Best time to travel to Maryland

Maryland Fall Foliage

The change of season colors the mid-Atlantic state in golden and bronze hues

Best time: October

Maryland Fall Foliage
Liberty Reservoir

Maryland has a wide variety of evergreen pines, but there are also plenty of deciduous trees that change their color beautifully in the fall. White oak, chestnut oak, black oak, northern red oak, red maple, sugar maple, and silver maple are responsible for stunning golden, bronze, and scarlet foliage displays in the state.

Peak fall foliage in Maryland

Maryland's peak foliage season falls in mid- and late October. Leaves start to turn yellow in early October, and by the end of the month, the state gets completely covered in yellow and orange.

Best places to see fall foliage in Maryland

If you are based in Washington, make sure to visit Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Historic Park and Scenic Byway, stretching for 185 miles and offering some of the best fall foliage displays in the state. Take the scenic Billy Goat Trail for stunning views of the Potomac River surrounded by forests. In eastern Maryland, Elk Neck State Park is located between the Chesapeake Bay and the Elk River, featuring beaches, marshlands, and forests with colorful foliage displays. Stop by the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad, where visitors can learn the history of the area as well as enjoy stunning views. Garrett County in Western Maryland is the premier leaf-peeping destination in the state. Visit its annual five-day Autumn Glory Festival to celebrate fall foliage in Maryland with decorated floats, concerts, art, and more. Stop by Meadow Mountain and the Eastern Continental Divide for the most vibrant colors. Also, the Monroe Run Scenic Overlook in Savage River State Forest along New Germany Road and Route 496 are perfect for leaf-peeping. Another Fall Foliage Route starts in Cumberland along Route 40 and goes to Keysers Ridge, then south along 219 through McHenry and Thayerville near Deep Creek Lake State Park.

Fall foliage train rides in Maryland

The best way to explore the scenic fall-time landscapes is an old-fashioned steam train. Take the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad train that leaves from Cumberland every Sunday in October at 9 a.m. and returns at 11:30 a.m. Walkersville Southern Railroad also runs an autumn excursion on Saturdays and Sundays in October.

Maryland fall foliage map

As you can see in the map section to the right, the most scenic fall foliage spots in Maryland are concentrated in the northern areas of the state. Check out the detailed map below: here you'll find each location mentioned above and find various accommodation options nearby. Book in advance to get the best lodging in the area and enjoy your fall colors experience to the fullest.

Practical info

When is the peak fall foliage season in Maryland?

The peak fall foliage season in Maryland is commonly observed between the second and third weeks of October. This astonishing natural spectacle of leaves turning yellow is quite a sight to behold and can transform the state's landscapes. Show more

Where are the best places to see fall foliage in Maryland?

For those based in the Washington metropolitan area, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Historic Park and Scenic Byway is an excellent choice. Elk Neck State Park is located in Eastern Maryland, while Garrett County is known to have the best fall foliage-viewing spots. The Fall Foliage Route that passes through Cumberland and McHenry is also a great option. Show more

What trees are responsible for Maryland's fall foliage displays?

Maryland's deciduous trees are to thank for the picturesque fall foliage displays. These include white oak, chestnut oak, black oak, red maple, sugar maple, and silver maple. The leaves of these trees change colors in the fall and can produce breath-taking scenes of golden-yellow and different shades of red and orange. Show more

When and where can I take a fall foliage train ride in Maryland?

The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad train offers this exciting tour every Sunday in October. The train departs from Cumberland at 9 a.m and returns at 11:30 a.m. Another option is the fall excursion provided by the Walkersville Southern Railroad, which is available on weekends in October. These train rides offer stunning landscape views of Maryland in its fall foliage season. Show more

Which region of Maryland has the most concentrated fall foliage spots?

The Western Maryland region, particularly Garrett County, is known to have the most concentrated fall foliage spots. In this area, you can find breathtakingly beautiful landscapes of golden leaves, with more than 300,000 acres of rugged terrain. You can also check out places such as Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Historic Park and Scenic Byway, Elk Neck State Park, and Meadow Mountain for more picturesque fall foliage views. Show more

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen