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Posted at 10:33 AM ET, 11/12/2012

Rock Creek with peak color


Photos of Rock Creek taken Saturday, November 10, 2012. Left: Calm water near Connecticut Avenue. Center: The Taft Bridge, also known as the Connecticut Avenue Bridge, over Rock Creek. Right: Rock Creek near Peirce Mill. A larger version of the above image can be viewed here. A larger view of the center image can be viewed here. (Kevin Ambrose)

The color in Rock Creek Park Saturday morning was spectacular. I spent a few hours photographing Rock Creek from the Taft Bridge to Peirce Mill.

I used the words “peak color” in the title of this post but there was still a lot of green along the creek bank. On the hillsides above the creek the trees were mostly in peak color but a few of the larger trees and hill tops were starting to turn brown. So, I went with the median and called it “peak color.”

Read below for more photos from Saturday.


I took off my socks and shoes and waded into Rock Creek to shoot this photo. The water was painfully cold and the rocks kind of hurt too. This was downstream from the Taft Bridge. A larger image can be viewed here. (Kevin Ambrose)

Clouds covered the sun for much of my photo shoot. For a truly spectacular photo post of Rock Creek, check out Ian Livington’s post from last fall. Ian spent a weekend last November shooting Rock Creek and captured scenes with some very nice lighting.

Related: Did Superstorm Sandy blow away peak fall color in Washington, D.C.?

It’s interesting to note that both Ian’s photo shoot and my photo shoot show the color of Rock Creek’s foliage peaking near mid-November, in back-to-back years. This is about a week or two later than most of the Washington area, and a month later than mountains to the west. Rock Creek, like many of the low lying areas around Washington, has a slightly warmer microclimate than the surrounding hills and elevated areas.


This is a section of Rock Creek not far from Peirce Mill. A trail parallels the creek and Beach Drive is barely visible in the background. A larger image can be viewed here. (Kevin Ambrose)

If you’re looking for a nice location to hike, run, or bike, check out Rock Creek Park. I choose Peirce Mill as one of my locations to shoot. It has good parking, a historic mill, public facilities, and access to the trails. I have learned that Rock Creek Park is one of the hidden treasures within Washington, D.C.


Clouds blocked out the sun for much of the morning. This photo was taken along Beach Drive. A larger image can be viewed here. (Kevin Ambrose)


Two joggers run down a trail along Rock Creek. The Tilden Street overpass is in the foreground. (Kevin Ambrose)


A trail lined with golden foliage leads up from Rock Creek through the surrounding hills.


One of the many trails in Rock Creek Park. (Kevin Ambrose)


A Rock Creek reflection. (Kevin Ambrose)


The Taft Bridge, also known as the Connecticut Avenue Bridge, with fall color. A larger version of the image can be viewed here. (Kevin Ambrose)

By  |  10:33 AM ET, 11/12/2012

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