Beautiful fall colors at Garner State Park, Texas.

Best Fall Hikes In Texas

When the leaves turn red and begin to fall, some people decide to rise, pack their boots, and get ready for adventure. Whether you want to enjoy a leisurely picnic by the Guadalupe River or seek adventure activities like kayaking or mountain biking along Tyler State Park's trails, these Texas hikes provide unforgettable experiences that can appeal to everyone's desires. These seven locations hold some of the best natural wonders of Texas, completely changing their look during the fall season. 

Garner State Park

he Emerald Green Clear Frio River, at Garner State Park, Texas.
The Emerald Green Clear Frio River at Garner State Park, Texas, in fall.

About a 2-hour drive from Alamo City, Garner State Park is very popular during the fall and limits visitors daily. So, preordering tickets is highly recommended. This limit allows for a quiet hike without any tourist frenzy. Spanning more than 1,700 acres of stunning landscape, Garner State Park showcases a profusion of cypress, junipers, oaks, mesquites, and persimmon trees that erupt in warm fall hues in autumn, providing a breathtaking display for visitors. This makes it the best place to experience Texas' autumn foliage spectacle. The Campos Trail Overlook is the main trail in this park. It has only .68 miles of the eleven hiking trails available but provides an incredible payoff at the end. The beautiful foliage along the entirety of the path culminates in a vast overlook that gives you a panoramic view of the Hill Country along with the most transparent and cleanest water bodies in the U.S. The Frio River reflects the bronze color of the juniper trees lining its banks during the fall. 

Daingerfield State Park

A river running through the Daingerfield State Park, Texas.
A river running through the Daingerfield State Park, Texas.

On the outskirts of the town of Daingerfield, Daingerfield State Park is the crowning jewel of Morris County. Covering 507 acres of land, the park boasts maples, pine trees, sassafras, and oaks. These deciduous trees make this park look amazing in the fall when they explode into a colorful palette of bright yellow, burnt orange, and crimson red. In addition to the fall beauty, visitors can enjoy activities such as paddling, swimming, or fishing in the 80-acre Pine Lake found within Daingerfield State Park. The Mountain View Trail takes hikers through the park for 1.2 miles. It is quite a challenge, but it is worth the effort since it provides a stunning view of the pine-studded bluffs. Additionally, the park arranges karaoke, jukebox, or live music nights on weekends and grants ranger programs for the kids. 

Lost Maples State Natural Area

Tranquil nature at the Lost Maples State Natural Area in fall.
Tranquil nature at the Lost Maples State Natural Area, Texas, in fall.

Lost Maples State Natural Area encloses the river valleys of Can Creek and Sabinal River north of the town of Vanderpool. The Natural Area preserves a unique variety of Bigtooth maple trees, whose autumn leaves are a visual delight, making it a top-notch spot for experiencing the beauty of fall in Texas. In addition to the appeal of the fall foliage, this season offers an excellent opportunity to partake in various outdoor activities within the Lost Maples State Natural Area. These activities encompass ten miles of hiking, rock climbing, fishing, camping, birdwatching, and stargazing. The Maple Trail is only .36 miles long, yet it has some of the most breathtaking fall foliage in the state. It takes visitors through the Natural Area along the banks of the Sabinal River and showcases a large stand of relict bigtooth maple trees. See if you can figure out how the bigtooth maple earned its name.

Guadalupe River State Park

Fall colors enhancing the beauty of the Guadalupe River State Park, Texas.
Fall colors enhancing the beauty of the Guadalupe River State Park, Texas.

Guadalupe River State Park stands as one of the most sought-after destinations to experience the beauty of autumn in Texas. Meandering along a 9-mile stretch of the Guadalupe River frontage, this park provides spectacular scenes with cottonwood trees, oak, sycamore, and cypress trees changing colors beautifully. As the autumn months approach, this park starts to sprinkle impressive fall hues across the trees. Guadalupe River State Park provides 13 miles of hiking trails, taking visitors along the river waters, where one can admire the contrast of the orange fall foliage colors with the turquoise water of the Guadalupe River. The riverfrontage areas grant fishing, swimming, canoeing, and tubing. Other recreational activities include picnicking, birdwatching, camping, mountain biking, geocaching, and horse riding.

Tyler State Park

Tyler State Park, Texas.
Sunrise at Tyler State Park, Texas.

Tyler State Park envelops the Tyler State Park Lake, surrounding it with many trails and a serene pine forest. Just shy of 1,000 acres, the park includes over 16 miles of pristine singletrack open to foot traffic with dog-friendly paths. The Tyler State Park showcases colorful maples, dogwoods, sweetgums, and oaks. The park also provides camping spaces and cabins to spend the day or weekend immersed in the fall foliage. Moreover, recreational activities at the Tyler State Park also include birding, boating, fishing, mountain biking, hiking, lake swimming, and picnicking. A popular attraction within the park is the 170-foot-long Schofield Covered Bridge, which is easily reachable with a short hike. 

Japanese Garden In Fort Worth

Stunning fall colors at the Japanese Garden in Fort Worth, Texas.
Stunning fall colors at the Japanese Garden in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Japanese Garden is inside the Fort Worth Botanic Garden in the town of Fort Worth. Fort Worth's Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in Texas and has some of the most unique plants and trees that make it feel like you are really stepping into Japan. Fort Worth's sister city, Nagaoka, Japan, donated the flora to the garden. Along with typical cherry trees, the garden features waterfalls and hanging granite lanterns that transport you to Kyoto. Also, the Japanese maple trees in the Japanese Garden turn orange, bright red, and yellow shades every fall season. The Fort Worth Botanic Garden annually hosts Fall Festivals in October and November that feature Japanese art, culture exhibits, traditional Japanese music, dance, papermaking, and tea ceremonies. Kids are allowed to feed fish and turtles in the garden's pond, making it a favorite among them.

Pedernales Falls State Park

Fall at Pedernales Falls State Park in Blanco, Texas
Fall at Pedernales Falls State Park in Blanco, Texas.

Just an hour's drive from Austin, Pedernales Falls State Park is an enormous 5,200-acre park with hiking and horseback riding trails. The landscape at this state park comprises unique limestone formations, rocky slopes, and gorgeous canyons that create a beautiful backdrop amidst the fall foliage colors of cedar elms and other trees. The Pedernales River meanders through the Pedernales Falls State Park, granting plenty of scenic hiking trails alongside it. The courses provide a challenge for all skill levels, with the Wolf Mountain Trail and the Twin Falls Nature Trail being the best to experience the fall season in Pedernales Falls State Park. 

Following the Autumn metamorphosis, these parks, gardens, and natural areas exchange the green for the orange, giving a new life to these enchanting destinations. From the serene pine forests and lake of Tyler State Park providing camping, hiking, fishing, and boating to the gorgeous canyons and rock formations of Pedernales Falls State Park to the quiet strolls through the Campos Trail Overlook in Garner State Park, these Texas hikes grant breathtaking landscapes, especially when the fall foliage adorns them. A backpack and a comfy pair of boots are the only requirements to explore Texas's natural scenery and partake in its adventures. 


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