10 Stunning Places To See The Changing Leaves Around DC

Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz

Fall foliage DC

You really autumn check out these stunning spots!

With fall foliage in the DMV finally reaching its peak, DC’s trees are bursting with spectacular hues of gold and auburn and you know what that means–It’s time for some leaf-peeping!

If you’re like us and you can’t get enough of the fall foliage, or just simply want to jump in a good ol’ pile of crackling leaves, read on to discover some of our favorite places to watch the changing of the seasons in and around DC.

1. The National Mall 

The National Mall and its surrounding areas are one of our favorite spots for basking in the beautiful colors of fall without even leaving the city! Whether you choose to take a walk or wander around on your bike, there are several spots along the Mall in which you can admire the gorgeous blossoms. You can take a turn around the Tidal Basin or sit on the steps of Jefferson Memorial to admire the Basin’s beautiful trees from afar, or even take a stroll by the Reflecting Pool.  Make sure to stop along the way to capture the trees in different lights for the perfect shot of DC’s biggest monuments surrounded by stunning shades of auburn and gold!

2. Rock Creek Park 

Rock Creek Park is another great option if you don’t feel like leaving the District but still want to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Plus, its network of trails and pathways are very hiking friendly for those of you who want to go on a relaxed autumn walk. While at the park make sure to also check out some of its awesome historic landmarks such as the Pierce Mill gristmill, the Rolling Meadow Footbridge, and Miller Cabin.

3. Tregaron Conservancy

These century-old gardens are actually one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Located between Woodland Park and Cleveland Park Tregaron’s  20 acres of secret gardens, meadows and ponds are a great spot to check out the changing leaves. The estate, which has been around for more than a century, was once home to the DC elite. Now it’s a spectacular hidden spot in which to break away from DC life without even leaving the city!

4. Theodore Roosevelt Island

If you’re a fan of wildlife then this little island is the perfect spot to go on a relaxed autumn hike to see the changing leaves! Its easy 1.6-mile loop trail is perfect for hikers of all levels and its one of the best trails to go hiking in Washington DC, featuring boardwalks over marsh areas and clean wooded forest paths. Plus, its easily accessed through public transportation!

5. The U.S. National Arboretum

Located just two miles from the U.S. Capitol, the National Arboretum is especially beautiful in the autumn. The stark contrast of the sandstone Corinthian Columns (that once supported the U.S. Capitol portico) and the vibrant leaves on surrounding trees make the arboretum a totally stunning autumn leaf-peeping destination.


6. Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park is a stunning hiking spot all year round whether you choose to go swimming in the summer or leaf-peeping in the fall. The popular Skyline Drive is a great option for this time of year, as you’ll get to experience the colors on a gorgeous car ride, but if you’re more of the walking type, the 6.5-mile Mary’s Rock hike follows the Appalachian Trail up to an astonishing viewing point of the sprawling hills.

7. Harpers Ferry

This gorgeous little town is located at the merging of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. Harpers Ferry offers activities for both adventures and the less intrepid, including the beautiful Maryland Heights Trail which overlooks the city and is perfect for taking in the stunning foliage from up high!

8. Cunningham Falls State Park

Another gorgeous spot for swimming in the summer and hiking in the fall. Cunningham Falls State Park’s 78-foot-tall waterfall is the largest in Maryland. The water splashes down through a series of ledges and into a beautiful water pool at the bottom. Plus the park’s full of light hiking trails that range from half a mile to 7.5 miles which will take you through paths blooming with the stunning colors of autumn!

9. Seneca Creek State Park

These 7.8 miles of gorgeous woodland offer great views of the Great Seneca Creek and its stunning flora! While hiking on the trail you’ll also be able to check out the historic Middlebrook and Watkins Mills with beautiful golden, auburn and crimson trees as the backdrop.


10. Sugar Loaf Mountain

Want to admire Maryland’s gorgeous foliage? Most of the trails at Sugarloaf Mountain are moderately difficult but the climb is worth the effort since all of them will take you to spectacular views of the fields and sprawling hills of pastoral Maryland.  Sugarloaf offers three different pathways, the White, Blue and Purple trails and its just a short distance from DC.

See also: This New Foggy Bottom Shop Is Serving Some Seriously Spooktacular Drinks • SecreTea

[Featured image: Desmond Hester @DezHester on Unsplash]

Tags: autumn
Things To Do Wellness & Nature