Although the official start of fall is weeks away for many Labor Day Weekend signals the end of summertime fun. In the northern most reaches of the country tiny splashes of color are in the trees. In Colorado, the first snow has fallen on the mountain peaks. In the Midwest, the classic battle of cold versus hot occurs in the skies with violent thunderstorms, and people on the Atlantic coast keep a watchful eye to the sea for hurricanes. Yes, fall is really here.
Cooler fall temperatures means the hidden colors of the trees are getting ready to appear. Across the nation the oaks, maples, beech, and birch will soon be turning red, orange, gold, and yellow. From the hills of Vermont, to the hills of Texas, nature's paintbrush once again splash across the horizon. But with so many choices where can you go? If you think you have to go to Vermont to see incredible color guess again, the editors got together and discussed our ten favorite parks to see fall foliage. Most of them are just a day trip away!
Number Ten - Lost Maples State Natural Area, Texas
Fall foliage in Texas? That's right, and it's deep in the heart of Texas, partner! You don't have to catch the next plane to Boston to see the spectacular deep reds of maple trees. Lost Maples State Natural Area outside of San Antonio covers 2,174-acres and is largely a primitive park. Among the canyons and riverbanks Uvalde Bigtooth Maples turn deep red in late October and November. It is an incredible sight to see.
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Number Nine - Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Located in the world famous Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the worn peaks are a spectacular place to see the annual color change. The 105-mile long Skyline Drive winds its way along the ridges and offers a scenic alternative to US Interstate Highway 84. Views that are lost in summer haze across the valleys of the Blue Ridge to the west, and the coastal plain to the east are incredible on the cold, crisp days of fall.
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Number Eight - Starved Rock State Park, Illinois
Located outside of Chicago, Illinois, Starved Rock State Park is a popular year-round destination. In the fall, park officials have guided hikes for guest to see the spectacular yellows and golds that line the cliffs, rivers, and canyons of the park. Overnight guests can stay at the rustic lodge, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and features an excellent restaurant.
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Number Seven - Ozark National Scenic Riverway, Missouri
The Arkansas National Scenic Riverway is south of Saint Louis, Missouri. The Riverway protects over 134-miles of gently flowing rivers, limestone caves, and returning forest. In the fall the trees turn a variety of colors and a number of county and state roads offer outstanding scenic driving. If conditions are right, you can even enjoy a float trip down the Current or Jack Fork Rivers.
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Number Six - Bald Mountain State Recreation Area, Michigan
Located outside of Detroit, Michigan, Bald Mountain State Recreation Area is a diverse park covering a variety of terrain from fallow fields to dense stands of hardwood trees. The park is an excellent retreat and ideal place to see the reds and golds of falls just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Motor City.
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