That urge to revel in fall color is here, as the tips of trees become lit with gold, red and orange and suburban dwellers scramble to the nearest forest or mountaintop to marvel at the brilliance of nature.
Park officials in Maryland report that there is time left to enjoy the spectacle, especially in the central and eastern parts of the state.
The leaves in Western Maryland began peaking in late September; this weekend should be the finale there. But from Frederick County west to the Chesapeake Bay, the leaves should continue to be spectacular until Oct. 20, officials said. Tree colors at the edges of Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore will be at their brightest later, from about Oct. 18 until Nov. 11.
But park officials stress that the weather plays a major role in determining in when leaves are most colorful. Before embarking on a trip to view foliage, officials suggest calling a park in the area.
Experts said among the best places to see fall colors are higher elevations such as the Catoctin Mountains in Frederick County. Cunningham Falls State Park, set in the mountains, is about 12 miles north of Frederick. Several parks in Garrett County offer good views, such as Savage River State Forest, Deep Creek Lake State Park and Herrington Manor State Park. West of Frederick along U.S. Rte. 40 and Interstate 70 there are numerous scenic overlooks.
There are also several good parks in the Maryland suburbs of Washington and Baltimore. Scenic Patapsco Valley State Park covers four counties: Howard, Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Carroll. Gunpowder State Park on the dividing line between Baltimore and Harford Counties has a nice view of foliage.