miles total and 2750′ of elevation gain.
Second Annual Soldier’s Pace 5k
9 a.m. Sept. 24
Smiling Hill Farm, Westbrook
$25 early bird
A 5K race with your dog! The race and all proceeds are to benefit “K9s on the Front Line,” a nonprofit organization that works to rescue shelter dogs by training them to be certified service dogs and thus fit to assist suffering PTSD/TBI military veterans.
Forest Bathing Walks
10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 24
Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson
$25, $20 Midcoast Concervancy Members
10 a.m. Sept. 24
Androscoggin Riverlands State Park, Turner
$25 early bird, $30
This 10k trail race utilizes a section of the State Park’s 12 miles of trails on both single and double track dirt trail, including a section that runs along the Androscoggin River.
Great Maine Outdoor Weekend
Sept. 29 to Oct. 1
Events around Maine
Many events free
Great Maine Outdoor Weekend boasts an entire weekend of activities around the state. Most are family and beginner friendly and many are free. Activities include sea kayak and canoe tours, hikes, nature walks, trail running, paddleboarding, rock climbing and festivals.
Wellness & Whitewater: Weekend Adventure
Sept. 29-Oct. 1
Dead River Expeditions, West Forks
It’s a whole weekend of adventuring! This Maine Yoga Adventures getaway includes yoga, hiking, gourmet vegetarian food, relaxing, and whitewater rafting. Price includes lodging, multiple yoga practices, meals, guided hiking & rafting.
Free park entrance days at Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park
Celebrate National Public Lands Day with a visit to Acadia National Park. Admission is free all day, and it’s the perfect opportunity to revisit one of Maine’s most stunning landscapes (or visit for the first time).
Camden Snow Bowl Trail Fest
Camden Snow Bowl, Camden
Racers can bike, run, or both! The 5K run climbs one side of Ragged Mountain, rewarding the runner with spectacular views from the top of the triple chair. The 10K bike will climb the same Kuller Trail, and diverge off onto single-track. There will also be a 3K run option for those wanting to experience trail running without the 1,000-foot climb. Solo, team, run only, bike only, or run AND bike. Plenty of options! Plus food, music, vendors, films, and more!
Acton Applefest Family 5K
9 a.m. Sept. 30
Apple Valley Campground, Acton
$10 youth, $15 adult, kids free
The course will wind through beautiful Apple Valley Campground. After the race, stick around for the Acton Applefest – food, music, apples, farm animals, kids activities, wagon rides and vendors.
Deer Farm CX
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 30
Applegate Deer Farm, West Newfield
Cyclo-cross is part bike race, part carry-your-bike-over-obstacles. And the the Deer Farm CX includes competitive, non competitive, and kids races all day. There’s a 5K trail run, too, and tours of the deer farm, local beer and venison burgers.
The Great Inflatable Race
9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sept.30
The Brunswick Landing, Brunswick
$25, $39.99 VIP
You’ll run, bounce, and laugh your way to the finish during this family friendly event. Pick your start time and start planning your team’s costumes (which aren’t required, but are certainly encouraged)! Proceeds support Seeds of Independence.
Viles Arboretum 5k Run for the Trees
10 a.m. Sept. 30
Viles Arboretum, Augusta
Cross-country trail race through the beautiful fields and forests of the Viles Arboretum. Walkers welcome.
Gorham Savings Bank Maine Marathon
7:45 a.m Oct. 1
Baxter Boulevard, Portland
The Gorham Savings Bank Maine Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Relay event features an out-and-back course with rolling hills and views of the Portland skyline, the Back Cove, Casco Bay, and peak fall foliage.
Bad Little Trail Run
10 a.m. Oct. 1
Downeast Coastal Conservancy, Machias
$20 individual, $40 family
This inaugural event offers 2 race distances (6 mile & 2.5 mile loops). Both races start and end in Whitneyville, followed by post-race food, celebration and awards ceremony at the historic Whitneyville Hillgrove Communty Hall.
Full Moon Paddle on Little Dyer Pond
6-8:30 p.m. Oct. 4
Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson
Hike into Little Dyer Cabin at Hidden Valley Nature Center, where a rack of canoes await their passengers. Drift around the lake for an hour or so, then head back to the Barn for something hot to drink before hitting the road for home.
There’s another full moon paddle on Nov 3.
North American Wife Carrying Championship
11 a.m. Oct. 7
Sunday River, Newry
Coed teams compete on the 278-yard course. The distance doesn’t sound like a big deal, until you see the obstacles and realize there’s a significant other on your back. This race is no easy feat, but winners get cash money and beer and a chance to move on to the World Championships in Finland next summer. Also, it’s fun to watch!
Bug Light 5K
9 a.m. Oct. 8
Bug Light Park, South Portland
$30 in advance, $35 day of
Run a 5K that starts and ends in beautiful Bug Light Park (say hi to the small-but-mighty Portland Breakwater Light – aka Bug Light – while you’re there). Proceeds benefit the South Portland Historical Society and South Portland Land Trust. Kids fun run, too.
10 a.m. to noon Oct. 13
Pismire Bluff trail at Raymond Community Forest, Raymond
Join Loon Echo staff for a fun scramble up the new Pismire Bluff trail at Raymond Community Forest. Beautiful views of the surrounding lakes and foothills from the “Bluff” await participants.
7:30 a.m. Oct. 14
Shaker Hill, Alfred
Leaving from Shaker Hill in Alfred (home to Apple Fest), cyclists will enjoy peak season foliage by pedaling on one of four carefully crafted bike tours to participating apple orchards. Proceeds benefit the Community Bicycle Center’s free after-school programs for kids.
Pumpkin Harvest Half
8:30 a.m. Oct. 14
On the Common, at the top of Main Street in front of the Bethel Inn, Bethel
This is a scenic country course with rolling terrain on paved roads, starting and ending in downtown Bethel.
Run the Ridge Trail Race
9 a.m. Oct. 14
Sunset Ridge, Westbrook
$25, $30 after Sept 30
Run the Ridge is a brand new race that will take place October 14, 2017, during peak foliage season on the stunning trails of Sunset Ridge Golf in Westbrook. Proceeds from the event support the Downtown Westbrook Coalition
Fall Foliage Yoga with goats
Noon to 1 p.m. Oct. 14
Sunflower Farm, Cumberland
Enjoy a yoga class in the field, surrounded by a herd of 25 Nigerian Dwarf goats. Even if all you do is lay on your mat and stare up at the changing leaves and breathe, it is a win! All levels welcome. Donation class. Taste some cheese and enjoy the farm after class.
The Frank N Stein Mile
12:30-4:30 p.m. Oct. 14
Lost Valley Ski Area, Auburn
The Frank N Stein Mile will test your speed and savvy, but most of all your intestinal fortitude. This race will consist of 1 mile, 4 laps, 2 beers, and 2 hotdogs. This event will take place during Lost Valley Ski Area’s Fall Festival. The tunes will be playing and the bar will be open so bring your friends, enjoy fall in Maine, and watch the show. Costumes are encouraged!
Back Cove Sunrise 5K
8 a.m. Oct. 14
Back Cove, Portland
$22 in advance, $25 day of
The 2nd Annual Back Cove Sunrise 5K raises funds for community service projects of the Portland Sunrise Rotary club. This race on a waterfront trail around Portland’s scenic Back Cove raises funds for Rotary’s efforts to end Polio worldwide and Portland Sunrise Rotary’s service projects in our local community.
Bikes and Brews
11 a.m. Oct. 14
Sebago Brewing Company, Gorham
This is the third and final event in the Bikes & Brews series for 2017. Whether you’re newish to mountain biking or you’ve been riding for eons, there’s a group for you. All rides (easy going, intermediate, and advanced) are led, and afterward, hang out at Sebago for beer and camaraderie.
Fit Maine went last year! See photos: www.facebook.com
9:30-11:30 a.m. Oct. 15
Family Ice Center, Falmouth
Adults $20, youth $15.
Channel your inner Apollo Ono for this workshop on speedskating. You might not hit Olympic speeds right away, but this event will give you a foundation to start with, and maybe you’ll end up joining the Great Atlantic Speedskating Club to get even faster!
Fit Maine tried it last year. See photos: www.facebook.com
Women’s Autumn Retreat
Mountain home at Sunday River, Newry
Hit the reset button and create some time and space for yourself in this beautiful mountain retreat home. Weekend includes fresh, healthy meals prepared daily by Jen, daily yoga and meditation practices including Flow Class, Workshop style classes, and SPA Yoga and yoga nidra.
2 p.m. Oct. 21
Starts at Monument Square, Portland
I look forward to this event every year for two reasons: First, it’s a splendid leisurely bike ride through Portland with a photo stop at Deering Oaks. Second, it’s the perfect opportunity to bust out some old-timey attire and look oh-so-dapper for all the world to see. The easy-going ride ends at Victoria Mansion with snacks and tours.
Be Well at The Well Bend & Brunch
10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 22
The Well, Cape Elizabeth
$38 early bird, $47
A one-hour vinyasa yoga flow with local instructor Ali Peters followed by a farm-to-table-style brunch and a seasonally inspired mimosa bar.
Trackside Station Scare Me 5K
10 a.m. Oct. 28
Trackside Station, Rockland
$18 in advance, $20 on race day
Runners and walkers of all ages are welcome. This 5K is part of the local holiday 5K race series and organized by the non-profit One Community Many Voices.
Third Annual Wicked Weird and Totally Freaky Trick or Treat Trot by the Lake 5k/10k
9 a.m. Oct. 28
$10 walk, $25 for 5K, $35 for 10K
Norway Town Office, Norway
The weird and wicked will be loose on the streets during this third annual event, which is open to all ages and abilities. Walk or run (there’s a 5K or 10K to choose from for you runners) and costumes are encouraged, of course.
Great Pumpkin 10K
9:30 a.m. Oct. 29
Corner of Seaside Avenue and Route 9, Camp Ellis
$20, price goes up Oct 28
Race course is a flat and fast, loop along the ocean, starting at the corner of Seaside Avenue and Route 9 and ending at Huot’s Restaurant in Camp Ellis.
Maine Track Club Turkey Trot 5K
November 19, 9 a.m.
Cape Elizabeth Middle School, Cape Elizabeth
$20 through Oct. 31, $25 after Oct. 31
Fall running is the best kind of running. And this annual race benefits Wayside Food Programs, which means you can feel even better about your efforts. All runners/walkers are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to either packed pickup or on race day.
Portland Thanksgiving Day 4-Miler
9 a.m. Nov. 23
Starts on Congress Street, Portland
We all have our Thanksgiving traditions (dinner at aunt Betsy’s, binge-eating mashed potatoes and helping dad untangle the Christmas lights, for example). The Thanksgiving Day 4-Miler through downtown Portland is another of those traditions.
The Savage Family Turkey Trot 5k
9 a.m. Nov. 23
Bug Light Park, South Portland
This Turkey Trot honors Nathan Savage, an avid runner, biker, triathlete and family man who lost his life to a fatal heart attack on July 2, 2016. The proceeds will stay local and benefit the Nathan Savage Memorial Fund. Walkers and runner welcome, as are turkey hats and costumes.
Fit Maine ran/walked it last year. See photos: www.facebook.com
Thursday, November 23 (times TBD)
Greener Postures Yoga, South Portland and West Falmouth locations
These classes aren’t on the Greener Postures calendar yet, but they’ve been doing donation classes on Thanksgiving morning for the last few years, so I’m taking a risk and listing them here. More info TBD as Thanksgiving gets closer!