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The science behind the stunning foliage at Maine’s national park

“Down East” takes an admiring look at autumn in Acadia

PORTLAND, Maine — In these troubled times in this divided country, here’s a proposition. Can we agree that there may be no better place to visit in Maine than our lone national park in fall? The vote may not be unanimous (sorry, I can’t see every hand that’s been raised) but I’m pretty sure the motion is approved.

The cover story in the October issue of “Down East” magazine, called “Autumn in Acadia,” explains why the park is especially stunning this time of year. “The temperate effect of the ocean,” writes Kimberly Ridley, “often staves off frost into late October, which, combined with the island’s range of elevations, makes for a long and lovely foliage season that can extend into early November.” The diversity of trees—Mount Desert Island has more than thirty species, ranging from birch to maple, beech to ash—brightens nature’s palette.

Editor in chief Brian Kevin joined us on 207 to talk about Acadia, beverages from each of Maine’s sixteen counties, the huge cruise ship that spent a curious summer tied up in Eastport, and the philanthropist who is conserving land on Cobscook Bay, a place whose beauty he extols as “the best of the best.” Grab yourself a beverage from whatever county you please and watch our conversation with Brian. Don’t be surprised if it makes you want to explore not just Acadia, but a lot of other parts of Maine.