Autumn road trip? Here’s where to see fall foliage in Texas

These state parks are worth the drive

SAN ANTONIO – Prepare to grab your flannel and your camera, Texas is wide and there’s quite a lot of foliage to see this autumn. Pumpkin spice lattes are optional.

Hues of yellow, orange and red will soon begin to paint over the Hill Country and Texas state parks now that the fall season has officially arrived.

With some state parks expected to sell out early for day trips, it’s best to plan ahead, especially with limited capacity at some places due to the pandemic.

Save the Day passes are available for the majority of state parks, and reservations can be made for a morning or afternoon arrival.

For those wanting a longer stay, overnight camping reservations can be made three months out.

Last year, the Texas Parks and Wildlife posted images of fall foliage from places like the Devils River State Natural Area near Del Rio, Inks Lake State Park near Burnet and South Llano River State Park in Junction.

Popular parks like Garner State Park and Lost Maples State Natural Area often reach capacity early and close, according to TPWD.

Images from last year show Lost Maples reached peak fall foliage by Nov. 26.

A 2020 fall foliage prediction map by the website, Smoky Mountains, states the Hill Country will begin to see minimal fall foliage by Oct. 19. The peak foliage season is expected just before mid-November.

2020 Fall Foliage Prediction Map by the website, Smoky Mountains. (Smoky Mountains)

The Fall Foliage Map serves a planning guide for those wondering when changing leaves are coming.

“While no tool can be 100% accurate, this tool is meant to help travelers better time their trips to have the best opportunity of catching peak color each year,” the website states.

So, are you wondering where to head as peak foliage season approaches? Here are some of the Texas state parks where fall foliage is common.

  • Garner State Park, Concan: About 90 miles from San Antonio
  • Lost Maples State Natural Area, near Vanderpool: About 100 miles from San Antonio
  • Palmetto State Park, Gonzales: About 70 miles from San Antonio
  • Devil’s River State Natural Area, new Del Rio: About 215 miles from San Antonio
  • Inks Lake State Park, Burnet: About 100 miles from San Antonio
  • Colorado Bend State Park, Bend: About 146 miles from San Antonio
  • South Llano River State Park, Junction: About 120 miles from San Antonio
  • Lake Somerville State Park, Somerville: About 150 miles from San Antonio
  • Daingerfield State Park, northeast of Tyler: About 380 miles from San Antonio
  • Caddo Lake State Park: northeast of Tyler: About 370 miles from San Antonio
  • Lake Bob Sandlin State Park, north of Tyler: About 370 miles from San Antonio
  • Ray Roberts Lake State Park, north of Dallas-Fort Worth: About 320 miles from San Antonio
  • Sheldon Lake State Park, Houston: About 210 miles from San Antonio

Have more options to see fall foliage? Let us know in the comments section.

About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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