Where to see Texas fall foliage: Twelve fabulous choices.
I don’t know about you, but I love the explosion of color around me when summer turns to fall. The trees burst with pops of color of yellow, red, and orange when the Texas air begins to cool. I understand that Texas probably doesn’t top most people’s lists when it comes to seeing fall colors, but I am here to change your mind! This article contains some of the best places to see fall colors in Texas. Get set, and let’s take a scenic drive to see Texas fall foliage!
It’s time to hit the road to search for beautiful places that feature fall foliage in the Lone Star State!
Road Trip: Where To See Texas Fall Foliage
With cooler weather now upon us, it’s now the perfect time to start planning a few epic Texas road trips to see fall foliage. Whether you have a long weekend or just a day, you’ll find some great destinations here to welcome in the fall season. The complicated part will be choosing which road trip to take. You may want to plan a few!
As you plan your fall road trip(s) in Texas, consider a few of these beautiful destinations to escape to for a weekend or even a day trip to see the beautiful colors of fall. If I didn’t mention an area close to you, check out a few state parks near you because that’s where you’re likely to see the most. Who doesn’t like cool crisp air and beautiful warm colors?
Will you take the state highway or the country roads? Personally, whenever I can take the back roads, I do.
Image by Kerstin Riemer / Pixabay
Best Places To See Fall Colors In Texas
Depending on the region, Texas is a vast state with diverse landscapes and climates. This means you can have a different experience in our state by driving just a few hours in any direction. That means Texas is great for road trips.
One of my favorite road trips in Texas is a fall foliage trip! So, grab your sweetie and some road trip snacks, and head out to see the fall foliage in Texas!
1. Lost Maples State Natural Area
Lost Maples State Park is one of Texas’s best areas to see fall foliage! As the name suggests, this area is home to many beautiful maple trees (one of the most colorful trees in the fall).
As the summer heat dies down and the crisp autumn season makes its way into Texas, the Maple trees at Lost Maples State Natural Area begin their transition. The leaves change from a vibrant green to beautiful shades of yellow, crimson red, and fiery orange.
Wandering through the hiking trails of Lost Maples State Natural Area allows you to surround yourself with the beautiful fall foliage of this state park.
Of course, if you want to make a weekend getaway out of visiting Lost Maples, you can also enjoy camping in the state park. Lost Maples State Natural Area is my favorite place to see fall colors in Texas!
If you do get out this way, there are a few apple orchards in the area to pick your own apples. The one I came upon is Love Creek Orchards. Check them out to see if they have apples to pick.
2. Tyler State Park
East Texas fall foliage is beautiful every year, and one of the best places to see the fall foliage in this area is Tyler State Park. Located about 11 miles north of the small town of Tyler, Texas, Tyler State Park is full of colorful dogwoods, red maple trees, and Texas red oak trees.
It is important to note that the Texas fall colors appear later in this area of Texas than in North Texas. While the fall season and fall colors generally appear from mid-October to mid-November, the stunning fall foliage at Tyler State Park typically peaks in late November and early December.
Two of our favorite walks in Tyler State Park to visit during the Texas fall season are the Whispering Pines Trail and the Lakeshore Trail. These trails wind through the state park and are the perfect hiking and biking trails to see fall colors.
Like most other Texas state parks, numerous recreational activities exist. Visitors can enjoy mountain biking, bird watching, fishing, hiking, camping, and more.
One of the highlights of the park is the 170-foot-long Schofield Covered Bridge. People flock to this bridge to take pictures of the gorgeous Texas fall foliage.
If you’re in the Tyler area for a long period of time, drive to Athens, TX, to see the East Texas Arboretum. I’ve only been in the spring, but I hear it’s gorgeous in the fall (when the leaves change). Nature lovers will find this very engaging and appealing.
Around mid-November, beautiful autumn colors will swarm the small town of Palestine, Texas. Every year at this time, visitors from all over gear up to drive the 145-mile scenic Pineywoods Autumn Trail for breathtaking fall foliage.
If this is your choice and time permits, check out the Texas State Railroad train ride to Rusk and back for a scenic fall tour of pinewood, rolling hills, nature, and wildlife.
4. Garner State Park
Garner State Park is another of the state parks in Texas that is perfect for viewing fall foliage. While Garner State Park is a popular state park for tubing in Texas (thanks to the fabulous Frio River), I would advise you to plan a trip from late October to early November, as this is the perfect time to find fall foliage.
In the Texas Hill Country, Garner State Park contains over 1,700 acres of land to explore. The Texas fall colors show off in this park when the fall months roll in, thanks to the wide variety of trees. The trees here range from beautiful cypress trees to amazing persimmon trees.
In addition to having some of the best fall foliage, Garner State Park also boasts hiking trails and areas for swimming, kayaking, and canoeing.
Just be sure to make a reservation in advance at Garner State Park, as it’s a popular destination year-round, but especially in the fall.
5. Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Head to West Texas east of El Paso to find a tremendous national park in Texas, the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The Guadalupe Mountains National Park is fabulous to visit any time of year, but if you want to see the Texas fall foliage, head to this area from late October to early November.
The gorgeous fall foliage looks fantastic, with the Guadalupe Mountains National Park mountains in the backdrop. The maple trees come alive and are a magnificent addition to your hike. While you’re there, look for the Blue Ridge Trails for miles of trails to hike.
6. Guadalupe River State Park
Texas Hill Country
Another fabulous state park to visit to see the fall colors in Texas is Guadalupe River State Park. Hugging the Guadalupe River, the gorgeous cypress trees lining the river bank change colors at the first sign of cooler weather in Texas is a sight to see. This generally occurs in mid-October through mid-November, but in some years, peak fall foliage has also been found here in late November.
In addition to cypress trees, visitors will also find beautiful fall colors, thanks to this area’s sycamore, oak, and cottonwood trees.
During your visit, you can also enjoy all of the amenities the Guadalupe River State Park offers. These amenities include areas for fishing, swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. Of course, bird watching, mountain biking, and geocaching are popular activities to enjoy here.
7. Colorado Bend State Park
San Saba is home to one of the best waterfalls in Texas. Gorman Falls, Colorado Bend State Park, is a great place to visit any time of year. In the Texas Hill Country, Colorado Bend comes alive with Texas fall foliage in late October and early November.
We love the variety of landscapes available to explore at this state park. You can enjoy hiking through the rugged Texas terrain before heading down to Gorman Falls, where you feel you have been transported to Costa Rica.
Fall foliage in Texas shines at this state park, so consider planning a weekend camping trip to Colorado Bend. The state park offers camping spots, including bathhouses, for its guests.
8. Daingerfield State Park
Daingerfield State Park, located in East Texas, mesmerizes visitors with Texas fall colors during the fall months. Visiting here finds you surrounded by cypress trees, towering oak trees, and big, beautiful pine trees. This wide variety of trees means you can see fall foliage at its best. We are talking vibrant yellows, bright reds, and incredible oranges that dot the countryside.
Travel Tip: Daingerfield State Park is #1 on many lists that I have researched for having the best fall foliage in Texas.
9. Fort Worth Botanic Garden
If you find yourself in North Texas during the fall months, visit the Fort Worth Botanic Garden to enjoy fall foliage in the park. I love visiting the Japanese Garden inside the Fort Worth Botanic Garden this time of year. The Fort Worth Japanese Society hosts a yearly fall festival, which is fabulous. Not only do you get to see the beautiful fall foliage, but they also have numerous special events and activities.
10. Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Visit Palo Duro Canyon State Park for the gorgeous, vibrant colors of fall. The natural beauty of the Canyon in late September or early October is a sight to behold. And what if I told you there is a zip line course that goes right over the Canyon? Would you go for that? It was my very first zip line to experience, and I have been hooked ever since. It was simply gorgeous out there.
11. Lake Bob Sandlin State Park
Beautiful Bob Sandlin State Park is located in Pittsburg, TX, where you’ll find tall trees turn to vibrant shades of red, orange, yellow, and brown in the fall season. Bring your fishing pole because the fishing is pretty good, too!
12. Caddo Lake State Park
This Texas park is a popular spot for viewing the bald cypress trees and taking boat rides on the bayou. Check out this popular spot for locals and visitors in East Texas – Caddo Lake State Park.
I’m glad I shared some of the best places to see fall colors in Texas with you. If there’s anywhere to see Texas fall foliage, it’s here at these places!
Caution: There is a burn ban in Texas (2023), which may extend into the early fall months. This means no fires at your campsite if you choose to camp at one of these places.