Fall in DC: Foliage Proves It’s More Than An Urban Legend


I’m more productive on the weekends than I should be. My weekly personal promise of “taking the weekend to be lazy and sleep in past my alarm” never happens. This is a direct cause of the DC fall — or lack thereof.

Fall in DC is a myth. An urban legend. One that this once Chicago-resident finds hard to believe exists. Why, you might ask? Because it’s not cold yet. And when I say cold, I mean it hasn’t reached below 40 more than a handful of times yet this season — maybe even less than that handful. But DC does have one thing that Chicago fall doesn’t — fantastic fall foliage that lasts longer than a few days — proving that fall in DC is, in fact, a reality.

This stuff is gorgeous and covers the entire palate of possible colors. Some trees are still green and continue to maintain their springtime youthfulness. But it’s the mature yet stoic beauty of the leaf that appears to be on fire who strikes my fancy. Just one dying leaf has the ability to shout, “Look at me! Look at me!” We’ve got Mother Nature to thank for this one. Well — her and the DC National Park Trail Service.


Our National metropolis would cease to enjoy nature’s aesthetic pleasures and lose light of how wonderful this time of year is, if it were not for the multiple National Park lands stationed through the DC area. There are so many hidden treasures tucked away beneath the curtain of nature’s sturdy veil. It’s our responsibility as residents of this fine region to get outside and roam the territory. It’s easy to get swept up with the daily pressures of life in a big city. A little foliage tour is just the cure for that, especially since DC fall provides the perfect for weather for a nice long walk.

I felt like quite the adventurer when I came across the first in a set of bridges while on my walk. It was very “Oregon Trail” circa 1996 –- therefore I was confident that my conquest would end in success. Only … another bridge popped up along the path.


And another:


And … another:



Until stepped up to find texactly what I didn’t know I had been looking for all day:


That’s when I figured out that DC truly is the best of both worlds – an cultural mecca in an urban landscape AND a place to runaway from when city life’s got you craving chirping birds, changing leaves, and fresh air. All you had to do was look no further than your own backyard. Who knew?

Rachel moved to DC in the fall of 2005 to study Journalism and Music at American University. When she’s not keeping up with the latest Major League Baseball news, she works on making music as an accomplished singer-songwriter and was even a featured performer/speaker at TEDxDupont Circle in 2012. Rachel has also contributed to The Washington Examiner and MASN Sports’ Nationals Buzz as a guest blogger. See why she loves DC. E-Mail: rachel@welovedc.com.

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7 thoughts on “Fall in DC: Foliage Proves It’s More Than An Urban Legend

  1. i grew up here, and even when i was in college in boston (and everyone knows new england has beautiful autumns), i missed fall in DC. i’ve always loved it. you don’t get much better than november in rock creek park.

  2. Fall and spring are the best here. Why the heck would anyone want it to be a 40 degree fall anyway? Fall to me is a nice sunny 55.

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