Maryland Fall Getaways

Maryland Fall Getaways
Starting in September, Maryland's mountainous western region comes alive with color. You will not be disappointed if you plan a Maryland fall getaway that will allow you to marvel at the vibrant shades of red, yellow and orange found in the stunning fall foliage. On a sunny fall day, hiking and cycling in the area can be breathtaking. Peak color usually occurs in early October.

Greenbrier State Park

Located in the Appalachian Mountains, the 1,288-acre Greenbrier State Park features hiking and mountain biking trails, most notably the 5-mile Big Red Trail offering a gentle climb and a good look at foliage. The 42-acre man-made lake and beach is favorite for canoeing, fishing (a state license is required) and picnicking. Rocky outcrops reveal a look the geologic history of the park. There are 165 campsites, 40 with electric hook-up available.

Greenbrier State Park
21843 National Pike
Boonsboro, MD 21713
301-791-4767
dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/western/greenbrier.html

Savage River State Forest

If you're looking for a more rugged fall mini-vacation, Savage River State Forest covers a vast 54,000 acres, with more than 12,000 designated as wildlands. Trails can be challenging in this mixed hardwood forest. About 50 primitive roadside campsites are available and backpack camping is allowed throughout the forest.

Savage River State Forest
127 Headquarters Lane
Grantsville, MD 21536
301-895-5759
dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/western/savageriver.asp

Rocky Gap State Park

For a more scenic getaway, Rocky Gap State Park covers more than 3,000 acres of public land. The focal point is 243-acre Lake Habeeb, a favorite for boating and fishing. Hike around the lake on a moderate 4.5-mile loop that will take you over four bridges. For a beautiful view of the changing leaves in the park, take the scenic Canyon Overlook Trail. The more ambitious trekkers in your group might want to tackle the trail up Evitt's Mountain, named for one of Allegany County's first European settlers. This trail climbs about 1,000 feet in elevation in 2.5 miles, but the view of fall foliage once you're there is a great reward. The park is home to 278 campsites, 30 with electric hook-up.

Rocky Gap State Park
12500 Pleasant Valley Road
Flintstone, MD 21530
301-722-1480
dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/western/rockygap.html

Swallow Falls State Park

If you hadn't guessed it already, the hallmark of this 257-acre park is several big waterfalls, including Muddy Creek Falls, the highest waterfall in Maryland. The 54-foot waterfall, one of four in the park, is surrounded by tall hemlocks and ancient forest growth. The Youghiogheny River, a favorite for white-water rafting, flows along the park's borders. There are 65 campsites available in Swallow Falls State Park, three with electric, water and sewer hook-ups.

Swallow Falls State Park
222 Herrington Lane
Oakland, MD 21550
301-334-9180
dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/western/swallowfalls.html

Article Written By Ann Oldenburg

Based in the Washington, D.C. area, Ann Oldenburg has been a reporter/editor/author since 1990. She has written for publications including "The Washington Post," "USA TODAY" and "TV Guide." She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Florida.

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