Welcome to the Fall Foliage and Festival Report for Oct. 12 and 13, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Rain Sunday and Monday and wind Tuesday has brought down many of the maple leaves in Garrett County but a few pockets of bright color can still be found, according to Melissa Nash, Garrett project manager with the Maryland Forest Service. Oaks are beginning to join in the dance as they start to turn golden brown to deep purplish tones.
The Autumn Glory Festival is happening for the rest of the week and throughout the weekend. For a list of events and links to fall foliage driving tours visit the festival’s website.
At Deep Creek Lake State Park, rainy weather the past few days has stripped the most vibrant leaves off of the trees, leaving the deciduous understory looking slightly barren, according to Maryland Park Service Associate Melissa Carson. “You can clearly see the next round of changing leaves from the Cherry Creek Trail at Deep Creek Lake State Park as the peppered pink hues peek through the canopy.”
“This year’s fall colors in Garrett County are undoubtedly more brilliant than last season,” says Ranger Adam Stachowiak, assistant manager of Herrington Manor, Swallow Falls, and Wolf Den Run state parks. “Many leaves have already begun falling, however, the maples and hickories are still producing eye-pleasing color changes. Get in the woods and enjoy it before it is too late!”
Sean Nolan, assistant manager of Savage River State Forest, says “much of the mid-canopy and understory trees — birch, striped maple, sassafras, black gum — are all in full color. Some of the large red maple and sugar maple are starting to turn, but definitely not full color yet.”
“It has certainly been a different kind of fall,” remarks Luke Mongrain, assistant manager of New Germany State Park. “It seems there is still a good amount of green or the leaves have already fallen.”
Ranger Bob Study reports similar conditions at Fort Frederick State Park. “Unfortunately the few trees that have changed color have turned brown due to the drought and warm weather. Some of the pines are also turning brown and losing their needles.”
Allegany County remains at 40% color change, quite similar to last week, according to Allegany Project Forester Dan Hedderick.
“We have been in the clouds with the rain,” says Aaron Cook, forester based in Clear Spring. “The rain brought down leaves that had changed, but hickories are changing to a golden brown and then quickly brown.”
Ranger Mary Ironside, park manager of the South Mountain Recreation Area in Washington County, notes very little change in the foliage.
In Baltimore County, Patapsco Valley State Park is beginning to experience color changes, says Ranger Felicia Graves.
Diana Marsteller, a naturalist at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in Cecil County, says her area still seeing mostly green, but a bit more yellow on walnuts and hickories, and even some red on a few maples. “The colder temps this week will hopefully lead to some deeper hues by the weekend,” she says.
“The dogwood leaves in Kent and Queen Anne’s counties are turning burgundy and many are full of red berries,” according to Maryland Forest Service Upper Shore Project Manager Teri Batchelor. She adds that black walnut trees have dropped many of their nuts and what few leaves are left are yellow/green in color, while red maple hybrids such as October Glory or Red Sunset are showing 60% of their orange/red colors. Many of the oaks still have their leaves although what they have are turning brown. “While white oaks are having limited acorns, the sawtooth oaks are producing lots and lots of acorns for 2019,” Batchelor says.
Maryland Forest Service Lower Shore Project Manager Rob Clarke advises that Worcester County sweetgum trees are changing rapidly but losing their leaves almost as fast as they change color. “Wind has taken its toll on leaves the past few days. Maples are starting to turn, but there’s not much other colors to report at this time.”
“Colors are just starting to change in the Wicomico Demonstration Forest, with some leaf fall due to lack of water,” notes Katherine Kronner, a forest ranger based in Parsonsburg.
Assateague State Park Manager Angela Baldwin remarked that there is just a touch of yellow so far on Maryland’s easternmost shore.
Anne Arundel County Project Forester Justin Arseneault indicates there is not a lot of color change in the area yet. “Some understory trees like flowering dogwood and eastern redbud are beginning to show signs of yellow and red, but green remains the dominant color for now — I think we will still see some color in another week or two.”
Calvert and Prince George’s Counties are starting to see some minor leaf drop from the poplars, gums and some maples. Those species are still turning, however, the oaks have not caught up yet and are still 70% to 85% green, said Brian Stupak of the Maryland Forest Service.
Leonardtown-based regional forester David Gailey reports there’s not much color south of Annapolis. “Some of the Yellow Poplars are turning yellow and a few dogwoods and oaks are turning browner versus red. I would say we are at 5% – 10% fall color.”
Staff at Point Lookout State Park concur that the foliage is just beginning to change but is still primarily green.
Western Maryland takes center stage this weekend as fall kicks in on a grand scale, starting with the 52nd Annual Autumn Glory Festival at Deep Creek Lake in Oakland, Garrett County. The annual Autumn Glory Festival is a five-day celebration that began Wednesday and runs through Sunday offering a wide variety of activities indoors and outdoors to celebrate the beauty of the local fall foliage. Travel & Leisure named Oakland “America’s Best Town for Fall Colors,” and with good reason. Celebrate Mother Nature’s gorgeous foliage surrounding Deep Creek Lake with parades, a farmers market, concerts, antiques and crafts shows, and a car show.
Washington County is also hosting the Hagerstown Harvest Hoedown on Saturday from noon – 4 p.m. at Fairgrounds Park. The free event features scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, balloon giveaways, hay wagon and barrel cart rides, petting zoo, vendors, and face painting.
Fort Frederick State Park invites you to experience military life during the French and Indian War with the men and women of the Maryland Provincial Companies of Foot. “For the Defence of this Province” includes cannon firing demonstrations, musket firing presentations, hearth cooking, military drills, and children’s drill. The hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Park entrance fees apply.
Discover the significance of Crampton’s Gap and Brownsville Pass during the Battle of South Mountain and the important role artillery played during the battle on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. during Twilight’s Last Gleaming at South Mountain Battlefield State Park. Cannon firing demonstrations take place both days at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.
The Catoctin Colorfest, one of the largest outdoor craft shows on the East Coast, is held annually as the area’s vibrant leaves are changing. Featuring 300 well-known and respected artists from across the U.S., this Frederick County signature event takes place this weekend in Thurmont. Local art, jewelry, crafts, and a variety of delicious food are just a few of the fun things you will find at this annual event.
In the Central Region, see colonial history come to life during the Mount Harmon National Revolutionary War Reenactment and Colonial Festival in Earleville, Cecil County. This weekend brings the whole family to enjoy British and rebel encampments and battles, the colonial marketplace, hearth cooking, and living history demonstrations. This is the largest Revolutionary War Reenactment in the nation this fall, happening right here in Maryland at Mount Harmon.
Visit Harford County at the “Top of the Bay” on Saturday from noon – 7 p.m. for the Havre de Grace Annual Oktoberfest in Hutchins Park. Enjoy authentic German food, beer, and wine, while listening to German music. A Kid’s Zone includes games, pumpkin painting, and a moon bounce. Shop the many unique merchandise vendors.
In the Capital region, the Bethesda Row Arts Festival this weekend — Saturday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. — is one of the region’s most exciting and esteemed outdoor festivals. Overnight, Bethesda Row’s shopping and entertainment district is transformed into an outdoor art gallery, featuring more than 200 juried fine arts and crafts from artists around the nation. Art Fair Sourcebook and Sunshine Artists have recognized the event as one the most important in the country, and more than 45,000 attendees agree!
Thursday through Monday, sailors from around the globe gather on miles of docks in historic downtown Annapolis for the 2019 United States Sailboat Show. This internationally acclaimed sailboat show is recognized as the world’s largest and most prestigious. Check the event website for showtimes and ticket pricing.
On the Eastern Shore, the Fall Fest with Oysters in Rock Hall on Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. is a popular Kent County celebration of family, community, and oysters. Enjoy music, crafts, a kids’ court, food and fun on Main Street in Rock Hall. Rain or shine.
The Nanticoke River Jamboree: Water and Woodlands, Dorchester County’s largest living history event take place Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Handsell Historic Site in Vienna. Enjoy reenactors, demonstrations, music, exhibits, craftspeople and great food! visitors can immerse themselves in 300 years of Dorchester County history with events features historic craftspeople, docents in period dress, cooking of the enslaved, Native American life skills, and the history of the water of the Eastern Shore,
Patuxent River Appreciation Days on Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. is the premier watershed happening in Southern Maryland with a craft fair, model boat building, food court, displays, free boat rides, and free admission to the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons. What more could you ask for?
Sunday’s Fall Festival in La Plata from noon – 3 p.m. is a family-friendly event in Charles County well known for its free activities for children of all ages, live entertainment, craft vendors and delicious food for sale.
Another popular annual family-oriented event being held Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. is Historic Hancock’s Resolution Fall Harvest Festival and Dinner in Pasadena. Bring the family and build a scarecrow, bob for apples, and make cornmeal. They will have folk music by Red Crow and a harvest dinner from Angels.
Looking ahead, Easton will host the 50th Annual Waterfowl Festival in early November,
Enjoy this colorful and fun-filled mid-October weekend in Maryland!