Now that the fall season is upon us, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the natural beauty Maryland has to offer. Our state is lucky to be positioned near a plethora of state and national parks, scenic byways, and forested attractions that are perfect for taking in the colorful fall foliage. The first day of fall kicked off the Maryland Department of Commerce Office of Tourism's Open Roads Campaign, highlighting the state’s scenic byways and points of interest.
This season brings the opportunity to go out on a limb and visit some of these can’t miss fall foliage attractions in your area.
The first stop on this “un-be-leaf-able” road trip is located around Deep Creek, in Garrett County. The leaves in far Western Maryland typically start turning earlier in the season, as Garrett County holds its annual Autumn Glory Festival to highlight the beautiful foliage in the area. The festival is still being held this year, but without the typical parade in order to keep the event socially distanced. Find out more here.
Next up, check out Allegany County’s Green Ridge State Forest Driving Tour. This tour offers some stunning scenic views of the county’s fall foliage and the area’s spectacular overlooks. Plan your driving tour today by visiting this website.
You can also head out to the Valley Overlook at the Hollofield Area of Patapsco Valley State Park in Howard County. Take a hike on one of the many hiking trails in the park or stay for a picnic in one of the designated picnic areas. From there, Ellicott City’s Main Street is just a short ride away. The neighborhood is lined with antique stores, restaurants and boutiques ideal for a quick shopping trip or bite to eat.
The C&O Canal National Historical Park has trailheads and scenic views throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. This historic park offers numerous biking and hiking options such as the Billy Goat Trail or the C&O Canal Towpath, which reward travelers with views of the Potomac River and surrounding forestry bursting with color. Make sure to plan your visit.
Another great stop is Elk Neck State Park, located on a peninsula between the Chesapeake Bay and the Elk River in Cecil County. This park provides a combination of sandy beaches, serene marshlands, and colorful forests. The Turkey Point Lighthouse can be found on the southern tip of the Elk Neck Peninsula—take the 35 foot climb to its top for a spectacular view of the bay waters and the brilliant fall foliage. Who knows, you may even spot a bald eagle soaring above the shoreline.
The month of October is recognized as Maryland Horse Month, so be sure to check out Oregon Ridge Park. Found in Baltimore County’s “horse country,” this park offers hiking trails, a beach, and a spectacular view of yellow, orange, and red trees. Also stop at nearby Boordy Vineyards for a quick sip of wine and some stunning foliage views.
If you’re looking for more, take a stop anywhere along the Maryland portion of the Appalachian Trail. This famous hiking trail spans 40 miles in Maryland, and offers magnificent views such as High Rock, Annapolis Rock and the Washington Monument, all located in Washington County. The Weverton Cliffs at Maryland’s southern end of the ‘AT’ intersect the C&O Canal National Historical Park near the Frederick and Washington County line. Plan your stops along the Appalachian Trail by visiting the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Before leaving the house to take in the fall views, you really “autumn” check out the most recent fall foliage report from the Maryland Department of Natural resources. Take a note from nature this fall season and opt outside into Maryland’s great outdoors. Don’t forget to “leaf” plenty of time to admire Maryland’s natural charm!