The leaves are dropping and so is the temperature. Fall is here in all its splendor.
It has become a rite of the season for us to revel in the changing foliage. As soon as we get the OK from the fall-foliage forecasters, we rush to take walks in the park and hikes in the woods, to ooh and aah over golden-yellow and scarlet-red leaves.
Those are fine ways to glimpse the season's changing colors, but there are many more vantage points. How about from the seat of a bicycle or kayak, or from the window of a slow-moving train?
Following is a roundup of fall-foliage-related events in Maryland and beyond. Note that you must register in advance or make reservations in some instances. A few of the events are indoors, but don't discount them; they'll put you in an autumn state of mind as surely as a walk in the park will.
11th Annual Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival. Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County, Va. Cycle over country roads offering scenic views of the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains. Routes of 10 to 100 miles. Rolling terrain with some steep climbs. Additional activities include walking tours of historic sites, museum visits, ice-cream party, dance, shopping and cycling workshop. Oct. 19-21. $40-$80. Register now through Oct. 10 and on site. Camping and some meals extra. Call 540-885-2668.
Fall Foliage Bicycle Tour and Bike Fest. North Harford High School, 211 Pylesville Road, Pylesville. Scenic bike tours of Harford County. Routes are four, 12 and 35 miles. Bike show featuring bicycles and related products. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 20. Free. Call 410-272-8660.
Fall Foliage Canoe Trip. Deep Creek Lake State Park, 898 State Park Road, Swanton. Experience the wild and scenic Youghiogheny River. Space is limited. Participants must be at least 10 years old. 9:30 a.m. Oct. 12. $15. Registration required. Call 301-387-7067.
Fall Colors Whitewater Canoe Trip. Oregon Ridge Nature Center, 13555 Beaver Dam Road, Cockeysville. Look at the fall colors along the Upper Gunpowder River. For experienced canoeists age 8 and older. Limited space. 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 13. $10 per person. Reservations required. Call 410-887-1815.
Jones Falls Valley Celebration. Canoe and kayak the Jones Falls. Meet at Robert E. Lee Park. Put in along Lakeside Drive off of Falls Road. Pull out at Poly-Western high school complex or Meadow Mill. Return by light rail. Noon-3 p.m. Oct. 14. Registration on site. Call 410-528-8706.
Fall Foliage Canoe Trip on Tuckahoe Creek. Tuckahoe State Park, 13070 Crouse Mill Road, Queen Anne. Join the park naturalist on a four- to six-hour paddle of Tuckahoe Creek. Search for changing fall leaves, herons, wood ducks and more. Space is limited. Bring lunch and beverages. 9 a.m. Oct. 27. $7-$12. Reservations required. Call 410-820-1668.
Fall Color Walks. Catoctin Mountain Park. Leave from Hog Rock parking area, Park Central Road, off Route 77, Thurmont. Hike amid the foliage. Moderate trail. Hikes begin at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Oct. 7, 13-14, 20-21. Free. Subject to cancellation. Call 301-663-9388.
Fall Leaves and Changing Seasons. Quiet Waters Park, 600 Quiet Waters Park Road, Annapolis. Ranger-led hike for children age 4 to 10 and their parents. 4 p.m. Oct. 12. Registration required. Call 410-222-1777.
Fall Discovery Hike. Brookside Nature Center, 1400 Glenallen Ave., Wheaton. Hike the trails looking for signs of fall. Discuss issues like why some leaves turn red and others turn yellow. All ages. Free. 11:15 a.m. Oct. 13. Reservations required. Call 301-946-9071.
Autumn Glory Hike. Potomac State Forest, 222 Herrington Lane, Oakland. Three-and a-half mile hike includes stops at Cascade Falls and scenic Potomac Overlook. 2 p.m. Oct. 14. Free. Registration required. Call 301-334-9180.
Fall Color Spectacular Hike. Piney Run Park, 30 Martz Road, Sykesville. All ages. 2:30 p.m. Oct. 14. Hike is free, admission to park is $4-$6 per vehicle. Reservations required. Call 410-795-6043.
After School Nature Explorers. Oregon Ridge Nature Center, 13555 Beaver Dam Road, Cockeysville. Fall hike and related autumn crafts for first-through fourth-graders. Limited space. 4 p.m. Oct. 18. $2. Registration required. Call 410-887-1815.
Fall Foliage and Flower Hike. Bear Branch Nature Center, 300 John Owings Road, Westminster. Guided hike to observe flowers that bloom in autumn and other autumn plants. Age 12 and up. 10 a.m.-noon Oct. 20. $1-$2. Reservations required. Call 410-848-2517.
Appalachian Trail Fall Colors Hike. Gathland State Park, off Route 17, Burkittsville. Guided hike along four miles of the Appalachian Trail, from Gathland to Weaverton Cliffs. Bring water, lunch and snacks. Shuttle service provided back to park. Limited space. 10 a.m. Oct. 20. Free. Reservations required. Call 301-791-4767.
Hike. Carrie Murray Nature Center, 1901 Ridgetop Road, Baltimore. Includes discussion of fall foliage and change of season. All ages. No strollers. 10 a.m.-noon Oct. 20. $1. Call 410-396-0808.