2006 Lost Maples State Natural Area Foliage Color Change Report
11/29/06 Report: This will be the last fall foliage report for this year. The Maples have most of their leaves on the ground. There are just a few Maples left in the Park that have any color. The Texas Red Oaks and Lacy Oaks are turning shades of red and yellow. Some of the Red Oaks are quite brilliant. We are expecting a freeze this coming Friday morning, which will finish off the color change for the year. The high winds expected with this front on Thursday, may put most of the leaves left, on the trees that have turned already, on the ground. We had better than expected color this year even with the warm weather. Come out and enjoy the hiking trails for the exercise even if you missed the best colors.
11/22/06 Report: The last of the Maples just turned, and the Texas Red Oaks are just starting to turn. There is still a lot of color in the Park. The best color is on the one-mile drive from the Park Headquarters to the Picnic area. The last of the Maples that turned are on that drive. About 70 percent of the Maples leaves on the hiking trails are on the ground, but there is still good color out to Campground A as the Red Oaks are turning as fast as the Maple leaves are dropping. The West Trail up to Campground D is getting very pretty. We should have good color for a few more weeks, with the Oaks, however the Maples may not last past this weekend. We have finally had some cold sunny weather which has aided the last explosion of colors. Days have been in the 70's and nights in the 30's the past four days, we are expecting a slight warming trend for this weekend. Come out and enjoy the holidays with us.
11/15/06 Report: The Maples have just about peaked for the year. If we get the 30 degree temperature expected for tonight, the Maples that have not turned yet, will be in full color this weekend. This cold spell will also kick off the Red Oaks, as many of them have started turning. The best colors in the park are going out to the Ponds and along the East Trail to Campground A. There is still good color along the Sabinal River from the Park headquarters back to the Picnic Area. The Maples at the Park entrance are starting to turn and this cold spell should make them achieve full color. Come out soon for the color as leaves are falling as fast as they are turning.
11/08/06 Report: There is excellent color on the East Trail going out to Campground A from the Picnic area, also good color at Ponds and on the trail to Ponds. The West Trail is showing more color, however it is still a little early for the Red Oaks on that trail. The Maples are very near peak color, as most have turned or started to turn. About twenty to thirty percent of the Maples have yet to turn, as we have not had enough cold nights to kick them off. This could still happen in the next week or so. It is great camping weather as nights have been in the fifties and sixties and day time highs have been in seventies and eighties. Weekends have been very crowded so try to come on the week days if possible.
11/01/06 Report: The State Natural Area really decked out for Halloween. Brilliant displays of orange and gold appeared in the last few days after a cold front passed. Look for the best colors on the East Trail going back to campground A. Awesome displays are also in the Picnic Area and going back to the ponds. We will only see more color in the next two weeks, as most of the Maples have started to turn. A few Red Oaks have had some branches turn bright red on the West Trail. This could be a very good year for color as conditions have been good, with little rain and just a few cloudy days. Just a little more cold air will bring out the best. Still good camping and hiking weather with highs in the 70's and low 80's, most night's have been in the 50's. Beat the crowds and come out during the weekdays.
10/24/06 Report: Several swatches of gold, orange and red are appearing on the canyon rims along the East Trail going out to Campground A. Also along Can Creek going to the ponds the changes are starting to appear. Changes are more apparent in the Picnic Area as well. We could be in peak color change in about two to three weeks, how long it will last and how brilliant it will be are all dependent on the weather. More rainy cloudy weather will not be conducive to the best colors. Cooler sunny weather will produce the best results. We had slow drizzle of rain last night that brought us a 1/2 inch of rain. It should clear out this weekend, with cooler weather predicted. Good camping and hiking weather right now, so come on out and enjoy the color changes.
10/18/06 Report: Some subtle color changes in the Maples in the Picnic area are starting to occur. The Champion Big Tooth Maple at the head of the East Trail has started to turn. Some Maples turn early and some later, this is normal and happens every year. We have had several days of rain this past week, however only accumulated .72 of an inch. Temperatures have held in the 70's and 80's for daytime highs and the upper 50's to low 60's for the nights. It is great camping and hiking weather, so get out and enjoy. Avoid the big crowds and come during the weekdays.
10/11/06 Report: No change in colors this week. We had a cool front come through yesterday that brought 1.3 tenths inches of rain and cooler temperatures. We are expecting a much colder front with Canadian air mass to pass through in the next few days. This could start the fall process if temperatures fall into the upper thirties at night. More rain is expected with the front, which could mute the colors if not followed by cool sunny days. The Park is filling up on the weekends, so try to plan a weekday visit to avoid the crowds. Night temperatures have been in the 50's and day temperatures have been in the 70's to low 80's, great weather for camping.
10/04/06 Report: There is very little color change to report since last week. A few more nut trees have started to turn yellow, mainly the Lacy Oaks on the sides of the ridges. This is due to the heat stress, as day time temperatures have still been in the 80's and 90's, a little warm for this time of year. We have had only a trace of rain this week, with plenty of sunny days. A strong cold front with near freezing temperatures would kick off the color change. Let's hope we get one before the end of October. Night time temperatures have stayed in the 50's and 60's, so it has been excellent camping weather. Still time to come out before the large crowds arrive. A large migration of butterflies is underway in the area.
09/27/06 Report: At this time there is very little color change to report and it is still too early to predict just when the best color will occur. The best color usually occurs near the first of November to the mid-November time frame. There have been changes to the American Sycamores along the river bottoms and the Black Walnuts due to the heat and drought stress of July and August. The Black Walnuts have started turning yellow and dropping leaves and nuts and the American Sycamores have turned brown on outside edges of their leaves. One small Maple in the picnic area parking lot has changed also due to stress. We have had some rains this month and if followed by cool sunny days in October could produce some brilliant colors this fall. Several cold fronts have passed through the area already which may portend an excellent fall. Now is a good time to camp and hike the trails before the large crowds arrive. Temperatures have been in the upper fifties and lower sixties at night with days in the eighties and lower nineties. For overnight visits we recommend making reservations.