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Local Rangers Note Fall Colors as Autumn Continues

October 13th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

Rain Sunday and Monday and wind Tuesday has brought down many of the maple leaves in Garrett County but a few pockets of bright color can still be found, according to Melissa Nash, Garrett project manager with the Maryland Forest Service. Oaks are beginning to join in the dance as they start to turn golden brown to deep purplish tones.

The Autumn Glory Festival is happening the rest of the week and throughout the weekend. For list of events and links to fall foliage driving tours visit the festival’s website.

Western Maryland 4-H Center, Swanton

Western Maryland 4-H Center, Swanton, Photo by Melissa Nash

Cherry Creek Trail at Deep Creek Lake State Park

Cherry Creek Trail at Deep Creek Lake State Park, Photo by Melissa Carlson


At Deep Creek Lake State Park, rainy weather the past few days has stripped the most vibrant leaves off of the trees, leaving the deciduous understory looking slightly barren, according to Maryland Park Service Associate Melissa Carson. “You can clearly see the next round of changing leaves from the Cherry Creek Trail at Deep Creek Lake State Park as the peppered pink hues peek through the canopy.”

“This year’s fall colors in Garrett County are undoubtedly more brilliant than last season,” says Ranger Adam Stachowiak, assistant manager of Herrington ManorSwallow Falls, and Wolf Den Run state parks. “Many leaves have already begun falling, however the maples and hickories are still producing eye pleasing color changes. Get in the woods and enjoy it before it is too late!” 

Sean Nolan, assistant manager of Savage River State Forest, says “much of the mid-canopy and understory trees — birch, striped maple, sassafras, blackgum — are all in full color. Some of the large red maple and sugar maple are starting to turn, but definitely not full color yet.”

“It has certainly been a different kind of fall,” remarks Luke Mongrain, assistant manager of New Germany State Park. “It seems there is still a good amount of green or the leaves have already fallen.” 

Ranger Bob Study reports similar conditions at Fort Frederick State Park. “Unfortunately the few trees that have changed color have turned brown due to the drought and warm weather. Some of the pines are also turning brown and losing their needles.” 

Allegany County remains at 40% color change, quite similar to last week, according to Allegany Project Forester Dan Hedderick.

Herrington Manor State Park

Herrington Manor State Park, photo by Adam Stachowiak

“We have been in the clouds with the rain,” says Aaron Cook, forester based in Clear Spring. “The rain brought down leaves that had changed, but hickories are changing to golden brown and then quickly brown.”

Ranger Mary Ironside, park manager of the South Mountain Recreation Area in Washington County, notes very little change in the foliage.

Frederick County leaves are just beginning to change, according to Ranger Mark Spurrier, manager of Cunningham Falls and Gambrill state parks.

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