Editor’s Note: The above video shows when you can see fall colors across the U.S.
TEXAS (KAMR/KCIT) – As communities around Texas welcome the autumn season with an array of festivals and excitement for the upcoming holidays, they’re also looking forward to cooler weather and scouting out the best view of vibrant fall foliage.
However, as noted by the 2023 fall foliage forecast by Smoky Mountains National Park, autumn colors will touch Texas treetops over the course of multiple months and won’t start to peak until November. Much like seasonal allergies, the timing for when Texans will be able to fully appreciate the leaves changing will depend on where exactly they are in the vast regions of the Lone Star State.
Here’s a look at where Texans and travelers alike can get some of the best views of fall foliage in 2023, and when to time their trip to do so.
Big Bend Country and Panhandle-Plains | Nov. 6 – Nov.18
While the westernmost and northernmost tips of Texas are expected to see the leaves start to change in mid-October, the true “peak” for the fall foliage will arrive during the weeks of Nov. 6 and Nov. 13. Those peaks are forecasted to hit most of the Big Bend Country and Panhandle-Plains regions at around the same time, with the vibrant colors the most obvious west of Collingsworth, Nolan, and Crockett counties.
Listed in the order according to when fall foliage is expected to peak in the area, a few of the state parks that can offer amazing views of the change in the region include:
- Franklin Mountains State Park – El Paso
- Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site – El Paso
- Palo Duro Canyon State Park – Canyon
- Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway – Canyon
- Balmorhea State Park – Toyahvale
- Barton Warnock Visitor Center – Terlingua
- Big Spring State Park – Big Spring
Hill Country, Prairies and Pineywoods | Nov. 13 – Nov. 25
During the weeks of Nov. 13 and Nov. 20, most of the rest of the Lone Star State will likely see the peak of their fall foliage for 2023. Once again hitting just slightly earlier the further west one looks, the latter half of November will bring vibrant changes for most of Texas on a path sweeping southeastward.
Once again in the order by which fall foliage is expected to peak in the area, a few of the state parks to visit during this time for a breathtaking view include:
- San Angelo State Park – San Angelo
- Abilene State Park – Tuscola
- Lake Arrowhead State Park – Wichita Falls
- Dinosaur Valley State Park – Glen Rose
- Ray Roberts Lake State Park – Pilot Point
- Devil’s River State Natural Area – Del Rio
- Devil’s Sinkhole State Natural Area – Rocksprings
- Garner State Park – Concan
- Enchanted Rock State Natural Area – Fredericksburg
- Pedernales Falls State Park – Johnson City
- South Llano River State Park – Junction
- Colorado Bend State Park – Bend
- Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site – Comstock
- Caddo Lake State Park – Karnack
- Lake Somerville State Park & Trailway – Somerville
South Texas Plains and Gulf Coast | Nov. 20 – Dec. 1
Last but certainly not least, the southernmost and easternmost regions of Texas are expected to see their fall foliage peak during the weeks of Nov. 20 and Nov. 27, and perhaps slightly into December.
However, while they will wait longer for the fall colors to paint the scenery, the South Texas Plains and the Gulf Coast will have riverside, lakeside, and seaside views to offer visitors along with the sunny leaves.
A few of the parks locals and tourists alike can visit to see the picture-perfect finish to the changing leaves in Texas in these regions include:
- Lake Casa Blanca International State Park – Laredo
- Lake Corpus Christi State Park – Mathis
- Brazos Bend State Park – Needville
- Goliad State Park & Historic Site – Goliad
- Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park – Mission
- Goose Island State Park – Rockport
- Sea Rim State Park – Sabine Pass
No matter where visitors go this autumn season, the state parks of Texas continue to offer unique experiences and unforgettable views from each of the wide variety of environmental regions. Further, even if visitors miss the peak of the fall foliage, many of the state parks and national parks in Texas are also some of the best places to see the stars speckling across the autumnal night sky.