As the temperatures begin to fall and the foliage begins to turn from green to deep reds and oranges, people are flocking to Patapsco Valley State Park in Catonsville.

About 18,000 people visited the park during the last weekend in September, a number which Park Ranger Laurie Witcher said is about average.

"We see a lot of people come in and out of the park all year," Witcher said. "The fall is as busy as any weekend in the summer because it's so beautiful and people love to get out when the weather is a little better, a little cooler."

Witcher said the park is offering a variety of programs during the first week of October, including an Explorer Jars activity in the Hilton Area in Catonsville noon to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5 and 6.

During this weekend's event, visitors ages 4 to 11 can decorate a jar and fill it with treasures they find during a hike through the park.

But the park's fall offerings extend far beyond children's programs. The park also offers trails for hiking and biking, and a variety of types of campsites.

"A lot of people love camping in the fall when it's a little cooler in the evening," Witcher said.

Visitors can reserve a nonelectric campsite for about $24 a night, an electric campsite for $30 a night or one of the Hilton Area's six log cabins for $55 a night.

To see a schedule of programs or reserve a campsite, go to http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/central/patapsco.asp.