• Shea Ridl

The Best Places to Visit in the Fall

From the vibrant leaves to the light chill in the air, everyone loves the fall. Here are the best places to go in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia to take advantage of the fall season outdoors:


Image: "More Fall Colours" by lokidude99 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

1. Shenandoah National Park

Image: "Stony Man summit" by daveynin is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Shenandoah is one of my favorite places to go. There are so many trails, rivers and fun activities to try. The fall is especially beautiful in the park because the trees morph into red, orange and brown, and the weather becomes a little chilly. Driving along Skyline Drive, you can see the colorful leaves on the trees and look over the side of the mountain to see the valley down below. For a hike, try the Stony Man Trail. It is a relatively easy hike up to some boulders that look over the whole valley. The view is one of my favorites and something that you would definitely not want to miss if you go to Shenandoah.



2. Cox Farms

Cox Farms is perfect for a family-friendly day in the fall, and there are a wide variety of harvest-related activities to do there. You can go on a hayride, ride the slides around the farm, visit the farm animals, try apple cider donuts or go to the festival market. I would recommend coming here with your family or friends to explore and embrace autumn!



3. Harper’s Ferry

I have to admit that Harper’s Ferry is actually located in West Virginia, not in the DMV, but it is close to Maryland and Virginia, situated on the state border. Harper’s Ferry is a historic town where you can explore the old buildings and walk around the waterfront. When by the waterfront, which is called The Point, I would suggest going on the Appalachian Trail Bridge, which takes you over the water and gives you a great view of the brightly colored trees and the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers converging. Hiking around the area is also nice in the fall because of the beautiful scenery.



4. Rock Creek Park

Image: "Beautiful shot of the old stone bridge on Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park on our hike today" by dionhinchcliffe is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Rock Creek Park is located in the middle of Washington, D.C, throughout a lot of the north side of the city. It has a trail that runs by Rock Creek, a small branch of the Potomac River. Many people like to take strolls through its nature setting or jog on this trail through the park. It is a scenic location, especially in the fall; the creek glows with the reflections of the auburn foliage.


5. Scott’s Run Nature Preserve

Image: "Scott's Run" by ESMiller59 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

I go to Scott’s Run with my friends frequently. In Virginia, it is very close to the beltway, so it’s easily accessible. There are various trails, ranging from easy walks to more technically challenging hikes. If you are not a big hiker, I would recommend one of the easier trails, where you can walk to the Great Falls of the Potomac River. The whole area is covered with trees, so it's not too sunny or too hot. In the fall, you can hear the leaves crunching under your feet and see vibrant trees all around you. You will likely enjoy Scott’s Run even if you do not usually like the outdoors.