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Maryland Fall Foliage Train Rides (2024): A Complete Guide

Last revised: December 30, 2023

By: Adam Burns

The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad is the state's top excursion train attraction, offering a wide selection of different trips throughout the year.  With the arrival of their restored steam locomotive, Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 #1309, the railroad's popularity has really grown over the past few years.

The WMSR's excursions continue through the autumn, allowing guests the chance to see the fall foliage by train between Cumberland and Frostburg over the old Western Maryland Railway.  More information about the railroad may be found further below.

Other Areas To View The Fall Foliage

Maryland is a state that offers a beautiful and colorful display of fall foliage each year. As the weather cools down, the trees start to change color, offering a picturesque view for visitors to enjoy. Besides riding the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, here are some of the best locations in Maryland to view the fall foliage.

Assateague Island National Seashore

This beautiful park is located along the Atlantic Ocean and offers stunning views of the changing leaves. Take a stroll along the beach or enjoy a bike ride on one of the many trails.

Catoctin Mountain Park

Located in Thurmont, this park offers over 25 miles of hiking trails that wind through beautiful forests and offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. In the fall, the trees turn vibrant shades of red, yellow, and orange, making it a great location for fall foliage viewing.

Sugarloaf Mountain

This mountain is located in Frederick County and offers breathtaking views of the fall foliage. Take a hike up to the summit or enjoy a picnic while taking in the beautiful autumn scenery.

Deep Creek Lake

This beautiful lake is located in the western part of the state and is a popular destination for fishing, boating, and hiking. In the fall, the trees surrounding the lake turn brilliant shades of red and gold, creating a beautiful backdrop for outdoor activities.

Patapsco Valley State Park

This park is located in Howard County and offers over 200 miles of hiking and biking trails. The park is home to beautiful waterfalls, historic ruins, and stunning views of the changing leaves.

Antietam National Battlefield

This historic battlefield is located in Sharpsburg and is home to some of the most beautiful fall foliage in the state. Take a tour of the battlefield and enjoy the beautiful colors of autumn.

St. Mary's

This historic town is located in Southern Maryland and is known for its beautiful fall foliage. Take a walking tour of the town or enjoy a scenic drive through the surrounding countryside.

Rocky Gap State Park

Located in Western Maryland, Rocky Gap State Park is a beautiful destination for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and camping. The park is surrounded by mountains, and the trees turn brilliant shades of red, orange, and gold in the fall.

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Located on Maryland's Eastern Shore, the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is a 28,000-acre wetland and home to hundreds of species of birds, mammals, and reptiles. In the fall, the trees surrounding the refuge turn vibrant shades of red and orange, offering a beautiful contrast against the water.

Gunpowder Falls State Park

This state park is located in Baltimore County and is home to over 18,000 acres of forests, meadows, and wetlands. The park offers miles of hiking trails, and the trees turn stunning colors in the fall.

Savage River State Forest

Located in Garrett County, Savage River State Forest is a popular destination for hiking, fishing, and camping. The forest is surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains, and the trees turn bright shades of red, yellow, and orange in the fall.

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

This museum is located in St. Michaels and is home to a collection of historic boats and exhibits about the Chesapeake Bay. In the fall, visitors can enjoy stunning views of the changing leaves from the museum's waterfront location.

Seneca Creek State Park

Located in Montgomery County, Seneca Creek State Park offers over 6,000 acres of forests, fields, and wetlands. The park is home to Seneca Creek and offers beautiful views of the fall foliage.

Green Ridge State Forest

Located in Allegany County, Green Ridge State Forest is a popular destination for hiking and camping. The forest is home to over 47,000 acres of land, and the trees turn beautiful colors in the fall.

In conclusion, Maryland is a state that is blessed with beautiful fall foliage, and there are many locations where visitors can enjoy the changing colors of the trees. From the beautiful beaches of Assateague Island to the stunning views at Catoctin Mountain Park, there is something for everyone to enjoy. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to experience the magic of fall in Maryland!

Guide Information

Western Maryland Scenic Railroad

(Cumberland):  Without question Maryland's most popular heritage railroad is the Western Maryland Scenic operating the former Western Maryland's Connellsville Extension between Frostburg and Cumberland (15.3 miles).

The WMSR does not offer official fall foliage tours but does host trips throughout the autumn season giving passengers breathtaking views of the Allegheny Mountains during this time. 

The WMSR began in 1988 and has grown tremendously since that time; all trips depart from the WM's beautifully preserved two-story brick station at 13 Canal Street which opened in 1913. 

Heading north along Wills Creek you will pass through the looming Cumberland Narrows before turning west near Corriganville.  Next you will cross one of the nation's most famous feats of railroad engineering, Helmstetter's Curve. 


The line continues winding its way westward through the heart of Appalachia until arriving at Frostburg where locomotives are turned on authentic turntable (also of Western Maryland heritage it was formerly located in Elkins, West Virginia). 

Trains stop here for a short time at the preserved Cumberland & Pennsylvania (WM) wooden depot completed in 1891.  The railroad also now operates the largest Mallet steam locomotive in the eastern U.S., Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 #1309.  This big engine always draws a big crowd and has quickly became the WMSR's top attraction.

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