October 25, 2021 /
Jona Elwell

Urban Leaf Peeping Places

Sure there’s Shenandoah National Park and Prince William Forest, but what if you don’t have all day (or a car) to dedicate to our region’s changing leaves? There are plenty of places throughout the District to offer you a dose of fall foliage. You can check out our Fall Showstoppers of DC Map and see what trees you can spot on your walk or while you’re hanging in the park and see what color-changing trees you may find along the way. This map highlights the five showstopper fall color trees, as well as trees with significant fall color that we and/or the Urban Forestry Division of DDOT have planted.

Heron at the Kenilworth Aquatic Garden ponds. Photo courtesy of NPS/M. Marquez.

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Secluded, forested, and an all-around hidden gem, the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and surrounding trails along the Anacostia River provide unparalleled leaf peeping. Its canopy has been decimated by the invasive Emerald Ash Borer, and we’re proud to have partnered with them over the years to replace their canopy!




Gardens at the Monastery. Photo courtesy of Washington Photo Safari.

Franciscan Monastery

We might be biased because it’s in our hood, but the Monastery is hard to beat. While the architecture of the Monastery will definitely catch your eye, the fall foliage in the upper garden, lower garden, and even vegetable garden provides respite from the hustle and bustle. If you admire the changing colors or fruits of the apple trees in their orchard, think of us! In 2016 we had the honor of planting fruit trees on their historic orchard ground.



Capitol Columns on the ground of the National Arboretum. Photo courtesy of Andy Feliciotti

National Arboretum

Celebrate Oaktober in style at the Arboretum! Across the River from the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, the Arboretum is your place to see tree leaves change every color of the rainbow. Thankfully the Arboretum has their planting efforts under control, but that doesn’t stop us from partnering for tree climbing and other fun events!




Seven miles of well wooded trails await. Photo courtesy of NPS.

Fort Dupont/Civil War Defenses of Washington

If you like your leaves with a side of history, head to Fort Dupont and the surrounding Civil War Defenses of Washington. These not only offer more than 400 acres of mature wooded forest, 10 miles of paved and unpaved trails and endless picnic sites, but also historical info on the eponymous park and the six (!) other surrounding Civil War forts. Fort Dupont holds a special place in our hearts at Casey Trees – we planted our 20,000th tree there in 2015!


A quintessential bridge spanning Rock Creek. Photo courtesy of National Parks Conservation Association.

Rock Creek Park

Ole reliable, Rock Creek Park and its many trails offer not only a great hike or walk, but also a great way to oogle showy tees. We frequently get to soak in all the forest-y goodness at Rock Creek park, as we host plantings there almost annually!