Why is fall in the park so enjoyable?
There’s a little known secret many travelers with flexible schedules have long known; national parks are best in FALL!
Of course, that’s not true for “all” national parks – there are some better scheduled for other times of the year. However, fall can be a spectacular time to visit the nation’s parklands. It’s the time when the temperatures drop and the crowds thin and nature starts to change its rhythm and with that, it changes its colors!
Unfortunately, Texas isn’t known for its fall season. With a long summer season that seems to immediately turn to winter, fall only seems to last a few weeks out of the year in the Lone Star State. But even though Texas’ fall is short, there are still a few great parks to visit during fall to embrace the cooler weather and admire incredible fall colors from the changing leaves. Here are some amazing Texas parks that offer up great views of fall foliage.
Lost Maples State Natural Area, Vanderpool, Texas
Lost Maples State Natural Area is the most popular state park in Texas to visit during the fall months. The changing maples leaves, which turn red, orange and yellow, are what draw the crowds to this state park during autumn. The Uvalde bigtooth maples don’t start changing color until late October or early November, so plan a trip during that time to catch peak foliage colors. The East Trail is where most of the park’s maple trees are, so choose to take a hike on this trail to view the best of Lost Maples State Natural Area’s changing fall foliage.
Daingerfield State Park, Daingerfield, Texas
The oak, sweetgum and cypress trees found at Daingerfield State Park turn yellow, red, and orange during the autumn season. Fall foliage can be found on a scenic drive within the park or simply taking a hike on the many miles of trails here. Daingerfield State Park is home to Daingerfield State Park lake, which offers up great views of fall foliage from the trees that line the lake’s banks. For some true solace, take a kayak out on the lake to view fall colors reflected on the lake’s surface.
Garner State Park, Concan, Texas
Garner State Park draws loads of people every year due to its beautiful scenery. This popular Texas state park is a great spot to visit during fall when the trees start to change and the forest comes alive with color. The mesquite, persimmon, oak and cypress trees are the ones to look for during fall since they change from green to beautiful colors of yellow, red and orange. The scenic overlook along the Frio River is a popular spot to view stunning fall foliage in Garner State Park.
Tyler State Park, Tyler, Texas
One of the best things to do in Tyler is Tyler State Park. It is a fall oasis when the maples, sweetgums, dogwoods and oaks change during autumn. For the best views of fall foliage, take a hike or choose to explore the 64 acre lake by canoe or kayak. Treks on the Lakeshore Trail or the Whispering Pines Trail are two options to view the best fall foliage that Tyler State Park has to offer. Head to Tyler State Park during late November or early December to catch peak fall foliage in its most brilliant stage.
Lake Bob Sandlin State Park, Pittsburg, Texas
Lake Bob Sandlin State Park is another East Texas park that will guarantee great views of changing fall foliage. Here, sweetgum, elm, hickory and maple trees bring color to the forests and the shores along Lake Bob Sandlin. Lake Bob Sandlin State Park has both great hiking and mountain biking trail options that are sure to boast views of fall leaves. However, the lake here is the focal point of the park, so fishermen should enjoy the colorful views along the banks while fishing for bass and catfish.
Guadalupe River State park, Spring Branch, Texas
Even the journey to Guadalupe River State Park will reward you with great views of fall foliage. Once inside the park, however, explore the area through the 13 miles of hiking and biking trails. When it comes to the changing leaves, it shouldn’t be hard to pinpoint the yellow cottonwoods, bright red sumacs, and orange sycamore and cypress trees. Barred Owl Trail is an easy and short hiking trail that leads to a scenic overlook. Take this trail to view the Guadalupe River and the colorful trees that line its bank.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Canyon, Texas
Home to Palo Duro Canyon, known as the “Grand Canyon of Texas”, is Palo Duro Canyon State Park which is a must visit no matter what time of year. However, the cooler temperatures and the changing leaves during autumn make a visit to this Panhandle park more enjoyable. The cottonwood trees are what you would look for here since they turn a brilliant yellow in fall. Experience the area by a scenic drive, a horseback ride or through mountain biking or hiking.
As you can see, there are many local places we can go and enjoy nature at her most colorful and brilliant time of year. As long as we honor nature and the trees, they will continue to reward us with their array of beauty and air purifying benefit. They are natures artistic stroke of color on its outdoor canvas!