Welcome to the Fall Foliage Report for October 29, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. We are looking forward to a full moon Hallo-weekend with peaking foliage in parts of central Maryland!

Dan Hedderick, project forester, Forest Service, Allegany County, reports: “The end of last week was the best time to be out in Western Maryland. Now the wind and rain have set in to bring down our leaves. We are past peak. The forest will take a nap for the winter, but rest assured it will rush back in the spring setting up another flush of leaves. Until next year, enjoy our forests!”

Elk Neck State Park

Emily Bard, South Mountain State Park: “The leaves are starting to fall, but there is still plenty to see at South Mountain Recreation Area. Be aware that popular overlooks and scenic viewpoints have been crowded, and plan accordingly!”

n the state’s northeast, Ranger Shawna Staup reports: “Elk Neck State Park and other areas of Cecil County are displaying peak coloration. At the park, there are mostly yellow and orange leaves with some red trees scattered in the mix. It is a very beautiful time to go for a hike.”

Ranger Diana Marsteller, Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area, says: “While we are passing peak foliage here at the park don’t let that dissuade you… now that many of our trees are bare you can see some of the ruins found throughout the park more easily. “

From Ranger Angela Crenshaw, Gunpowder Falls State Park: “Over the river and through the woods to the Little Gunpowder Falls we go! Autumn is here and the park is showing off its fall colors.”

Ranger Felicia Graves, Patapsco Valley State Park, tells us: “In the Hilton area there are still plenty of opportunities to still see the beautiful assortment of fall colors. However, if visitors wish to enjoy this color palette, this may be one of a few chances left. The Daniels area is completely different from the Hilton area. While still an excellent location, it’s past peak and offers no opportunities to see fall colors. It is though a great spot to unwind when it’s not busy.”

Ranger Shelby Smith, Seneca Creek State Park, says: “Montgomery County is experiencing post-peak colors filled with deep red, hues of orange and brown along the landscape. Many of the leaves are probably going to drop from the predicted rains this week so if you have not checked them out, I highly suggest getting out here!”

And from Brian Stupak, Forest Service project manager, Prince Frederick: “The leaves in Southern Maryland are starting to change. Sweetgums, poplars, and maples are midway through their changes and oaks are just starting to turn a few leaves.”

Ranger Peter Conrad Leongini, Smallwood State Park, reports: “The fall colors in Southern Maryland continue to intensify with varied shades of yellow and orange emerging and fusing with retreating reds and diminishing greens.”

On the Eastern Shore, Debbie Cooper-Hughes, park manager, Tuckahoe State Park Complex, says: “Come sleep under the fall foliage at Tuckahoe State Park.” 

Smallwood State Park Credit: Peter Conrad Leongini

Angela Baldwin, park manager, Assateague State Park, tells us: “We are mostly still in the green here on the coast with just a few pops of red here and there. We’ll keep watchin’ and send some more pictures when we start seeing them change along with the gateway.”

Enjoy your Maryland weekend!

What is a Blue Moon?

The next full moon will be the second full moon this month. When you hear someone say, “Once in a blue moon …” then you know it is about something rare. A blue moon is not blue in color. In fact, a blue moon does not look any different from a regular, monthly full moon. Rather, a blue moon is special because it is the “extra” moon in a season with four full moons. This usually only happens every two and a half years. Since the 1940s, the term “blue moon” also refers to the second full moon in a calendar month

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