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Fall Foliage and Festival Report: October 7-8

Map showing Maryland fall festival locations

Welcome to the Fall Foliage and Festival Report for the weekend of Oct. 7 and 8, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Maryland Office of Tourism.

In Garrett County, oaks are just starting to change and there are pockets of brilliant color, mostly maples, sassafras and sumac. The wet areas and swamps continue to show the most color.

Photo of: Autumn peach trees

Autumn Peach Trees, photo by Alex Keto

Reports from Green Ridge State Forest in Allegany County indicate dogwoods and maples are turning red, hickories a golden yellow, and black gums an orange-red. Virginia creeper winding itself around the hickories is showing up a blazing scarlet, and the oaks are just now starting to change.

Meanwhile in Washington County around South Mountain State Battlefield the colors are about 10 percent turned with a peak expected in late October. Migrating eagles and hawks can be observed from the summit at Washington Monument State Park and the beautiful reflections in the lake at Greenbrier State Park make for spectacular photography and viewing opportunities.

Did you know that the Maryland portion of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail follows the ridge line of South Mountain, beginning at Pen Mar? It extends 40 miles south to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, affording hikers many scenic vistas.

Sugar Maple

Sugar Maple

Central Maryland is just beginning to see changes. Seneca Creek State Park in Montgomery County reports the black gums and flowering dogwoods are in full color, with hickory, maples and oaks foliage just beginning to show.

In north central Maryland, crab apples and sugar maples are just now starting to show signs of color.

Sign up today to receive weekly reports showcasing the Old Line State’s vibrant fall foliage and best autumn festivals or call 800-LEAVES1.



Fort Frederick State Park in Washington County will host its annual Civil War event Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Commemorating the fort’s role in the war, re-enactors will assemble for a weekend of living history and tactics demonstrations.

Young boy waiting for the train in Brunswick MD

Young boy waiting for the train in Brunswick

In Frederick County, the 34th Annual Brunswick Railroad Days is a unique festival celebrating the town’s heritage as one of the largest rail yards in the nation. Fun activities Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., include nonstop, round-trip train rides from Brunswick to Buck Lodge, exhibits by the B&O Railroad Historical Society, model trains, arts and crafts, live music and lots of children’s activities.

In nearby Frederick, admission is free for the Fall Festival at Rose Hill Manor Park Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hayrides, farm exhibits, animals, hands-on crafts, and games are on the agenda, with special attractions like a tractor pull, cake auction and kiddie pedal tractor pull.

The United States Sailboat Show runs through Monday along the waterfront of historic downtown Annapolis, the sailing capital of the U.S. The nation’s largest and oldest in-water sailboat show – attracting more than 50,000 boating enthusiasts from around the world – features new sailboats, sailing accessories, equipment and services, and live entertainment.

Nearby is the Bowie International Festival Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., where you can travel around the world enjoying international dance, food, music and more. Plus, admission is free.

Fall foliage, photo by Gayle Weber

Fall foliage, photo by Gayle Weber

Twenty years ago this month, two young filmmakers made cinema history. “The Blair Witch Project,” filmed at Seneca Creek State Park, became a worldwide sensation, and it is still one of the most profitable movies in Hollywood history. Join Ranger Ledbetter Sunday, 3 to 4:30 p.m. for a Blair Witch Heritage Hike.

Get into Mallows Bay Day, a cleanup and family fun day Saturday runs from noon to 6 p.m. in Charles County. Activities include educational exhibits, kayak tours, net seining and fish identification, history and nature walks, and even a food truck. Bring a canoe or kayak or walk along the shore to get a glimpse at this potential National Marine Sanctuary.

On the Eastern Shore, the 28th Annual Chesapeake Celtic Festival is being held in Snow Hill Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is a great event for the whole family and includes dancing, bands, bagpipes and drums, storytelling, artisans and more.

In Dorchester County the Hurlock Fall Fest and Train Ride Saturday runs in conjunction with the 125th Anniversary of the Town of Hurlock. It starts with a parade at 10 a.m. and ends with fireworks at dusk.

If you are near Cambridge, take time to visit the nationally-acclaimed Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center. On Sunday, admission to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is free in honor of National Wildlife Refuge Week. Blackwater includes more than 27,000 acres of forest and marshland as well as the four-mile Wildlife Drive, which can be enjoyed by bike, car or foot.

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

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

Enjoy your Maryland weekend!

“Come said the wind to
the leaves one day,
Come o’re the meadows
and we will play.
Put on your dresses
scarlet and gold,
For summer is gone
and the days grow cold.”
–  A Children’s Song of the 1880s
Let’s Make Leaf Critters

Illustration of a leaf critterFall is a great time of year to get outside and enjoy the cool, crisp air! One great nature activity for children this time of year is to create leaf critters!