Emily Kimble of Portland and her dog Skibo stand on the summit of Hawk Mountain in South Waterford on Monday to take in the foliage before what she calls “stick season.” Jon Bolduc/Sun Journal

WATERFORD — According to Emily Kimble, Maine is on the cusp of a new season — stick season —  when the brilliant autumn foliage falls from the trees, lawn rakes come out in earnest and winter begins to move in.

And the clock is ticking. Western Maine is already a few days past peak foliage, and a mid-week nor’easter will spell the beginning of the end, blowing leaves off hardwoods.

The good news? Procrastinators don’t have to go far to spot some last-minute colors.

On Monday afternoon, peepers climbed to the summit of Hawk Mountain in South Waterford to catch the last views of the colorful foliage.

Halfway down the trail, Scott and JoAnne Tresbeck of Massachusetts said the view at the top was well worth the short hike.

“For a twenty-minute walk, it’s the best view in the world, if you ask me,” Scott said.

According to JoAnne, the couple has a cottage about 10 minutes from Hawk Mountain.

“We just woke up this morning and said we ought to go up Hawk Mountain, it’s peak foliage … I got all my work done, and we came up here,” Scott said.

“You can see every color of the rainbow,” JoAnne said.

“With the sun and all the leaves, this is the best you’re going to get, today and tomorrow … We haven’t lost a lot of leaves yet, so you’re right at the peak, walking through,” Scott said. “You can’t get a better picture than this.”

Kimble, of Portland, brought her dog Skibo to the summit. She said the short hike was the perfect post-work, pre-dinner hike in the area.

The general consensus of the half dozen or so hikers ascending and descending from the summit was the colors were stunning.

Several Oxford Hills locals recommended prime foliage spots, according to Facebook posts Monday:

  • John Andrews: “The bridge at the base of Paris Hill Road at Route 26 usually has some great shots available if you time it right.”
  • Janelle Raven: “We just drove through West Paris and the mountain foliage views were amazing!”
  • Katrina Waite: “Bucks and Laphan Ledge Hiking Trail, 32 N Main St., Bryant Pond, ME 04219.” and
  • Shelly Newcomb: “Norway Lake.”

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