Things to Do

Here’s Where to Find Colorful Fall Foliage Around DC

Do it for the fall 'gram 🍂

Cunningham Falls. Photograph by David Trozzo/Alamy.
How to Do Fall Around DC

About How to Do Fall Around DC

Make the most of autumn activities with these ideas for a fun-filled fall. Check out colorful foliage, corn mazes, haunted houses, pumpkin patches, and more.

It’s not just the Nats painting the city red. The trees are showing their team colors with leaves turning to warm fall hues. Grab a pumpkin spice latte and check out these autumnal views.

Photo by NPS

Rock Creek Park

5200 Glover Rd., NW

Thirty miles of tree-lined trails means you can choose your own adventure. Take a hike, ride a bike, or even trot a horse through the park without leaving the city.

Theodore Roosevelt Island Swamp
Photo by Flickr user Mr.TinDC

Theodore Roosevelt Island

George Washington Memorial Parkway, Arlington 

If you don’t have time for a road trip, two miles of hiking trails are a breath of fresh air. Combine your leaf watching with some birdwatching at the wildlife refuge. The island is accessible from the northbound lanes of George Washington Memorial Parkway.

Photo by Flickr user Paulo O

Western Maryland Railroad

13 Canal St., Cumberland

Chug along bucolic mountains on this three hour train ride through Maryland. The train rolls through photo-ready sights, plus there’s an onboard snack bar if you get a little peckish. Tickets start at $35 and boarding begins at 11 AM.

Photo via the National Arboretum

National Arboretum

3501 New York Ave., NE

If you’re looking for leaves, the 446-acre space dedicated to showcasing trees is a good place to start. Partake in a fall picnic underneath the branches in the National Grove of State Trees.

Photo by Flickr user John Leszczynski

Duke Ellington Bridge

Between 18th St. and Connecticut Ave., NW

Scope out Rock Creek Park from above as you walk across the bridge. For an orange glow, come at sunset to watch the sun fade behind the tree line and then hop over to Adams Morgan for dinner.

narrow trail with a log upon the ground to the side; many leaves are on the ground; the leaves on the trees are yellow and green hues
Photo by NPS

Harper’s Ferry 

171 Shoreline Dr., Harpers Ferry 

You’ll find both falling leaves and roaring rivers at Harper’s Ferry, where the Shenandoah River and Potomac River intersect. For an aerial view, hike up Maryland Heights, the highest mountain overlooking the town.

Photo by NPS

Great Falls Park

9200 Old Dominion Dr., McLean

While there are plenty of nature walks at the park, hike up the River Trail for a view of the leaf-lined waterfalls. You’ll also be able to catch fall foliage on both the Maryland and Virginia sides of the Potomac River.

Image result for c&o canal
Photo by USEPA Environmental-Protection-Agency on Flickr

C&O Canal

11710 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac 

Take a stroll underneath the canopy of leaves or hop on a bike for a ride along the canal. The historic waterway runs for almost 185 miles with hiking trails for an autumn excursion.

Photo courtesy of Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon

3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy, Mount Vernon

Wander the grounds of our first president’s home to check out the autumn trees and garden florals. Find four different gardens and a hiking trail with views along the river.

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Michaela Althouse
Editorial Fellow

Michaela Althouse is an editorial fellow for the Washingtonian. Her previous work has been featured in Philadelphia Magazine and Technical.ly.