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Fall Foliage Report for October 7, 2021

Map of Maryland showing far western counties at midpoint foliage

Here we go folks, we’re seeing more color out west and the rest of the state is being blanketed in subtle yellows and reds. In the far western portions of the state our reports are indicating we’re at the mid-point, especially in the higher elevations. Through central and southern Maryland, we have a mixed bag mainly because summer weather has been slow to depart. The eastern portion of the state is still mainly green with a few hints of fall color; this landscape remains perfect for pollinators, spending autumnal hours collecting nectar and pollen.

Raindrops on the roof.
Golden leaves crunching underfoot.
Snuggle with a book.
– Ann Southall

Join us as we follow the transition each week with reports from our experts at our state forests and parks. This year for the first time, we welcome all of Maryland’s outdoor enthusiasts to send in photos capturing the beauty of the fall season. Please use the submission form to submit your entries directly to us. Your photo might be selected to appear in a future edition of the Fall Foliage Report!

Sign up to receive this report to your email inbox  every week in fall.

Garrett County, Maryland


Monroe Run Overlook

Monroe Run Overlook

New Germany Road

New Germany Road

Monroe Run Overlook

Monroe Run Overlook

Sugar Maple Leaf

Sugar maple leaf

After a stagnant start to the season, things are starting to change rapidly. Many areas of the county are seeing the midpoint this week. Higher elevations are slightly ahead of lower elevations, however I would expect peak for most of the county to occur in the next week to week and a half (around October 13-15). Melissa Nash – Forest Service, Oakland

Deep Creek Lake State Park

Deep Creek Lake State Park

Youghiogheny River

This is a great weekend to see the fall colors in Garrett County. Many trees are at their peak while a couple lag behind creating a breathtaking pallet. Red, yellow, orange, and green leaves slowly float along the Youghiogheny River after being set free by a gentle breeze. – Roy Musselwhite – Deep Creek Lake State Park

Savage River State Forest

Red Maples along a country road

Red maples – Savage River State Forest

We’ve experienced noticeable changes the past week. Colorful carpets of yellows, pinks, and oranges currently line the forest access road, thanks to the release of the red and sugar maple leaves. Sean Nolan – Savage River State Forest

Allegany County, Maryland

Fall trees along a river

Fall trees Trees along a stream Trees along a road

Take a slow drive through the forested landscapes of Allegany County’s back roads and you will be surrounded by the first signs of fall. Maple has added itself to the trees that are now changing and some minor leaf drop has started to occur. Roll down the windows and you will hear acorns hitting the forest floor and the scampering of squirrels as they prepare for winter. Daniel B. Hedderick – Forest Service Allegany County

Washington County, Maryland

Black walnut

The return of summer-like weather has slowed our transition from pastoral summer greens to the jeweled-toned shades of autumn. Some pockets of birch along South Mountain are vibrant yellow, and a black walnut tree in Clear Spring is beginning to reveal golden hues, with a vibrant, reddish-purple Virginia creeper trying to steal the show on its branches. Aaron Cook – Forester, Washington County

Fort Frederick State Park

Fort Frederick Picnic Area

Fort Frederick picnic area, October 7, 2021
Check back each week, we’ll be posting an updated photo of this spot
so you can see the leaves changing week to week.

Sugar Maple

Sugar maple

Black Gum

Black gum

Not much change in the picnic area yet at 78 degrees longitude. Black gum are just starting to turn a wonderful shade of red and a brilliant yellow sugar maple greets visitors at the start of the Park Quest trail. Bob Study – Fort Frederick State Park Complex

Frederick County, Maryland

Cunningham Falls and Gambrill State Parks

Cunningham Falls

Cunningham Falls

The sugar maples and hickories are starting to give the forest a golden glow, and more fall colors are expected soon in the days and weeks ahead. Mark Spurrier, Park Manager, Cunningham Falls and Gambrill State Parks

Cecil County, Maryland

Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area 

This week the landscape of Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in Cecil County remains mostly green. However, subtle hints of color are showing up in the little compound leaves of walnut trees as they crisp up and fall, joining their fruit on the ground below. The branch tips of tulip poplars in open areas glow with gold and the sycamores, the last to leaf out in the spring, are already announcing their departure with their large, dinner plate sized leaves turning brown and withered, exposing the graceful white bark beneath. Lesley Leader – Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area

St. Mary’s County, Maryland

Point Lookout State Park

Warm winds from the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River have kept temperatures above average, delaying big bursts of fall color. The leaves of the gum and maple trees are just beginning to reveal seasonal changes. Ranger J. Williams – Point Lookout State Park Complex

Dorchester County, Maryland

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park

Butterfly in pollinator garden wildflowers in pollinator garden

Fall changes in leaf color occur later in the season in Dorchester County. In the meantime, the landscape remains perfect for pollinators spending autumnal hours collecting nectar and pollen in our legacy garden. Cierra Maszkiewicz – Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park

Photo Submissions for the Week

We’d like to thank all the folks that continue to send in photos of fall scenes from around Maryland. Glimpses of fall and shorter days can be seen from all parts of the state thanks to your participation. Please send us your fall foliage photos, including the names of any tree species you spot, using our easy online form!

Photos of leaves in a waterfall and a person fishing in the Gunpowder River


Fall Recreation Spotlight

54th Annual Autumn Glory Festival

October 13 – 17, 2021

The annual Autumn Glory Festival is a five-day celebration of autumn that celebrates the beauty of the local fall foliage. Festival includes parades, music, craft shows, kickoff reception, musical competitions, farmers market, fall foliage driving tours, and more.

Deep Creek Lake in fall - Photo by Caroline Blizzard

Photo by Caroline Blizzard

Watch the sky

This week features three meteor showers, not blockbuster shows but still worth the effort. Just getting outside to stargaze this time of year is wonderful; the warm breezes hang around to make the cooler nights more pleasant. 

The Draconid meteor shower starts us off on October 8. It peaks during the day so your best viewing may be early morning. However, a waxing crescent moon will grace us that evening so you may have luck viewing the shower then too if you look northward, low in the sky by the big dipper. The peak of the Southern Taurid Meteor Shower occurs on October 10. The show will be widespread but viewing east by Orion is your best bet. Finally, look toward the northeast when the Delta Aurigid Meteor Shower peaks on October 11, but don’t blink, the average velocity is around 143,000 mph.

Shooting star over Point Lookout State Park - Photo by Xavier-Prines

 Point Lookout State Park
Photo by Xavier Prines

Photos of sugar maple