5 DMV-Area Hikes Perfect for Enjoying Fall Foliage

A Season for ChangeThis fall, find the perfect place close to your current — or future — home to go for a hike and enjoy the vibrant colors of the changing season. It’s an annual tradition that the whole family can enjoy and appreciate. Take a photo and it could make for the perfect holiday greeting card to send out to your friends and family.

Experts are forecasting the changing fall foliage to peak in the Mid-Atlantic region during the week of October 15, so start planning accordingly. You can also check out this fall foliage prediction map to learn more.  

Bears Den

Bluemont, VA

With a summit at 1,350 feet, the Bears Den Rocks provide sweeping, panoramic views of the surrounding Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west. It also makes for a prime spot to take in the sunset.

Set on the Appalachian Trail, this location is perfect for a fall hike with flexibility. The overlook is a short 5-minute walk from the Bears Den parking lot, so you can get out and enjoy the views without going far. But if you’d like to enjoy a full day in the woods, the Appalachian Trail runs in either direction so you can hike down the trail for as far as you like before turning around. Looking for real adventure? Hit the Raven Rocks hike just across Route 7 from the Bears Den parking lot.  

Bears Den is a prime fall hike for families in Loudoun or Clarke counties. It’s located just 8 miles from The Bluffs at Sleeter Lake and roughly 20 miles from Waterford Manor and Snowden Bridge.

Prince William Forest Park  

Dumfries, VA

Residents of Potomac Shores know they won’t have to look far to experience the beautiful fall colors. It’s all around them. That’s especially true for Brookfield Residential homeowners who are in the midst of the colorful forests in the Woods Bend and Woods Edge neighborhoods of this master-planned community.

Still, it’s great to get out and take the family on a new adventure. Only 7 miles away, the Prince William Forest Park offers an opportunity to explore 15,000 acres of beautiful woodlands along Quantico Creek. It’s a beautiful place to see the leaves change.

Patuxent Research Refuge

Bowie, MD

The Patuxent Research Refuge is the nation’s only wildlife refuge established to support wildlife research. Head to the South Tract and hit one of the many loop trails. Not only will you get the chance to see leaves dressed in beautiful fall colors, but you might get a chance to see the park’s ample wildlife found along the lake and woods. It’s only open on weekends so be sure to plan accordingly!

The visitors center is roughly a 20-mile drive from Silver Spring to the west and Glen Burnie to the northeast, which makes the Patuxent Research Refuge the perfect fall destination for families at Oakview Village or Bradford’s Landing.

Billy Goat Trail

Potomac, MD

One of the most scenic and adventurous hikes close to D.C., the Billy Goat Trail crosses islands and the rocky ridge alongside the famous Great Falls on the Potomac River. From here, your family will enjoy epic waterfall views alongside the beautiful colors of the changing fall foliage. It’s best accessed from the Great Falls Tavern Visitors Center. There are three sections of the hike that total about 8 miles and range from a leisurely stroll to adventurous bouldering.

This location is perfect for residents of our luxury townhomes at Travilah Station. It’s just 10 miles from home to the Great Falls Tavern Visitors Center. And families who live at Bradford’s Landing are close by, too.  

Quiet Waters Park

Annapolis, MD

Just south of downtown Annapolis, Quiet Waters Park offers access to forests and shoreline situated between the South River and Harness Creek. With pavilions available for reservations, it’s a great place to enjoy a fall picnic with friends or family after a stroll along the scenic hiking trails. You can also rent kayaks and take in the fall colors from the water’s edge.

Located just 5 miles southeast of Admirals Square, this is a great destination for residents of this contemporary townhome and condo community to escape to nature any time of the year.

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