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Fall Foliage Report – October 13, 2022

Maryland map leaves are near peak in Garrett and Allegany counties. Washington County is at midpoint and the rest of the state is just starting to see changes

This fall season is shaping up to be a memorable one, and if you’re lucky enough to live in or visit Western Maryland right now, you’ll soon know why. The fall foliage show is on in mountainous Western Maryland with a full spectrum of fall colors on display. This week we have an extended report from our park staff and foresters out west to help you figure out what’s happening where and plan your visits accordingly. 

Although Western Maryland is the star of the show this week, the rest of our beautiful state is starting to transform as well, likely saving its peak displays for the weeks to come. 

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came—
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.

Excerpt taken from October’s Party by George Cooper

Don’t forget your camera this weekend. Send in photos of your fall Maryland adventures and we may use them in next week’s report. 

Do you know someone who loves fall as much as you do?  Have them sign up to receive our Fall Foliage Report every week, delivered directly to their inbox.

Western Maryland

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video surely is worth quite a bit more. To get this week foliage report started, check out this drone footage taken by Forester Melissa Nash, capturing sweeping views of fall color from Grantsville in Garrett County. Please note, park manager approval is required for drone use within our state parks.

In Washington County, most of the early trees are draped in cloaks of burgundy and gold, with more seeming to turn everyday. Perhaps surprising to some, one plant that is enjoyable to see, in the fall anyway, is poison ivy. Its vibrant ruby red really stands out among the yellow walnuts as it climbs through our forested landscape. The fall wildflowers give as good a show as the foliage, and if you get them together, it’s unmatched. Canada goldenrod and New England aster offer a study in complementary colors; growing near each other as these two do increases the pollinator visitation rates for each other since their color combination makes them really “pop” to pollinators. 
Robert R. Schwartz, Forester, Clear Spring

 Canada goldenrod and New England aster
 Canada goldenrod and New England aster, Photo: Robert Schwartz

Savage River State Forest

A noticeable change has taken place along the trails at Savage River State Forest.  Red maple and sugar maple leaves are nearing the peak of color change; showing various shades of red, orange and yellow along the ridge tops and high elevations in Northern Garrett County. Black gum and sassafras are still displaying red leaves while the beech trees are beginning to turn to yellow. Always the last to arrive to fall’s party, the oak trees remain pretty green, but some of the white oaks are beginning to show glimmers of red and orange.
Sean Nolan, Forest Manager, Savage River State Forest

Yellow trees line a small dirt road
Yellows and oranges light up a country road oranges and yellows in the sunlight at an overlook
yellows, reds, oranges mix with a few greens in a line of trees bright yellows and oranges against a blue sky

Savage River State Forest, Garrett County – Photos: Hailey Fink and Ashley Moreland

Potomac-Garrett State Forest

Frosty mornings followed by warm sunny afternoons has coaxed a full palette of colors at Potomac-Garrett State Forest. A second growth mixed hardwood forest dominated by mixed oaks, sugar and red maples, black cherry, basswood, ash and birch, Potomac-Garrett is a great destination for leaf peepers. “Snag” a campsite at Snaggy Mountain to surround yourself with fall’s glory.
Scott Campbell, Forest Manager, Potomac-Garrett State Forest

Yellows and reds around the forest entrance sign

forestry operations with fall colors in full swing reds, oranges and yellows beautiful tall trees with a bright blue sky
fall colors around a privative campsite a look up at the tree canopy bright with yellow leaves

Potomac-Garrett State Forest, Garrett County – Photo: Scott Campbell

New Germany State Park

yellows and reds by a lake fall leaves in the canopy and on the forest floor Pine tree with conifers in the distance by a lake

New Germany State Park, Garrett County – Photos: Ranger Rob Bogart

Fort Frederick State Park

The leaves are inching their way toward peak color at Fort Frederick. If going on a bike ride is your favorite way to take in the fall foliage, join us this Saturday for a guided tour on the Western Maryland Rail Trail. This ranger-led bike ride is approximately 8 miles long roundtrip and taken at a leisurely pace. Check out our calendar for more information and to learn about other park events.
Bob Study, State Park Ranger Supervisor, Fort Frederick State Park Complex

still pretty green by the fort wall reds and yellow along a wooded path yellows beginning to show through by the river

Fort Frederick State Park, Washington County – Photos Bob Study

Deep Creek Lake State Park

yellows and oranges at the discovery center reds and oranges along the lake yellow, orange and browns around the discovery center
reds and orange trees surround the lake fall colors and a bridge over the lake colors as far as you can see into the mountains

Deep Creek Lake State Park, Garrett County – Photos by Cricket Smith, and Melissa Nash

Garrett County visitors passing through the Deep Creek Lake area will enjoy stunning vistas as we begin peak fall foliage season. Changes in the weather have contributed to the rapid change, with some trees seeming to shift from one hue to the next overnight. Always a standout, the red maples range from rich golds to deep reds and fuchsias. Hickories are still displaying bold neon yellow tones while white oaks are shifting from green to russet, dropping many of their leaves. Quaking aspens wave with beautiful buttery shades of yellow and the forest staple, the Eastern Hemlock, holds steadfast with their deep emerald tones.
Cricket Smith, State Park Ranger, Deep Creek Lake State Park

reds and greens by the pavillion

Cunningham Falls State Park Houck Area
Frederick County – Photo: Mark Spurrier

person fishing on the lake

Hunting Creek Lake at Cunningham Falls State Park
Frederick County – Photo: Mark Spurrier

yellow trees in the sun

Gambrill State Park, Frederick County
Photo: Mark Spurrier

Cunningham Falls and Gambrill State Parks

In the picturesque Catoctin Mountains, colors are changing rapidly. Due to recent weather conditions the leaf colors are not quite as vibrant, but most views of the Frederick and Middletown Valleys do not disappoint.
Ranger Mark Spurrier, Cunningham Falls and Gambrill State Parks

Northern/Central Maryland

Patapsco Valley State Park is known for its beautiful scenery and many visitors head to the park this time of year to enjoy the fall foliage. The colors of the leaves are starting to change and the view along the trails in the Avalon area of the park excites visitors for what’s yet to come this fall.
Ranger Alyssa Myers, Patapsco Valley State Park

Yellow leaves in the sun by an old train bridge

Avalon section of Patapsco Valley State Park, Baltimore County – Photo: Alyssa Myers

Southern Maryland

The redbuds and mockernut hickories are losing their leaves first, with the oaks starting to follow suit. The goldenrods are tapering off but the frost-white asters are holding strong for our pollinators.
Cristina V. Perez, Tree Planting Specialist, Maryland Forest Service Prince Frederick

browns and yellows starting to show fall colors showing in the sunlight

Southern Maryland – Photos: Cristina Perez

Eastern Maryland

We’ve had reports of fall changes beginning on the Eastern Shore but we’re still green for the most part. The fall wildflowers are happy to steal the show for now, and can be seen popping up along country roads and at local farm stands.

Hints of yellow in the tall pine trees

Janes Island State Park, Somerset County – Photo: Christina Carlson

Photo Submissions for the Week

We’d like to thank all of the folks that continue to send in photos of fall scenes from across the state. Through your reports and photos we receive first-hand accounts of our fall transition in Maryland. Please send us your fall foliage photos, including the names of any tree species you spot, using our easy online form!

yellows and some red along a river

 Rocks State Park, Harford County
Photo: Lauren P.

Reds starting to show along a treeline

Bohemia River State Park, Cecil County
Photo: ShinAe G.

Deep red leaves on trees along a sidewalk

University of Maryland, Prince George’s County
Photo: Manas B.

reds and bright yellows on Virginia Creeper

Fair Hill NRMA, Cecil County
Photo: Amy S.

Reds yellows and oranges popping through greens in the tops of the trees

Greenbrier State Park, Washington County
Photo: Elizabeth F.

burnt oranges mixed with greens along a shoreline

Brighton Dam Recreation Park, Montgomery County
Photo: Lori C.

Bright yellows with green trees in the distance

Arundel Mills, Anne Arundel County
Photo: Shashank S.

Hunters Moon

Last Week’s Hunters Moon
Photo: Lori C.

Green and yellows along a country road

 Rocks State Park, Harford County
Photo: Lauren P.

reds, oranges and yellows by a pond fountain

Tawes Garden, DNR Headquarters
Anne Arundel County

Fall Recreation Spotlight

55th Annual Autumn Glory Festival

Wednesday, October 12 – Sunday, October 16, 2022 in Oakland

The annual Autumn Glory Festival is a five-day celebration of autumn that celebrates the beauty of local fall foliage. 

Pumpkins on haybails

Photo: Garrett County Tourism



Watch the sky

On October 14 the Moon and Mars meet on the celestial dance floor, passing within 3°35′ of each other. At around 5 a.m. on Friday morning, look to the southern horizon to see this pair close in. Friday also kicks off the  ε-Geminid meteor shower. Friday to Tuesday you should see a steady increase in activity with the peak of the shower occurring around October 18. Look toward the constellation Gemini. The best viewing time should be 2 a.m., but you could see action anywhere between 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. The moon is waning this week but is still at 85%. By Tuesday it should be around 40%, so the star and meteor watching will be better by then since we’ll have less moonlight in the sky. Remember, dress warmly and give your eyes about 20 to 30 minutes to adjust to the night sky. And for picking your best viewing spot, the darker, the better. 


star map

Photo: Sky and Telescope


Images of sweetgum