Living in the D.C. area gives you access to some of the most sought-after fall colors of autumn on the East Coast. If you find yourself with a little space-time in the upcoming weeks, consider taking a stroll (or leisurely drive) to admire the changing leaves at one of the beautiful Autumn getaways below.
The Woodstock Trail:
One of the most family-friendly hikes in the D.C. area is the Woodstock Trail. This two-mile-long out-and-back trail offers impressive views of the surrounding forest. At a moderate pace, a leisurely stroll on this trail will take about an hour and a half round-trip. The most exciting part of the Woodstock Trail is a three-story fire tower, which gives climbers a generous 360-degree view of the Shenandoah River and Shenandoah National Park.
It is a 90-mile drive to the Woodstock Trail. From Washington D.C., it will take about an hour and a half to drive to the trailhead.
Another beautiful location right near the heart of Washington D.C. is Annapolis Rock. This trail eventually connects to the infamous 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail. It is a popular path for those who enjoy a quick stroll through the heavily used wilderness.
The path travels through a dense forest for the entire trip, and begins with a steady upward climb before connecting to an easy level path. Hikers often catch a glimpse of rock climbers steadily making their way up the face of nearby cliffs. Once you’re at the top of the trail, you’ll enjoy a 180-degree view of the forest below and Greenbrier Lake in the distance.
The entire trail is five miles out and back and takes leisurely hikers approximately 5 hours to complete.
Sugarloaf Mountain is one of the closest mountain hikes to DC. The trail is completely uphill and should not be considered for families with young children. Before reaching the summit, hikers will find two rocky outcroppings called the “White Rocks” overlook. After the White Rocks landmark, hikers can proceed uphill to finish off the hike.
At almost seven miles round-trip, the hike usually takes seven hours to complete for inexperienced hikers.
While it’s a bit crowded during the weekends, the Old Rag trail is a difficult yet popular hike among outdoorsman in the D.C. region. This trail’s popularity is due to the incredible forest views that jump out at hikers as they make their way down the wooded path. The highest points of the trail offer an amazing view of Shenandoah National Park, which is filled with beautiful autumn colors between September and November.
Keep in mind: This is considered a challenging trail. As you hike, you may be forced to navigate around boulders and fallen trees. The Old Rag trail is about nine miles long and will take about 6 hours to complete on a leisurely hike.
Living in the city doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the colors of autumn on the East Coast! If you’ve already started enjoying them in Maryland or Washington D.C., leave a comment below with one of your photos.