18 Best Places to See Fall Foliage in Maryland

Small in size yet over flowing with beauty. Maryland is known for delicious crabs, some of the most beautiful parks, national parks and forests, as well as the Eastern shore. Also known for the mid to late October show of changing colors. Fall foliage in Maryland is something everyone should take time out to admire during the fall season.

18 Best Places to See Colorful Fall Foliage in Maryland

Fall activities are a great way to spend the day with family. There are many things one can do in Maryland, like apple picking, or visiting a petting zoo. However, nothing beats a day in the car checking out the fall leaf colors in Maryland. The vibrant colors, the changing scenery and the smell of fall. Walking trails filled with freshly fallen leaves and collecting unique ones to add to a scrapbook. It’s all about making memories. Check out this list of the 10 best places to see fall foliage in Maryland.

Deep Creek Lake

Located in the mountains in western Maryland is Deep Creek Lake. Maryland’s largest lake with almost 40 miles of shoreline. Ranked as the number 1 place to see fall foliage in Maryland. Enjoy hiking and viewing the fall colors while still enjoying 70 degree days.

Swallow Falls State Park

Changing leaves colors, while beautiful, aren’t all you will see at Swallow Falls State Park in the fall. Walk along the Youghiogheny River and gaze at the fall foliage as well as the 53-foot waterfall. There is a trail through Swallow Falls that is 1 1/4 mile long that brings you to some of the most amazing scenery. Don’t forget your hiking shoes for this one.

Seneca Creek State Park

More than just fall foliage can be seen at Seneca Creek State Park. This 6300 acre park stretches along for 14 miles. Visiting in October and November will be a perfect time for picture taking. Golden leaves that are reflecting on the water of Clopper Lake. Maybe soak in all the changing leaves on a horseback ride along the 16.5 mile Seneca Creek Greenway Trail.

Sugarloaf Mountain

The result of 14 million years in the making. Sugarloaf Mountain was made over time as a result of erosion. Situated just a short drive from Gaithersburg in Dickerson. Enjoy hiking through the woods and taking in all the nature surrounding you. Beautiful colors, unique landscape and maybe even some wildlife along the way. A perfect place for those who like to be deep in nature.

Gunpowder Falls State Park

Visiting Gunpowder Falls State Park is a full day adventure. Established in 1959, 1800 acres of land and over 100 miles of trails. In the fall you can take in the fall foliage by hiking trails, riding bikes, or horseback riding. If water is your love, then check out the changing leaves from the water while spending time along the 1,500 foot long beach.

Chestertown

Nestled on the Eastern Shore, Chestertown, Maryland is one you should visit. A perfect place for animal lovers to get up close and personal with an array of birds while taking in the fall foliage. Striking colors of red, orange and gold that take over the trees in the fall. Visiting the Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge will fill your fall foliage viewing expectations for sure. Or you can check out the Brampton Inn’s Kayaks and Picnic package for a self-guided river tour. You can also Cruise the Chester River and enjoy views of historic Chestertown

Cunningham Falls State Park

Experience the beautiful fall foliage, the river and the lake at Cunningham Falls and State Park. Three things at one time to enjoy. Stop for a picnic, some hiking or even camp for a night or two. Enjoy relaxing in nature with the beautiful fall foliage all around. If the days are warm still the kids can enjoy some swimming and water fun.

Susquehanna State Park

Those closer to the Baltimore area might like to head to Susquehanna State Park. This 224-acre park is a great place to see the best fall colors. Find your way to one of the several overlooks so you can take in the panoramic views of the river and the fall colors. Don’t miss the Hawk Point or Wissler’s Run Overlooks as they are ones that will give you the best views of the fall foliage. There is also a picnic area so you can just relax and enjoy the natural beauty around you.

Liberty Reservoir

Looking for some great fall color photos, then you should check out the Liberty Reservoir. A 3,100-acre reservoir that was a former location of Oakland Mills. Back in 1956 it was built to provide drinking water for Baltimore. Now people from all over come to enjoy the trails for biking, hiking, hunting, horseback riding or just relaxing. Explore on land or by water, but make sure you are soaking in all the fall foliage and brilliant colors.

Annapolis

Adventure awaits every family in Annapolis Maryland. Looking for fun mixed with beautiful fall foliage, then Annapolis is your destination. There is so much to see and do for families. Not really what one would consider a day outing. Visiting Annapolis is more of a weekend getaway to soak it all in.

Fall is the best time to visit if it’s fall colors you want to see. Maybe not as well known for those who search out fall colors though. Annapolis has so much to offer and the fall foliage just adds to the splendor of this city. Take a walking tour in the crisp fall air and soak in all nature offers with it’s changing colors.

Tuckahoe State Park

Tuckahoe State Park has really amazing fall changing leaves and about 20miles for you to bike, run, and even horseback riding. You can even have some picnic lunch while you are viewing the amazing fall foliage. They also provide canoe and kayak rental if you love to go kayaking with your family.

If you love kayaking, check out some amazing places to go kayaking in maryland.

Valley Overlook in the Hollofield area of Patapsco Valley State Park

You can even enjoy viewing the fall foliage from the comfort of your car especially if you have really young kids. Afterwards, you can also make your way down to Ellicott City for some shopping and antique stores experience. The Patapsco Valley State Park has over 200 miles of trails, with 70 of those miles that are fully maintained. There are also some hiker-only trails and multi-use trails accessible from various areas of Patapsco.​

Green Ridge State Forest

Green Ridge State Forest located in Allegany county and has about 49,000 acres. It is the largest contiguous block of public land in Maryland. With so many acres of land its not hard to believe that this is one of the best places to see fall foliage. You can also enjoy a ton of camping, fishing, paddling, hunting, shooting and can even walk down the miles of scenic trails.

Elk Neck State Park

Elk Neck State Park is located in Cecil county between Chesapeake Bay and the Elk River and has about 2,370 acres of land which makes it a perfect place to see some brilliant fall foliage in Maryland. You can also enjoy some fishing, picnicking, biking, and hiking with your kids and family.

Washington Monument State Park

Washington Monument State Park is the first completed monument dedicated to George Washington. Its a nice location to view some nice fall foliage. The monument is also ideal if you love spotting migratory birds such as hawks, eagles and falcons, especially in mid-September. There is also a picnic and hiking area.

Catoctin Mountain State Park

Catoctin Mountain Park offers a variety of interpretive programs, hikes, and demonstrations geared for all ages. Your kids can also become junior rangers here. The fall foliage is really beautiful as the leaves change from green to beautiful shades of yellow, red and orange.

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal started off as a dream of passage to Western wealth. The c&o canal scenic byway has about 184 miles of adventure which gives many opportunities to see colorful fall leaves as you hike or walk down the trail. There are also some fun along the way or check out the Billy Goat trail, meet the Mules which pull the boat providing an authentic canal experience.

Blackwater national wildlife refuge

The Wildlife drive allows you to see some amazing colorful foliage and also some wildlife along the way.

Annual Autumn Glory Festival

This is a top fall festival in the world which is a five-day celebration of autumn that celebrates the beauty of the local fall foliage. There are usually several events, shows, sales,  concerts, corn mazes, art exhibits, two show-stopping parades and more demonstrations to celebrate the occasion. For 2022, Garrett county will be hosting and they plan to have their annual fall foliages driving tours through the beautiful sites of the Garrett County Heritage Area.

Final Thoughts on the 10 Best Places to See Fall Foliage in Maryland

Whether it’s driving in a car, hiking some trails, having a picnic in a park or just relaxing by a lake, one can enjoy fall foliage in Maryland pretty easily. If you are nature lovers, you could even make a road trip out of it by going through scenic drives to find the best spots for colorful leaves. Fall comes and goes fairly quick and soon the leaves are off the trees and on the ground. Make plans now for where your family will venture to see the fall foliage in Maryland. If you have a favorite place not covered in our post, let us know. While Maryland may be small, the beauty is huge.

If you enjoyed reading this, check out these Summer/ Fall fun activities in Maryland!

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Lola is the founder of Deyewa where she helps families discover kid and family friendly areas in Maryland with printables, tips, guides and ideas to help families have the best experiences. She is a wife and mom to 3 amazing kids and loves to spend time exploring the world with them. When she is not blogging or at her day job, she enjoys traveling, going to kids activities, church and eating out.

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