It was another beautiful autumn day here in Maine and before these days become fewer and fewer, we decided to get outside and go for a nice hike. We decided on exploring the central region of Maine for a change a scenery. After a short car ride, we found ourselves at the French Mountain Trail located in Rome. The trailhead was located off of Watson Pond Road off of Route 27. We continued on Watson Pond Road for 0.7 miles and the parking lot was conventionally located on the left side of the road.
At this point in the season, a few of the trees in our area of the state have already fully changed or fallen off altogether. We have a lot of sugar and red maple trees (Acers) and they are usually the first leaves to disappear for the season. In this central area of the state, we were welcomed by an abundance of oaks (Fagales). If you know your trees, you know these trees keep their leaves longer than the maples. This made for a fuller, vibrant and colorful day for photography.
This was a relatively easy loop trail ascending to the top of French Mountain with several scenic lookouts and views along the ridgeline. Along the way, we were greeted by beautiful views of Long Pond, Great Pond, Belgrade Lakes Village, and the surrounding mountains of the area. If you recall, Belgrade Lakes is the area that inspired the screenwriter Ernest Thompson to write the 1979 screenplay On Golden Pond. Thompson spent his summers along the scenic shores of Great Pond. The film with the same name from 1981, starred Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda, Doug McKeon, Dabney Coleman, and William Lanteau. The film wasn’t filmed in this area though, it was made in Squam Lake in Holderness, New Hampshire. If you haven’t seen the film already and if you are interested, I believe it is worth a watch.
The French Mountain Trailhead from Watson Pond Road.
The trailhead map and information board.
Fellow hikers at the beginning of the trail.
Nature made stairs leading uphill on the trail.
A close-up of the natural steps with scattered fall leaves.
The hike continuing uphill.
Wooden stairs on the trail.
The trail covered in fall leaves.
I also took a few short clips of video on the way up the trail. The idea was to help you feel like you were there as well.
A first glimpse of the lake.
Views of a few of the steep locations on the trail.
A beautiful fall view along the way.
An abundance of pine cones.
A trail marker along the way.
A view of the lake near the summit.
Beautiful views of the lake.
After we enjoyed the views from the summit overlook, we made our way down into the woods. This area of the trail descends with several switchbacks and back to the trail junction and parking lot. We were greeted by an area heavily populated with pines and scattered deciduous trees.
A trail marker on a pine tree.
A young red maple tree.
Making our way down the trail.
Fallen colorful autumn leaves.
A close-up of fallen oak leaves and acorns.
The end of our lovely hike.
We had a great time and we will have to make our way back to the Belgrade Lakes Region very soon. The area offers an abundance of other marked trails that we hope to explore in the near future.