Montgomery County: Best Places to Explore Fall Foliage

Per Montgomery County: “One of the highlights of the fall season is watching the leaves on the trees change from the vibrant green of summer to an array of red, orange and yellow splendor. Visit Montgomery wants people to know that a trip to New England or through the Shenandoah Mountains is not necessary because a day trip around the County will provide a season’s worth of great sights.

Peak color in Montgomery County is traditionally estimated to be from now through the end of October and areas of the County are moving toward their full fall colors. With more than 250 miles of trails throughout the County, it is easy to get outside and have an adventure at any skill level. Find more trails using the Moco Trail Guide and then grab a craft drink along the Tastemakers Trail. Here are some of the best places in the County to explore fall foliage:

  • Rock Creek Regional Park: Stretching across 1,800 acres, the park includes the beautiful 75-acre Lake Needwood and the picturesque 55-acre Lake Frank. 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. Boat owners can get a full 360-degree view of all the foliage out on Lake Needwood.
  • 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, more than 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. The park includes a half-acre dog park for canine companions.
  • The C&O Canal & Great Falls: The 184.5-mile Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal connects Georgetown in Washington, D.C., with Cumberland. 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 is 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 a great way to spend a fall afternoon outdoors.
  • Brookside Gardens: The County’s award-winning 50-acre public display garden is 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.
  • 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. The park, whose main entrance is on Clopper Road in Gaithersburg, offers Clopper Lake for boating and fishing and has 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. Hike the trail around the lake for fall views or drive to King Fisher’s viewpoint to get a breathtaking look at nearly the entire lake. The boathouse is another great spot for leaf viewing.”

Here are The MoCoShow’s 11 Great Places For Fall Foliage

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