Dallas
1. Lost Maples State Natural Area
Vanderpool

Head two hours northwest of San Antonio, and you’ll enter the Lost Maples State Natural Area, with plenty of hikes, campsites, wildlife, and stargazing opportunities. In summer, Lost Maples is renowned for its wildflowers, but in fall, visitors flock to see the lush fall foliage. Bigtooth maples turn red and orange, providing a gorgeous backdrop for nature walks—there are 10 miles of trails, including a loop that ends in a prime vantage point above the park on a 2,200-foot cliff.
When to go: Halloween into the first few weeks of November

2. Garner State Park
Concan

This Hill Country park is a year-round favorite. Visitors float down the Frio River during summer months and explore the 16 miles of trails during spring and fall. Autumn brings the added benefit of colorful forests, as the cypress, oak, mesquite, and persimmon trees change from their usual greens to bright yellow, red, and orange.
When to go: Late November to early December

3. Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Salt Flat

This national park sits on the border of West Texas and Southern New Mexico, drawing visitors from both states, who gather for the area’s unique mix of mountains, canyons, and deserts. At night, the park is one of the best stargazing spots around, while during the day, you can take in the color-changing maples and other deciduous trees. For a good time, hike the McKittrick Canyon for views of beautiful landscapes and fall foliage.
When to go: The last two weekends of October into early November

4. Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Canyon

The Texas Panhandle boasts the second largest canyon in the country. Located a short drive south of Amarillo, Palo Duro Canyon State Park features more than 30 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, so there’s always something to explore. There are also lots of campsites, and even a few luxury tents, so you can easily spend a few days in the park. Time your trip with the changing leaves, and you’ll see the local cottonwood trees turn bright yellow against the blue skies and red rocks.
When to go: Mid- to late October

5. Tyler State Park
Tyler

Tyler State Park is a popular destination for hiking and fishing, with 13 miles of trails and a 64-acre spring-fed lake situated within the Piney Woods region. During the fall, those trees—many stretching 100 feet tall—turn shades of yellow, orange, and red, providing a full color palette for all your leaf-peeping activities.
When to go: October - November

6. McKinney Falls State Park
Austin

Located about 10 miles south of Downtown Austin, McKinney Falls State Park offers travelers a relaxing respite for day-hikes, mountain biking, or weekend camping trips. Nine miles of trails wind through cypress trees and red oaks, and secluded waterfalls and pools run down from Onion Creek. It’s easy to spend a few hours or a couple days killing time in this park, especially during fall when the temperatures are cooler and trees brighten the sky with their changing colors.
When to go: Late October through early November

More City Guides

Discover the best things to eat, drink, and do
with our expertly curated city guides.