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Fall Foliage and Festival Report: September 16-17

Burnside Bridge on Antietam National Battlefield, photo by National Park Service

Burnside Bridge, Antietam National Battlefield, photo by National Park Service

Welcome to the Fall Foliage and Festival Report for Sept. 16 and 17, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Maryland Office of Tourism.

You know summer’s almost over when local county fairs fill up with farm animals, 4-H kids, arts and crafts, fall harvest exhibits, midways and cotton candy. This weekend, you can choose from the Anne Arundel County Fair (Sept. 13-17) in Crownsville, the Charles County Fair (Sept. 14-17) in La Plata, or the Great Frederick Fair (Sept. 15-23), which runs for nine days.The most obvious indicator of autumn’s arrival, the changing of the foliage, is still a few weeks away for most of the state, though Mountain Maryland is where leaf color changes are seen first, with Garrett County’s foliage beginning to turn around the end of September and peaking toward the middle of October.

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Map of weekend events

If you’re near Washington County, be sure to attend the 155th Antietam Battle Anniversary Weekend in Sharpsburg for tours, living history demonstrations and hikes Sept. 16 and 17. The 150th Anniversary of the Antietam National Cemetery will be also be marked with a great ceremony Sept. 17. Take advantage of a trip on the Antietam Campaign Trail Scenic Byway, a 126-mile trip on rural roads connecting several small towns from White’s Ferry to Sharpsburg.

Art and history come to life at the Hagerstown City Park Fall Fest & Porchfest Sept. 16 (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.) in Washington County. Four museums and historic sites in the park come together to offer hands-on activities for all ages. Enjoy art, living history, relics of antiquity, rides, games, live entertainment and more.

In western Washington County Fort Frederick State Park hosts “One Fort – Three Wars.” Living history demonstrations begin at 10 a.m. on both Sept. 16-17. Discover the role the fort played during the French and Indian War, American Revolution and Civil War.

“Poolesville is a gem in a haystack…smack in the center of Montgomery County’s 93,000-acre Agricultural Reserve…surrounded by russet fields and barns, pastures, orchards, farmland and open space.” – Audrey Hoffer

Poolesville Day (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) is a free family festival Sept. 16, which features live bands, carnival rides and attractions, local artisans and award-winning food.

On the Eastern Shore of Maryland, you’re invited to join Janes Island State Park staff and other volunteers for a beach cleanup Sept. 16 (9 a.m. – noon). Transportation to and from the island as well as collection logs and trash bags will be provided.

In Queen Anne’s County, you can check out Corsica River Day Sept. 17 (noon to 4 p.m.) at Corsica River Yacht Club in Centreville. Sponsored by the Corsica River Conservancy, the event features free kayaking and canoeing, fishing derby, pony rides, petting zoo, face painting, pumpkin art​, live bluegrass band and food vendors. You can also pick up a free tree seedling from the Maryland Forest Service while supplies last.

View from Sugarloaf Mountain, courtesy of the Frederick Tourism

View from Sugarloaf Mountain, courtesy of the Frederick Tourism Council

Maryland is often referred to as “America in Miniature” because so many unique landscapes are found within its borders. The Maryland Natural Areas initiative seeks to identify the best remaining areas. While you’re out enjoying the fall season, take some time to visit a natural area nearby.

“In autumn, don’t go to jewelers to see gold; go to the parks!” – Mehmet Murat ildan

If you’re planning a get-away this weekend, keep in mind that cabins are still available for the fall season in many state parks. You can reserve one today by calling 888-432-CAMP (2267).

For more information or to see a full listing of Maryland Department of Natural Resources events, please check out our new interactive calendar. For more information on events around the state this fall, please visit the Maryland Office of Tourism.

Enjoy your Maryland weekend!

Let’s Make Bark Rubbings

Most people know that different kinds of trees have different shaped leaves. But have you ever noticed that different trees have different bark patterns, too?

Bark patterns are another way of identifying a tree, especially once the leaves have fallen. Learn more.