Welcome to the 2020 Maryland Fall Foliage Report, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Although we will mention a festival or event occasionally, that will not be a major focus this year due to numerous cancellations of many seasonal events. However, the men and women working for Maryland’s Park Service and Forest Service will provide eyewitness accounts, as well as photographs, as the fall season unfolds.
“Another fall season is already upon us! I have noticed red maples and serviceberries starting to turn in Garrett County,” reports Urban and Community Forester Becky Wilson. “Wolf Swamp in New Germany State Park is one of my favorite places that turns early due to the site conditions and you can easily view the changes as you drive along I-68. Otherwise, we are still rather green in the areas that I travel.”
“For the most part, the forest canopy remains green with a few maples showing subtle hints of yellow,” Scott Campbell, forest manager at Potomac-Garrett State Forest.
“Overall, leaf drop has started to lightly cover the roads in some patches from maple, walnut and sycamore trees,” comments Daniel B. Hedderick, project forester in Allegany County. “Dogwoods have formed red berries and some leaves have a slight color change. The trained eye can see the trees are ready to prepare for a long winter’s nap.”
“Rocky Gap State Park does not have any significant leaf change yet, however the fresh feel of autumn is in the air! Fallen leaves have begun to scatter around roads, trails, and campsites, and goldenrod abounds!” Park Manager Julia Musselwhite also says that camping is more popular than ever this year, and Rocky Gap offers both reservations and walk-in only accommodations. Canoe, kayak, and paddleboard board rentals will continue while conditions remain favorable. Lastly, consider visiting on September 20 to enjoy the annual Dubs at the Gap international car show from 9 a.m. though 3 p.m. in the Day Use area. Proceeds benefit the Allegany County Animal Shelter.
“That old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air … Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.” ― Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose