Fall Across Texas: Where to See Fall Leaves in Texas

Ready to peep some fall colors and enjoy the season? Thanks to the size of Texas and its variety of landscapes, there are a lot of options to see fall leaves changing into stunning autumn shades of red, orange and yellow. If you’re ready to enjoy fall, here’s where to see fall leaves in Texas.

fall leaves changing colors by a river

First, keep in mind that there are many great spots close to home you can enjoy. A few of those spots include state parks near San Antonio, giving you a great excuse to hike and explore with your family. You can even give your kids a science lesson on why leaves change color.

cypress trees turning orange and gold along a river But if you want to explore more of Texas, keep in mind that north, south, east and west all experience fall at the same time – but we all know that the weather can be very different across Texas. And the trees have their own schedule.  Central and South Texas are one of the last areas to experience fall foliage. In a regular year, leaves typically start changing in mid-October and continue through Thanksgiving, so you have a few weeks to get out and enjoy the season.

fall colors by a running riverThanks to the heat we’ve had this year, the trees may not follow their regular schedules. Some color you’re seeing now is due to drought damage, not the fall season. And some trees may drop their leaves without a color change, it’s hard to know if we’ll have a good show to enjoy.

Keep in mind:  Many of the spots to see fall leaves in Texas are incredibly popular. That means seeing fall colors requires a bit of planning. Well-known spots like Lost Maples State Natural Area have weekly updates dedicated to fall foliage on their website, but weekend passes book quickly. If you wait to read an update, then book your pass, you may miss out. Spots fill up quickly – often weeks in advance – so be sure to purchase a day pass online far in advance. If the colors aren’t as stunning as you’d hoped, you’ll still enjoy getting out and exploring with your family.

Here are some suggestions on where to see fall leaves in Texas:

Fall leaves by a riverHill Country/Close to San Antonio

  • Lost Maples State Natural Area
    • There are different trails to enjoy here, but to see the maple trees that give the park its name, check out the East Trail.
  • Garner State Park
    • One of our favorite parks, there’s a ton to explore at Garner. The cypress trees can put on a great show, but you’ll also see oak, mesquite and persimmon trees.
  • McKinney Falls State Park
    • This is an easy drive from San Antonio, making it a quick day trip.
  • Pedernales Falls State Park
    • Hiking here includes moderate trails and views of the falls.
  • Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
    • This popular park includes incredible views from the top of Enchanted Rock, with colors visible on trails that don’t require hiking the summit.
  • Colorado Bend State Park
    • The drought has caused low water levels at this park, but it’s still a popular destination so reserve passes in advance if you want to explore

fall colors on a trail in TexasEast Texas

  • Caddo Lake State Park
    • The cypress trees put on a beautiful show and you can kayak the lake.
  • Piney Woods
    • You can drive an array of trails in the Piney Woods.
  • Daingerfield State Park
    • Sweetgum, oak, maple and sassafras turn red, orange and yellow mixed in with the evergreen pines of East Texas.
  • Tyler State Park
    • Tall trees and sweetgums, maples, dogwoods and oaks offer an array of colors.

West Texas

North Texas

  • Caprock Canyons State Park
    • A bonus to your leaf peeping here is a chance to see the Texas State Bison Herd, one of five foundation herds that saved the bison from extinction.close up of tree branches with fall colors over a river
An Army brat who came to Texas for college and ultimately managed to make the Lone Star State her permanent home, Dawn became a mom “AMA” (advanced maternal age), giving her the opportunity to use a stroller vs. a walker as she navigates the world of motherhood. Her growing up way too fast native Texan loves all things Star Wars, Legos, dinosaurs and keeping his parents on their toes. When she’s not busy parenting the original strong-willed child, Dawn runs Tale to Tell Communications, a San Antonio-based PR and marketing agency. An award-winning writer, Dawn also contributes to San Antonio Woman, Rio Magazine and Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She and her family enjoy exploring all that San Antonio has to offer, going on adventures and playing tourist together as much as possible. Favorite Restaurant: Clementine Favorite Landmark: The beauty of the River Walk, especially La Villita Favorite San Antonio Tradition: Celebrating anything and everything with color, music and food