It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, we’re not talking about the holiday season (yet). We’re talking about fall in Montgomery County, Maryland. One of the highlights of the season is watching the leaves on the trees change from the vibrant green of summer to an array of red, orange and yellow splendor.
There are plenty of places throughout the county to see the fall foliage in full bloom. We’ve compiled some of the best below. So, grab your favorite sweater, grab a cup of hot apple cider and explore!
Rock Creek Regional Park
Rock Creek Regional Park stretches across 1,800 acres and includes the beautiful 75-acre Lake Needwood and the picturesque 55-acre Lake Frank. Bask in the colors of autumn as you trek across the park’s 13 miles of woodland trails or along the lake shores. The trails are perfect for walking, running, biking and rollerblading. And, boat owners can get a full 360-degree view of all the foliage out on Lake Needwood. For more information on boating and fishing in Rock Creek Regional Park, click here.
Black Hill Regional Park
Located north of Germantown, Black Hill Regional Park offers more than 2,000 acres of outdoor recreation. It features the mostly hard-surface 4.3 mile Black Hill Trail, over 10 miles of natural surface trails and a water trail on Little Seneca Lake. Stop for a picnic and enjoy spectacular views of the lake and oak and hickory forests. Did we mention the park is also dog-friendly? That’s right – Black Hill Regional Park also includes a half-acre dog park for your outdoor canine companion.
The C&O Canal & Great Falls
The 184.5 mile Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal connects Georgetown in Washington, D.C. with Cumberland, MD. Built along the Potomac River, the canal operated for nearly 100 years as a lifeline for local communities, transporting coal, lumber and agricultural products down the waterway to market. Today, it lives on as a pathway for discovering history and nature, and a top destination once the leaves start to change. Nearby, Great Falls Park overlooks a series of rapids and waterfalls on the Potomac River. Its trails, including the popular Billy Goat Trail, are the perfect way to spend a fall afternoon outdoors with friends and family.
Brookside Gardens is Montgomery County’s award-winning 50-acre public display garden situated within Wheaton Regional Park. As the leaves change colors, they provide a completely different backdrop to the gardens’ 20,000-plus plants. Within the gardens are several distinct areas: Azalea Garden, Butterfly Garden, Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Style Garden, the Woodland Walk and more. Brookside Gardens also feature two conservatories for year-round enjoyment. This year, they will also be hosting a Glory of Fall Tour, a walking tour where guests can see the how the garden changes in the autumn, including fall blooming perennials like asters, coneflowers, sedums and grasses.
Seneca Creek State Park
The park, comprised of 6,300 acres, extends along 14 scenic miles of Seneca Creek, as it winds its way to the Potomac River. Also, the park offers Clopper Lake for boating and fishing, as well as trails for hiking, cycling and horseback riding. Adventurous hikers can take the 16.5 mile Seneca Creek Greenway Trail that follows the entire course of the creek. This year, on October 14 and 21, park staff will provide Fall Foliage Pontoon Tours, relaxing 45-minute boat rides of Clopper Lake to view the changing colors of the park.