Best time to travel to Maryland

Maryland Fall Colors

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

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen
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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. 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 colors

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

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.