Roaming Rob: Baxter State Park Foliage 

As summer transitions to autumn in the Pine Tree State, millions of trees prepare to go dormant for the winter season. The result is one of the most spectacular natural color shows on the planet. Baxter State Park, located north of the Millinocket area, offers a wide array of colors painted on mountains and reflected in ponds and streams in the midst of untouched wilderness.“I’m at Nesowadehunk campground and right now we’re checking out some of the foliage here in Baxter State Park. Something I’m not used to seeing in my home state of Pennsylvania are the pines (the coniferous trees) mixed in with the deciduous trees (those that have the colors). Really, a nice spectrum of color for you to capture with your camera.”Believe it or not, the beautiful oranges and yellows are present in leaves during the summer, but the green chlorophyll, which is used for photosynthesis, hides them. As the trees prepare for winter and stop making food, the chlorophyll disappears, revealing these colors. The reds and purples you see are created during the fall season with some leftover sugars in the tree itself.“One of the best things about Baxter State Park is that you get to see the foliage on some of Maine’s tallest mountains while also seeing some beautiful water features below, such as ‘The Ledges.’”Peak foliage in Maine usually occurs from the end of September to the middle of October. So, if you plan on doing some leaf-peeping on your own, be sure to visit to see foliage reports from around the state and plan your adventure accordingly.“Well, the rain has stopped. I’ve made my way to a different part of Baxter State Park – one of my personal favorites – headed towards Sandy Stream Pond. Maybe I’ll see some wildlife and some foliage. This is a bit of a hike so we’re going to continue along this trail.”The short hike to Sandy Stream Pond may have some muddy spots, but is relatively level and offers logs and walkways for hikers. “As we continue along the trail to Sandy Stream Pond, I see Katahdin. I hiked that earlier this summer. Just an absolutely beautiful thing to see, especially with all the colors of the fall season.”As the forest path transitioned to an open viewing point, I could not believe the abundance of color surrounding the pond. This was a place that I’ve visited nearly on nearly a dozen different occasions, yet somehow, I felt like I was seeing it for the first time in all it’s glory. The peaceful pond enveloped with the bright fall colors were a true beauty, something that you have to see with your eyes to truly appreciate.“Sandy Stream Pond is easily one of my favorite places in all of the Pine Tree State and that’s true also during the fall season. The beautiful colors on Turner Mountain off to my side here – and off to my other side here, Katahdin – just offer some breathtaking vistas. Now, I usually see some wildlife here when I come to Sandy Stream Pond. No moose seen today, however, the colors do offer a breathtaking view, especially when you can see the reflection of them in the waters. Overall, Baxter State Park offers some great views and the colors were easily accessible. This is something you should check out with your cameras when you have time.”