25 Texas parks to see fall colors that are worth a road trip from San Antonio 

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"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? 
OF 25
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 48 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
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Cedar Hill State Park
1570 FM1382, Cedar Hill, (972) 291-3900, tpwd.texas.gov
It’s not often we’ll throw out suggestions near Dallas, because, well… Dallas. But if you’re so inclined to head way up north, be sure to put Cedar Hill on your itinerary. This North Texas park is ideal for biking and hiking, and makes it a point to bring nature to the forefront. The park also lets you tour an old farm, so agriculture is also really essential to the vibe here.
Photo via Instagram / babyfly
Daingerfield State Park
455 Park Road 17, Daingerfield, (903) 645-2921, tpwd.texas.gov
You’ll be up for quite a road trip if you head out to Daingerfield. This state park is located southwest of Texarkana, which is quite a drive, but provides top-notch views. With a range of fall colors found in the foliage, you’ll be enamored by the scenery here.
Photo via Instagram / pam.osborn.12
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
11450 State Hwy Park Rd 5, Canyon, tpwd.texas.gov
Need a reason to road trip? Let Palo Duro be reason enough for you. Located in the Panhandle, this state park is home to the second-largest canyon in the U.S. – yes, it’s that big. Make it a point to visit sometime – this fall if you can.
Photo via Instagram / forrestdew
Pedernales Falls State Park
2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City, (830) 868-7304, tpwd.texas.gov
Right in the heart of Central Texas, Pedernales Falls offers plenty of ways to experience the beauty of nature – especially in the fall. In addition to camping, picnicking, geocaching, bird-watching and riding horses, there is, of course, plenty of fun to be had on these trails. Ranging from easy to challenging, you can choose a route that works for you. Each trail has something extra to offer, like scenic views or a hell of a challenge.
Photo via Instagram / david.paul.connell
Lake Bob Sandlin State Park
341 State Park Road 2117, Pittsburg, (903) 572-5531, tpwd.texas.gov
Within this park, where two ecoregions meet, you’ll be amazed by lots of different natural wonders. From massive trees and tall grasses to a variety of plants and animals, there’s a lot to take in here. Think of fall as the most beautiful time of year to do so.
Photo via Instagram / lakebobsandlinstatepark
Caddo Lake State Park
245 Park Rd 2, Karnack, (903) 679-3351, tpwd.texas.gov
Located in East Texas, Caddo Lake is all about wildlife and the natural lake. Camp, fish, paddle, hike and go boating here – whatever you may wish. All activities aside, the serene beauty of this park is reason enough to make it out here.
Photo via Instagram / caddolakesp
Dinosaur Valley State Park
1629 Park Road 59, Glen Rose, (254) 897-4588, tpwd.texas.gov
Even on top of having a cool name, Dinosaur Valley State Park has a lot to offer. Not too far from Fort Worth, you’ll have no problem making the drive since you’ll be able to walk in the footprints of dinosaurs you left their tracks in the bed of the Paluxy River! Aside from that, there’s also hiking, biking, camping, horse-riding and lots of gorgeous views.
Photo via Instagram / maddiereilloc
Cooper Lake State Park
1690 FM 3505, Sulphur Springs, (903) 945-5256, tpwd.texas.gov
Located in far north Texas, heading to Cooper Lake State Park will be quite a trek for San Antonians. Still, you’ll be able to enjoy lakeside camping, hiking, birding, horse-riding and just simply appreciate the serene views on the natural prairie. Even without spending time in the lake you’ll be able to have lots of fun and make your trip worthwhile.
Photo via Instagram / roseskunk
Inks Lake State Park
3630 Park Road 4 W, Burnet, (512) 793-2223, tpwd.texas.gov
If you’re looking for hills, Inks Lake is worth the visit. With a variety of trees and plants – cedar, live oak, prickly pear cacti and yucca – the landscape here is absolutely gorgeous. North of Austin, Inks Lake is a prime spot to appreciate nature, which you can do while camping, backpacking, picnicking and hiking. Just make it a point to swing by the Devil’s Waterhole.
Photo via Instagram / inkslakesp
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
400 Pine Canyon, Salt Flat, (915) 828-3251, nps.gov
Go almost as far as New Mexico and you’ll find yourself in this national park where lots of adventures await you. Consider it a bucket list item at any point of the year, but especially in the fall. The change in leaf colors will definitely be worth the trip. If you’re looking for something extra to really make your trip worthwhile, hit up the sand dunes.
Photo via Instagram / v.eronica.r
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Caprock Canyons
850 Caprock Canyon Park Road, Quitaque, (806) 455-1492, tpwd.texas.gov
Venture up to the Panhandle and you’ll be able to explore the Caprock Canyons – where there’s miles and miles of open land. You won’t run out of things to do here, as you can camp and just watch bison roam free. Yes, really. While you won’t see much foliage here, you’ll be able to witness those gorgeous sunsets. Start planning now.
Photo via Instagram / sardiasal
Galveston Island State Park
14901 FM3005, Galveston, (409) 737-1222, tpwd.texas.gov
You might not think to go to the coast any time besides summer, but Galveston Island is totally worth a trip this time of year. You’ll be able to hike, bike, paddle, fish and swim without melting in the sun. Now just wait until the sun goes down, you’ll be speechless.
Photo via Instagram / marco_sanchez_maldonado
Davis Mountains State Park
TX-118, Fort Davis, (432) 426-3337, tpwd.texas.gov
Nestled over 2,709 acres, this state park offers a different type of view. Just as unbeatable as the fall sunset is the fall night sky. Up in the mountains you’ll be able to isolate yourself from the unnatural lights out in the world and take in the night sky for the whopping beauty that it is. That’s one way to celebrate the season.
Photo by doris.in.the.forest via Instagram / davismountainssp
Ray Roberts Lake State Park
100 P W 4137, Pilot Point, (940) 686-2148, tpwd.texas.gov
Surrounding the lake you’ll discover wooded equestrian and hiking trails you’ll be able to explore. Sunsets are always breathtaking in Texas, but those during fall are all the more mesmerizing. Don’t miss it here, especially if you’re looking out on the water. It doesn’t get much better than that, does it?
Photo via Instagram / kimdewolff
Blanco State Park
101 Park Rd 23, Blanco, (830) 833-4333, tpwd.texas.gov
A wildlife viewing station – which is exactly what it sounds like – can be found at this Central Texas park, along with cedar and pecan trees along the hills. If that sounds picturesque, that’s because it is. Bring your camera to take lots of photographs of this beautiful space.
Photo via Instagram / cheesim
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

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