Best Places For Fall Colors In Baltimore

September 19, 2015 8:00 AM

Autumn is a welcome change in season for Baltimore. It signals an end to the oppressive humidity often associated with Maryland summers, begins a parade of holidays, rolls out some of the tastiest produce of the year and, perhaps best of all, brings a change of color to the Chesapeake which make the Old Line State rival any landscape in the world for scenic wonder. If you want to get out and observe this phenomena for yourself, here are a few locations which can hardly be beat for beauty.
sunflowers Best Places For Fall Colors In Baltimore

Sunflowers at Jarrettsville Pike (Credit: Joel Furches)

Jarrettsville Pike
3209 Jarrettsville Pike Road
Monkton, MD 21111
(443) 882-0079 late September and early October, one can see the shoulder along Jarrettsville Pike fairly jumbled with the parked cars of gawkers and photographers. Some have stopped on a whim, others have come intentionally from miles around. The draw? A sprawling field of golden sunflowers bordered by a line of trees with leaves just beginning to turn the gentle orange of autumn. This vast sunflower field — surrounded by the tree line of the Little Gunpowder Falls — is a relatively new attraction, only having been around for about five years. But it has already become a seasonal favorite in that time, so much so that professional photographers are making it a regular in their portfolios — and so should you.  Unfortunately, this year (2015) they aren’t growing sunflowers, but bookmark this place for the future.

Fresh McKenzie Farm
5445 Patterson Road
Baldwin, MD 21013
(443) 356-5245
www.freshmckenziefarm.blogspot.comMost large farms open themselves to the public during the autumn months to offer some fall festivities, and Fresh McKenzie Farm is no exception. What is exceptional about McKenzie Farm is the view. Not only does it offer the seasonal sights expected of any self-respecting farm — thatches of cornstalks bound and set up, piles of hay-bales, scarecrows and pumpkin patches — but the farm is nestled in a rolling countryside of meadows, cornfields and thick forests which give it the perfect blend of fall colors for any eye inclined to beauty. Drop by in the fall for corn mazes, pick your own pumpkins and horse-drawn hayrides!

Loch Raven Reservoir
12101 Dulaney Valley Road
Timonium, MD 21131
(410) 887-7692
www.lochraventrails.comLoch Raven Reservoir is a broad and placid stretch of water bordered on both sides by trees and rocky slopes. The water is so still that, in the fall when the trees surrounding the reservoir shift to a myriad of different colors, the lake becomes a mirror, reflecting the colors back toward the blue autumn skies.

The forests surrounding Loch Raven are full of hiking trails which travel over gullies, streams and brooks — perfect if you want to immerse yourself in the foliage of the season. You can also enjoy fishing or boating on the reservoir itself.

Related: Best Places To Catch Fall Foliage

Patapsco Valley State Park
8020 Baltimore National Park
Ellicott City, MD 21043
(410) 461-5005
www.dnr2.maryland.govPatapsco Valley State Park lies at the outskirts of historic Ellicott City, which is quite spectacularly decorated itself during the autumn months, especially with their famous Fall Festival. During the fall, there are any number of ways to take in the sights of the valley. You might start on the Elkridge side and take a slow, scenic drive through the park on Orange Grove Road. Then stretch your legs and hike the park’s switchback trail. Or, to take in the glorious vista of the park in all of its explosive grandeur, try the Valley Overlook off Route 40.

Oregon Ridge Park
13401 Beaver Dam Road
Cockeysville, MD 21030
(410) 887-1815
www.oregonridgenaturecenter.orgOregon Ridge Park is one of those places that contains everything a park ought to have all rolled into one package. For the purposes of fall foliage viewing, there is practically no place one could immerse themselves f in the fall experience more thoroughly than Oregon Ridge. The park offers any number of concerts, sporting activities, educational programs and special events in the fall season. Participating in these while surrounded by the glory of autumn definitely has its appeal, but the real appeal is to set to the trails and hike. At over a thousand acres, there is easily enough variety to keep you satisfied, and the various streams, hills and species of tree will provide ample scenery to keep you satisfied for the duration. The rivers, lakes and ponds found within the park also add to its aesthetics as they catch the colors of the season and magnify them for your enjoyment.

Related: Best Places For A Fall Getaway Near Baltimore

Joel Furches is a freelance writer and researcher for The Examiner and Logos Software, and also manages his own catalog of writing on Hub Pages. Joel is on the board of directors for Ratio Christi. He has a bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Education.