Find Your Chesapeake: Fall Getaways

Attraction magazine has partnered with the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office and Chesapeake Conservancy to help readers find their next adventure. Each month, we’ll feature a new place from their helpful website, There, you can also sign up for an e-newsletter, Trips and Tips, that delivers fresh ideas to your inbox each week.

Ready to try something new? At also find expert advice on experiences like birdwatching, fishing, camping and hiking. Their team also developed content to help people explore the Chesapeake virtually so folks can stay safe at home during the pandemic.

This month, the spotlight is on Fall Getaways. Fall is the perfect time for a road trip. The haze, heat and humidity have given way to cool, crisp days with billowy white clouds against azure skies…makes you want to hit the road and seek out new adventures. This month’s FindYourChesapeake recommendations feature nearby parks a bit further afield for a variety of outdoor activities.

Starting on the east side of the Bay, Wye Island’s fall foliage is a beautiful addition to its year-round appeal for many outdoor activities. Consider a leisurely paddle along the island’s over 30 miles of shoreline from the soft launch, or hiking, biking, or horseback riding its trails.

Wye Island Natural Resource Management Area includes 2,800 acres and 30 miles of shoreline. Photograph courtesy of Stephen Badger, MD DNR.

Also, on this side of the Bay, but in Delaware, is Trap Pond. Its photogenic cypress trees rival hardwood forests for their unique, mysterious beauty. Take a pontoon tour or paddle the pond to fully appreciate the northernmost natural stand of bald cypress trees in the United States.

On the Western Shore, Sugarloaf Mountain in Dickerson, Maryland will appeal to both leafers and birders. The dominant tree species on Sugarloaf are Red and White Oaks, Black Gum, Tulip Poplar, Black Birch and Eastern Hemlock. The forest birds include the Great Horned Owl, Pileated Woodpecker, wild Turkey, and Red Shouldered Hawk, and in fall, many migratory species of songbirds can be found.

In Western Maryland, Rocky Gap State Park is home to beautiful Lake Habeeb, known for having the “bluest water in the state,” attracting boaters and fishermen. The 5.3-mile Lakeside Loop Trail offers hikers and mountain bikers frequent lake views.

Rocky Gap State Park has over 3,000 acres of public land for visitors to enjoy.
Photograph courtesy of MD DNR.

Further afield, and for those with time for multi-day trips, the Blue Ridge Parkway (part of the National Park System) is a mecca for fall foliage lovers. The 469-mile Parkway is a ribbon of highway through Virginia and North Carolina with stunning mountain scenery, providing world-class driving trips and road bicycling (take your climbing legs). The Blue Ridge Parkway should be on every American’s bucket list.

Linn Cove Viaduct, Blue Ridge Parkway. Photograph courtesy of William A. Bake, The Blue Ridge Parkway Association.
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Allison Rogers


Attraction Magazine

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