Natural Scenery

Chesapeake Bay Jack-O’-Lanterns + MD Fall Foliage Road Trips

MARYLAND — Autumn is here, and nothing says Maryland Halloween like a Jack-O’-Lantern inspired by the Chesapeake Bay. Environmentalists made a few templates for residents to show off their Chesapeake pride.

With the leaves changing colors, there is plenty of beautiful scenery. Marylanders can take one of these fall foliage road trips to enjoy the views.

Residents can also go on a critter crawl, take a Halloween hike or let experts identify their fossils.

Patch recently partnered with several local organizations to bring you their latest news. This guest contribution comes from National Park Service Chesapeake Gateways and Chesapeake Conservancy. Here’s what Jody Hedeman Couser submitted to help you explore the Chesapeake Bay:

“Bay Lovers Pumpkin Carvings

Show your love for the Chesapeake this Halloween with a specially-carved jack-o-lantern, using carving patterns you can get delivered to your inbox from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Chesapeake-themed ideas include a blue crab, mummichog, osprey, and river otter. Once you’re finished with your masterpiece, you can share it with the Bay Foundation and other Bay lovers on social media using #ChesOLanterns. Request your Chesapeake carving designs.

“Fall Foliage Driving Tours

The Chesapeake Bay watershed is spectacularly beautiful in the autumn. Blessed with water … everywhere and some of the best hardwood forests on the planet, you don’t have to travel too far to see the fall spectacle. But there is a certain lure to taking a road trip in the fall, so we’ve put together a collection of great places for fall driving tours. Elk Neck State Park features that unbeatable watershed combination – views of the Chesapeake Bay and diverse landscapes presenting brilliant colors. Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC is an urban gem that provides an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life any time of year, but is really special in the fall. In Virginia, Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway provide hundred of miles of driving through fall scenery that is so world-class it should be on everyone’s bucket list. See more places for fall driving tours in New York state, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware.”

Jug Bay Critter Crawl

Join Jug Bay staff and volunteers for a Halloween Critter Crawl. Walk through the forest to see different animal and insect displays, and enjoy campfires, s’mores, hayrides, and nature crafts. Please bring your headlamp or flashlight, and wear your costume if you have one. Limited food available for purchase. $5 per person, two years and under free. All ages welcome. No pets. Oct. 30, 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm; Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, Lothian, MD. More information and registration.

Halloween Hike and Campfire

Spend a slightly spooky evening at Leight Park hiking through the woods to discover the creatures of Halloween. Meet these real critters up close and listen to their tales spun by Halloween characters. After the hike, enjoy music and roasted marshmallows down by a cozy campfire. Pre-register for 1/2 hour time slots to begin the hike and allow about an hour for the hike and campfire. Oct. 23, 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm; Anita C. Leight Estuary Center, Abingdon, MD. More information and registration.

Fossil Road Show

Bring your fossils to the Bayside History Museum and get them identified! The museum will be hosting a fossil roadshow available to anyone who is interested in learning more about the fossils that they have found. Just stop by the museum with your [shark] teeth, vertebrae, arrowheads, sea glass, and more and get them identified by the experts! Oct. 23, 10:00 am to 11:00 am; Bayside History Museum, North Beach, MD. More information.

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