I don’t know if this is the year to be suggesting it — with the moderate drought conditions in the mid-Atlantic, it’s hard to imagine what the foliage will be like this fall, if at all — but I did not want to let October pass without telling you about this again. It’s the big deck in Green Ridge State Forestbetween the communities of Bellegrove and Flintstone. Interstate 68 takes you right there. Attached to one of the highway exit signs — for exit 64, to be exact — you’ll find one of those blue “scenic overlook” signs. I stopped there for the first time about 25 years ago and had the good fortune to stumble upon (but not off) what I came to consider to be Maryland’s best deck, high on a slope overlooking a section of Fifteen Mile Creek and a forest about 100 years old — that is, a place where the trees have been left to grow under state management since the land’s last use as an agricultural enterprise. Maybe I need to get around more and visit more decks. But I’ve been on a lot of them, and, being a big fan of trees, this is my favorite. It’s in a state forest, an area with an interesting history, and it’s open to the public. When conditions are right — or even when not — you get a moment just to stand there and be awed.  Here is a video I produced for The Baltimore Sun a few years ago. Green Ridge also offers an overlook of the Potomac River. More information is available from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.



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