Despite Warmer Weather, Texas State Parks Still Put on Great Fall Show

Katy Schaffer, 512-389-8046,

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AUSTIN – Warmer weather may have delayed a colorful fall, but this week’s falling temperatures are finally causing leaves all over the state to turn brilliant shades of orange, red and yellow.

In the Panhandle and West Texas, towering cottonwood trees glow golden, brightening the canyons and creekbeds of such scenic places as Palo Duro Canyon and Davis Mountains state parks.

In deep East Texas state parks, like Tyler and Daingerfield, hardwood forests sport crisp golden and burnt orange leaves in weather that is finally cooling down. At Caddo Lake State Park, majestic bald cypress trees light up the water with reflections of their rust-colored needles.

While Central Texas parks haven’t gotten enough cool, dry weather to really put on a fall show for park visitors, there is still some orange, yellow and red coloring to be found among the green live oaks and cedar trees. The stunning contrast is especially apparent at Inks Lake State Park, with burnt orange and crimson red trees dotting the usually green lake shoreline.

Mason Mountain Wildlife Management Area, just northwest of Austin, also saw some color. The oak trees that cover the steep canyons and granite outcrops showed their best fall colors, blanketing the area in warm reds, oranges and yellows.

Though Lost Maples State Natural Area usually sports dazzling displays of fine fall color, the warmer weather conspired to keep the trees unusually green. However, there are hints of fall color here and there, especially in the park’s day use area, among the trees that still have leaves. Visit the Lost Maples website to view this season’s foliage reports from the park, updated by Richard Treece, the park’s lead interpretive ranger.

As fall quickly turns to winter, visit a park soon to catch this season’s great fall color. Look for fall foliage photos at your favorite state parks on their Facebook pages.

To see more Texas State Park fall foliage images, visit our Pinterest page.