25 Texas parks to see fall colors that are worth a road trip from San Antonio
"Texas" and "fall colors," in the same sentence? Yeah, we know, it sounds hard to believe.
While we typically don't get the splashy reds, oranges and yellows New England boasts each year, you may be surprised at how much fall beauty can be found in the Lone Star State as the weather cools.
For those looking to experience some of the natural beauty our state has to offer this season, we rounded up 25 Texas parks where you can enjoy the autumn splendor. Sounds like a perfect excuse for a road trip, no?
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Lost Maples State Natural Area
37221 FM 187, Vanderpool, (830) 966-3413, tpwd.texas.gov
If you’re a sucker for fall foliage, Lost Maples is a must-visit – especially if you don’t want to go too far from home. This natural area is perfect for hiking, so grab your camera and let the views here take your breath away.
Photo via Instagram / lady_daphne_usvc
Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park, (432) 477-2251, nps.gov
You can't list gorgeous places to visit in Texas and leave out Big Bend National Park, which is one of the state's most beautiful parks at all times of year. Those seeking fall splendor should check out Cattail Falls at this time of year.
Photo via Instagram / bigbendnps
Tyler State Park
789 Park Road 16, Tyler, (903) 597-5338, tpwd.texas.gov
There may be a lot of things to do within this state park, but the scenery alone is reason enough to make the trip up north. A 64-acre spring-fed lake, 100-foot-tall trees and historic structures can all be found here, and you’ll have a blast roaming around and taking it all in.
Photo via Instagram / srvvivid
Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway
100 Park Road 71, Mineral Wells, (940) 328-1171, tpwd.texas.gov
Did you know that Lake Mineral Wells is the only state park in Texas that protects part of the Western Cross Timbers and Mineral Wells Trailway? Well, now you do. The park is also complete with an area for rock climbing, so you’d be smart to reach new heights and take in the amazing scenery here.
Photo via Instagram / aussiedoodleblue
Garner State Park
234 RR 1050, Concan, (830) 232-6132, tpwd.texas.gov
Garner is popular during summer for a reason – have you ever floated the Frio River? Even beyond summer, Garner is a must-see during fall. The foliage here actually changes, and you’ll be able to experience it all without enduring the extreme heat of summer – you can even rent a cabin or camp out in a tent if you’d like. Now that’s a win-win.
Photo via Instagram / garnerstateparktx
Martin Dies, Jr. State Park
634 Park Road 4a8 South, Jasper, (409) 384-5231, tpwd.texas.gov
This 705-acre recreation area is complete with nature spots where you can simply get lost in all the beauty of the park. While the fact that two rivers meet here is cool in and of itself, catch a spot at this point and take in the wonderment of the natural landmark.
Photo via Instagram / martindiesjrstatepark
Guadalupe River State Park
3350 Park Road 31, Spring Branch, (830) 438-2656, tpwd.texas.gov
A quick drive away and you’ll find yourself in Guadalupe River State Park. Though popular for its swimming hole, you can visit for its awesome trails – 13 miles worth to be exact. Throughout the trails, both long and short, you can score some awesome views that will have you in awe.
Photo via Instagram / roundhouse.hash
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
16710 Ranch Road 965, Fredericksburg, (830) 685-3636, tpwd.texas.gov
If you can’t go far from home, Enchanted Rock is a more than sufficient option for appreciating the beauty of Texas’ natural wonders. While the giant pink rock is usually the draw here, fall provides an extra bit of scenery here as the leaves actually change colors here. All in all, you’re in for a gorgeous landscape at Enchanted Rock.
Photo via Instagram / marcusc_photo
Martin Creek Lake State Park
9515 Co Road 2181D, Tatum, (903) 836-4336, tpwd.texas.gov
Head to east Texas and you’ll be able to explore the 286 acres at this recreational area. Yup, it’s pretty small here, but you won’t need much space to appreciate the undisturbed wonder of the land. You can fish or walk the trails, or just simply sit back and enjoy the sunset making its way down over the lake.
Photo via Instagram / martincreeklake
McKinney Falls State Park
5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy, Austin, (512) 243-1643, tpwd.texas.gov
McKinney Falls is a short drive north, located within Austin's city limits at the confluence of Onion Creek and Williamson Creek. This spot is truly an escape from city life without being out in the sticks. There’s a hard-surface trail that’s perfect for wheels, or you can opt for a traditional, rugged hike. Though you likely won’t want to go for a swim, the beauty of the waterfalls are worth checking out, too.
Photo via Instagram / thehikinghussy