Tucked away in Northport, Maine is a barely-inhabited pond that for me distills what it means to be in Maine in the autumn. Peaceful and quiet, Knights Pond Road is a well-kept secret, a haven passed over by those traveling up and down the tourist towns of Route 1. There is a different vibe each season — In winter, a cozy white blanket covers the ground and the lake becomes a sheet of gray glass. Spring comes alive with the smells of pollen and new life. And summer beckons the visitor with daily trips to the lake and nights by the bonfire.
But I am a New Englander, so nothing makes me happier than watching autumn sweep through the north country woods. The green leaves transition into a bed of vibrant, warm hues that reflect in the deep northern blue of the pond. I grew up venturing to Maine throughout the year: This pond is one of my favorites.
In Your Bucket Because…
- You enjoy trekking through the uninhabited woods
- A quiet weekend amiss the autumn colors is your ideal way of enjoying the fall season
- You are drawn to quaint New England towns
Northport: A Favorite Hideaway in A Tourist Mecca
Northport, population 2,000, is located between Belfast and Camden, two well-known tourist destinations on the Maine Coast. A four-hour drive from Boston, these towns are an easy weekend trip for Bostonians and appeal to East Coast vacationers interested in everything from sailing on Windjammers to learning about history, gallery hopping to festival going. Lobster trucks and blueberry stands beckon you to stop on the highways. Quaint streets offer nooks and crannies to explore, where you can enjoy antique shops, delicious bakeries, or a cone of Moose Tracks ice cream.
Northport is smaller, quieter… the perfect place to stop and enjoy the sprawling autumn colors or spend a week with family and friends. A few rental properties are hidden away in the secluded woods, where you can enjoy a get-a-way full of board games, hiking, and stargazing. And if cabin fever hits, you can venture out to the nearby harbor and restaurants of Camden.
Knights Pond Road
I recommend following Knights Pond Road all the way down. During the short 10-minute drive, you’ll see a variety of different colored foliage from yellow birches to red and orange maples. Stop by a small family cemetery from the 1800s and look out for the apple trees that are shedding their fruit. And, as you stare into the woods, keep your eyes peeled for the moose, deer, or turkeys that make occasional appearances.
As you near the end of the road, you will come to Knights Pond and the the entrance to a few different hiking trails. On occasion, you might see another person canoeing around the pond or maybe a local community member walking a dog. But for the most part, you will have Maine’s famed autumn foliage entirely to yourself.
For me, this is home: A place that captures me with its colors and quiet. I stand there, at the edge of the pond, watching it ripple and I feel that it’s where I belong, blending in with the tall centuries-old trees, breathing the biting autumn air, feeling a hint of winter in the wind. Throngs flock to New England to revel in the annual drama of arboreal fireworks. Here, for this moment, it is mine — alone.
- Whether you decide to venture to this hidden Maine road or spend the day perusing the nearby artist galleries, Northport and its neighboring towns provide many options for lodgings from roadside motels to B and Bs , inns, and cabin rentals.
- Resources: Maine Midcoast Tourism and Northport house rentals.