Autumn is one of the most pleasant times to visit Texas. The mild temperatures and overall pleasant weather make it a great time to visit some of the state's great natural attractions and take part in some of the many outdoor events and activities available during fall. Here is a list of some of the most popular autumn attractions found in the Lone Star State.
Although areas in East and Central Texas have changing foliage during fall, Lost Maples State Natural Area in the Texas Hill Country has the most vivid fall leaf coloration in the state. Lost Maples, which was opened to the public in 1979, encompasses over 2,000 acres on the Sabinal River and draws over 200,000 visitors annually. Part of Lost Maples appeal is their year-round outdoor recreational opportunities, which include hiking, birding, fishing, paddle sports, and mountain climbing. However, Lost Maples’ biggest draw is the changing of the leaves each fall. Lost Maples' dramatic fall foliage is attributed to the high concentration of maple trees within the area. While maples can be found in a variety of areas in Texas, few dense concentrations exist, hence the name – Lost Maples. The changing of the leaves typically lasts from three to four weeks. Although the leaves are most often at their peak from late October through mid-November.
Located just north of Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country, Enchanted Rock is one of the largest natural rock formations in the United States, with a dome that rises 425 feet above the ground (1825 feet above sea level). Designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1970, Enchanted Rock is also part of the Texas State Parks System and attracts thousands of visitors annually. Although Enchanted Rocks State Natural Area is open year-round, mild temperatures and pleasant weather make fall the best time to visit this unique rock formation.
True, the State Fair of Texas is an event... but, it's also an attraction! Running for 24 days through late-September and early-October, the State Fair of Texas is the largest fair and stock show in the state. During the nearly month-long event, everything from live music to carnival rides and good eats to art shows are offered. The highlight of the Fair is the annual Texas-Oklahoma football game.
Also known as the "Grand Canyon of Texas," Palo Duro Canyon is 120 miles long, 20 miles wide and 800 feet deep. Palo Duro Canyon stretches from the town of Canyon to the town of Silverton and today is part of the 20,000 acre Palo Duro Canyon State Park, one of the most unique state parks in Texas. Palo Duro Canyon was originally formed by a fork of the Red River. The oldest rock layer in the canyon dates back 250 million years. Like Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Palo Duro Canyon State Park is open year around but is much more pleasant to visit during fall.
A wide variety of outdoor activities are available in Big Bend National Park. Hiking, camping, fishing, birding, mountain biking, rafting, kayaking, nature watching (the park is home to mountain lions, a few black bears, and numerous other unique species), swimming, and other activities are available. Rock and fossil hunting are popular, although no specimens may be removed from the park. As is the case with the other natural attractions on this list, fall's pleasant weather makes it the best time to visit Big Bend National Park and take part in one of the many outdoor recreational activities available there.