Things To Do In Garrett County In Fall
Summer was good to us, September brought us continued sunshine and warmth, and as soon as October began, nature flipped a switch and fall finally arrived, a little later than normal.
Now that we've had cooler temperatures and I've been wearing fuzzy socks and scarves for a few days, it seems like a good time to share more about the fall season in our beautiful corner of Maryland here in Garrett County. More specifically, THINGS TO DO in fall in Garrett County!
Check Out The Leaves
Let's start with one big thing that quickly comes to mind when people think of fall in Garrett County, THE LEAVES! This is our seventh fall season living here and even in that short amount of time we've seen some beautiful Octobers. The leaves weren't as grand last year and some think we'll have the same this year. But I'm hopeful that the warm and dry September just put our leaves on delay. If the brilliant foliage does appear, a simple drive around the county is definitely a must-do. Our Garrett County Chamber and Visitors Center has created Fall Foliage Driving Tours that can help you with your route.
I took this picture on an early Saturday morning in mid-October in 2016. It's a shot of Wisp Mountain from 219 in McHenry.
The 52nd Annual Autumn Glory Festival
This is like Garrett County's Christmas! Autumn Glory means colorful leaves, craft shows, people coming home for the weekend, turkey dinners, community events, parades, and so much more. In a nutshell, it's a celebration of fall and our fall foliage. My family especially loves the Fireman's Parade in Downtown Oakland on Thursday evening, hopping around the county for shopping and lunch on Friday, and of course the Grand Feature Parade on Saturday.
There's a full list of events at VisitDeepCreek.com, but a friendly warning: this isn't a park-and-walk-to-everything kind of festival like you might assume. There are things going on and places to stop all over the county, so be ready to do some driving in between. But maybe the driving around is okay because you'll get to see our leaves!?
Drink Coffee & Eat Food
It's not really fall unless you enjoy a cup of coffee and warm meal in cozy restaurants and eateries, right!? I immediately think of Trader's Coffee House and their fall lattes. They also just recently added the Pumpkin Roll Frappe to the menu so that sounds like an appropriate treat, too! The Cornucopia Cafe in Grantsville also serves up some yummy coffee drinks, and Canoe On The Run in McHenry is a great sit-outside-on-the-deck-and-enjoy coffee option.
And when it comes to food, it seems appropriate to mention places where you can find pumpkin treats, baked goods, and soup: The Casselman, The Casselman Bakery & Cafe, Heidi's Bakery & Cafe, and The Rolling Pin Bakery.
Insider Tip: The donuts above are from The Rolling Pin Bakery in Accident and are available on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays only. Go early, because they often sell out!
Visit Our State Parks
I just love our state parks. They're true gems. Swallow Falls State Park is my personal favorite...maybe because I've photographed countless portrait sessions, a few weddings and a snowy proposal there.
But it's also because it's such a beautiful, real-forest-feel kind of place that is easily hiked by all ages and skill levels. You don't need to walk far once inside the park to see Maryland's tallest waterfall, Muddy Creek Falls. This blog post gives a few more details on the waterfalls you'll find...there's actually three! Swallow Falls also has a lot of evergreens, but you can find some nice pops of fall color there, too.
According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fall Foliage Report, the best place to see the best color in Garrett County is along route 495 and New Germany Roads, which is where you'll find New Germany State Park. Trails, cabins for rent, a small lake with a beach area, a playground for the kids...it's also a nice place to visit.
Bring Your Love For A Getaway!
Hiking some new trails, enjoying a lakeside dinner, snuggling by the fire, and sharing a bottle of wine in a tiny cabin are all things I've painted in my head as "perfect" for a couples' fall getaway...and all of this can be easily done in Garrett County. The Fall Getaway Insider Guide for Couples has all the details, including a recommended route and overnight lodging suggestions.
I feel like I could share more about what to do in Garrett County and Deep Creek in fall, but this blog post would be forever long! Instead, feel free to shoot me a message on Facebook or Instagram (visit the @fortheloveofdeepcreek handle) if you're wondering about more. I am so happy to help as your Deep Creek Local Insider. 🙂