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Fall Foliage Report for Maryland: November 4-5

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In November we’re starting to think of oyster dressing, pumpkin pie and turkey dinners, despite the fairly mild temperatures and presence of still-green leaves on many Maryland trees. While the leaves are past peak and have even started to drop in western Maryland, the brilliant orange, scarlet and yellow foliage is coming on strong in central Maryland and the mid-Eastern Shore.

In the central region, reports from Patapsco Valley State Park indicate a colorful scene. For fabulous views of fall foliage, stop by the Valley Overlook in the Hollofield Area near Ellicott City in Howard County. It’s also a perfect time to take in the two-mile scenic drive along Orange Grove Road in the Avalon Area, near Elkridge. With the weather expected to be cool and clear over the next few days, why not enjoy a hike in the park’s McKeldin Area in Marriottsville.

Equestrians can enjoy riding at Morgan Run Natural Environment Area, which reports fantastic conditions right now. Located in Carroll County, this relatively undisturbed area has 7 miles of trails running through old farm fields and forests.

Baltimore, Carroll and Harford counties are nearing peak, with most understory trees (dogwood, spicebush and sumac) as well as black gum, cherry, hickory, red maple, sassafras, sweet gum and yellow-polar near peak. Sugar maples changed a little and then lost their leaves, which is becoming typical for this season.

Although the recent storm accelerated leaf dropping, the Route 1 corridor from Forest Hill to Fallston can compete with anything New England has to offer. The burning bush is flaming and the maples are quite brilliant. Grass is still green making for a colorful contrast.

At the top of the Chesapeake Bay, Elk Neck State Park in Cecil County is reporting some beautiful conditions right now, with foliage about 50 percent peak. The park’s sandy beaches, marshlands and heavily-wooded bluffs comprise the peninsula formed by the North East and Elk rivers and the Chesapeake Bay, and several trails meander through the diversified topography, revealing a great variety of plant and animal life. An easy walking trail to the Turkey Point Lighthouse provides a fantastic view.

On the upper shore in Kent and Queen Anne’s counties, red maples are still turning orange/red in most areas. Willow oaks are still green as are most of the oaks although some have turned brown. Dogwoods are deep burgundy and starting to lose leaves. Woodland areas are showing some signs of yellow.

Maryland’s mid-shore is about mid-peak, with oaks just beginning to turn. Colors are lovely, in a water-color sort of way, as seen in the photo of Wye Mills Lake.

The leaves are just beginning to turn in Wicomico and Worcester counties; however, rain and high wind brought down some of the early color.

Montgomery County reports a lot of color change during the past week. Oaks and maples are quite colorful in Prince George’s County as well.

Tulip poplars and gums have completely turned color. In Southern Maryland leaves are now starting to turn in Calvert and Charles counties, while St. Mary’s is mostly yellow with some red appearing on the maples.