7 Best Places to See Fall Foliage in Maryland
Fall foliage in Maryland is a sight to behold, especially as you find yourself further from the more developed areas in the center of the state. Western Maryland’s rolling hills create temperatures just cool enough to produce a beautiful burst of colors, seemingly overnight. The humid, salty air surrounding the Chesapeake Bay in the eastern part of the state creates long lasting golden hues that pop against a blue sky almost through Thanksgiving. Ready to peep some leaves? Here are the 7 best places to see fall foliage in Maryland.
(Tip: For the most colorful view possible, plan your visit between the middle of October and early November.)
Tuckahoe State Park
13070 Crouse Mill Rd, Queen Anne, MD 21657
Tuckahoe Creek, for which Tuckahoe State Park is named, is a lazy country stream flanked by wooded marshlands. The Park has some of the best fall foliage in Maryland. With 20 miles of scenic trails, you can hike, bike, or even ride horseback through a canopy of reds and golds. For a broader view of Tuckahoe’s fall colors, rent a kayak and gaze at the trees as you paddle down the river or float in the middle of the park’s 60-acre lake. Regardless of which viewing option you choose, don’t forget to pack a picnic lunch, or maybe plan a relaxing cookout at one of the shaded pavilions available on site.
Deep Creek Lake
Deep Creek Lake is a popular western Maryland destination year round, and fall in Deep Creek is simply stunning. Early October is prime fall color season in this area of the state, and Deep Creek offers a variety of options for taking in the sights. Trying one of these Maryland fall foliage drives would be a great place to start. The short tour lasts about 30 minutes, and the extended option keeps you cruising for close to two hours.
Several famous Civil War sites are located near Deep Creek Lake, offering a prime opportunity to take in a bit of history while experiencing Maryland’s fall colors on foot. And of course, don’t forget the lake itself! Rent a boat, kayak, or canoe and head to the center of the lake for a 360-degree view of colorful foliage.
If you happen to visit Deep Creek in mid-October, you must check out the Autumn Glory Festival, which celebrates the beauty of the local fall foliage with parades, music, craft shows, a farmers market, and more.
The Chester River is home to a wide variety of migratory birds, including the American Bald Eagle. If you time it right, your visit to the Chester River can provide views of the stunning fall foliage as well as the migration of many waterfowl and songbird bird species as they head south for the winter.
Hop on a kayak to explore the pristine salt marshes and tidal creeks and you’re sure to get a peek at the wildlife set against a backdrop of fiery fall colors. If a relaxing afternoon is more your style, try a fall foliage boat cruise which offers the same views with less work. One thing’s for sure. There are no disappointing options for enjoying harvest hues on the Chester River.
Elk Neck State Park
4395 Turkey Point Rd, North East, MD 21901
Located between the Chesapeake Bay and the Elk River, Elk Neck State Park features beaches, marshland, and of course dense green forest which turns into a splendid sea of reds and golds this time of year. You could even camp and wake beneath a canopy of color before continuing your adventure. Visitors love Turkey Point Lighthouse, which is located atop a 100 foot bluff with stunning views of the Bay (and all of the trees which surround it) at the very southern tip of the Elk Neck Peninsula. Climb another 35 feet to the top of the lighthouse for an even wider view of the spectacular foliage along the water.
7901 Comus Road, Dickerson, MD 20842
Sugarloaf Mountain isn’t just one of the best places to view fall foliage in Maryland, it’s geological interest and Civil War significance have made it a National Historic Landmark, too. The dominant species of trees upon the mountain include white and red oak trees, which bear autumn colors that range from a deep wine-red to bright scarlet. Visitors will also spot black gum, tulip poplar, black birch and eastern hemlock while exploring the area.
Hiking and horseback riding trails range from 1.5 to 7 miles, offering a look at Maryland fall foliage from beneath the treetops. Make it a point to stop at one of the scenic overlooks along your drive in, as they provide a perfect backdrop for photos and amazing views for a picnic lunch.
Overlook at Hollofield Area at Patapsco Valley State Park
8020 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City MD 21043
Just a small portion of the 16,000+ acres that make up the Patapsco Valley State Park, The Hollofield Area boasts some of the most breathtaking views of the Patapsco River Valley. As The temperatures drop every fall, brilliant greens yield to bright yellows, stunning golds, and rich reds, all along the riverbanks, and the Overlook at Hollofield Area is an ideal spot to gaze upon the splendor.
While Patapsco Valley does include some advanced hiking and biking options, visiting the Hollofield Area tends to be more of a low-key experience. This spot is the perfect place for a quick break from the daily grind. Visitors who want to get out and move while enjoying beautiful views and crisp fall air can take a short hike along the easy-to-traverse Ole Ranger or Peaceful Pond Trails before moving on to see more of the beautiful fall foliage in Maryland.
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park
205 W Potomac St, Williamsport, MD 21795
As industry expanded west during the early part of the 19th century, the C&O Canal brought significant growth to Maryland. The area surrounding the canal, today known as the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park, is home to 20,000 acres of trees including the pawpaw, silver maple, tulip poplar, box elder, and American sycamore, among many others. This historic park provides a so many opportunities to take in the picturesque landscape while enjoying exciting outdoor experiences.
Hike along the Gold Mine Trail and stop at the great Falls Overlook for a view like no other. Or visit Widewater, part of the Potomac River’s historic path. Here you get a double dose of beauty when you take in the colorful leaves on the trees as well as their reflection on the placid water. And don’t forget your camera! The Canal Trust hosts a photo contest highlighting the best photos taken in the park each month.
Stay at The Hotel at Arundel Preserve During Your Visit to Maryland
When looking to experience the splendid fall foliage in Maryland, you’ll want to stay in an area with easy access to airports and local roadways. Enter: The Hotel at Arundel Preserve. Not only is our convenient location the perfect spot from which to start each fall foliage day trip, we’ve got everything you need to relax each evening. From delicious in-house dining to fabulous guest rooms that leave little to be desired, you’re sure to wake refreshed and ready to begin your next autumn adventure from The Hotel at Arundel preserve.