Very mild conditions in September and October have delayed the arrival of peak foliage in the Mid-Atlantic region, but expect colors to really start to burst over the next two weeks.
Peak color has come and gone at the highest peaks of West Virginia, but prime fall foliage awaits almost all other areas.
Visitors to Skyline Drive this weekend are in for a special treat, according to the latest report from Shenandoah National Park.
“You can drive through Shenandoah on Skyline Drive in any direction you choose – any way is gorgeous,” its report says. “[T]he color this reporter saw was: astounding, mind-blowing, stupendous, astonishing, glowing, electrifying, breathtaking, eye-popping, wondrous – or, to keep it simple as Thoreau did: beautiful.”
Heading lower in elevation, into the Shenandoah Valley, there is considerable color, but next weekend may prove the best time for leaf peeping. “Most of Shenandoah Valley is below 50 percent of peak, but expect big changes there in the next week,” says the Virginia Department of Forestry.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says peak color has arrived in Allegany County. “Reports from Green Ridge State Forest in Allegany indicate current conditions there are simply glorious; the maples and dogwoods have turned vibrant red, the hickories a golden yellow, and the black gums, an orangish-red,” its report says.
As you reach Washington and western Frederick counties in west central Maryland, peak color is about a week away, but about 70 percent to peak, the Maryland DNR states.
Based on the progress of foliage west of Washington, peak color is probably about ten days to two weeks away areas just west of Interstate 95 and just over two weeks away from Interstate eastward.
Even though the best autumn color is still a couple weeks away close to D.C., certain trees are already showing off beautiful displays and more and more color will emerge with the weather turning cooler.
Foliage photos from the around the region
Lower elevations, valleys
Piedmont and coastal plain