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Best Places to See Fall Colors in Missouri: Fall Color Forecast for 2023

2023 Update: The link below will show you exactly when and where the fall foliage will peak this year.

People who live in Missouri believe fall is the best season of the year. Why? The humidity is finally bearable and so is the heat! The Show Me State is one of the best places in the nation to view the changing colors of fall. Reports are indicating that the display of autumnal colors will last a little longer this year and start a little later than usual. It looks like the best times this season will be in mid-to-late October. If you’re looking for guidance before booking a trip, you may want to visit and check out their mapping predictions. (Sample of how it works is in the above video).

Fall colors in Missouri

Missouri Conservation Department
Forecasts Fall Colors

Fall Forecast for the St Louis Region

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation:”Predicting the peak of fall color can be difficult. Missouri is blessed with a great variety of trees, shrubs, and vines. Their leaves turn at different times, so Missourians enjoy a fall color season that may last four to six weeks. Sassafras, sumac, and Virginia creeper are some of the earliest to change, beginning in mid-September. By late September, black gum, bittersweet, and dogwood are turning.

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The peak of fall color in Missouri is usually around mid-October. This is when maples, ashes, oaks, and hickories are at the height of their fall display. Normally by late October, the colors are fading and the leaves beginning to drop from the trees.

The progression of color change starts earliest in north Missouri and moves southward across the state. Generally, the color change is predictable, but it can vary from year to year. Much depends on the weather.”

Here Are The Fall Color Updates for All of Missouri

Fall Color Report for the St. Louis Region

09-05- 2023 – Updates Starting Soon

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation:

Posted 10-20-22

Fall color in MDC’s St. Louis Region has become patchier in different areas. We are seeing fairly consistent color in the areas that have received more rainfall and did not experience the full effects of the recent freeze. Elsewhere, there are areas where the trees are still green mixed with some that have gone straight to brown. The gusty winds haven’t helped, as they have stripped the leaves from the species that tend to turn earlier in the season, such as sassafras, pawpaw, persimmon, dogwoods, sumacs, black gum, walnut, sycamore, and Virginia creeper. That being said, you can still find fairly protected areas where these species still retain their nicely colored leaves. Maples and hickories seem to be more consistent, but oaks are variable from green to brown. Another shot of early winter weather may bring fall color to an abrupt end, but it appears that a warming trend may delay that for a time. Unfortunately, it may be too late for rainfall to have much of an impact where more severe drought conditions exist.

Fall Color Hot Spots

Enjoy a fall drive down MO 100 or MO 94 out to wine country and enjoy the colors along the way. You can also enjoy a nice fall hike at Emmenegger Nature Park, Queeny Park, Reifsnider State Forest, Vonaventure Memorial Forest and Wildlife Area, or Long Ridge or Weldon Spring conservation areas.


Emmenegger Nature Park
Vonaventure Memorial Forest and Wildlife Area
Longridge Conservation Area
Brown’s Ford Access (One of several accesses to Big River)
Meramec State Park
Huzzah Conservation Area (Huzzah and Courtois Creeks)
Shaw Nature Reserve (Missouri)
Washington State Park
Cuivre River State Park
Hughes Mountain Natural Area
Engelmann Woods Natural Area
Weldon Spring Conservation Area

TREES/Leaves and Plants

Black Gum (Black Tupelo)
Sugar Maple
Black Walnut
Poison Ivy
Eastern Redbud

red leaf trees near the road

Click Here to See the Fall Color Hotspots
For the Rest of Missouri

Enjoy the Season!

If you will be visiting the St. Louis area there is plenty to do and see here.  There are kid-friendly attractions, adult activities, family amusements, and more. Some of the fun things you can experience while in St. Louis are only a click away: Things to Do in St Louis   If you’re interested in real estate get our Free Fall Home Buying Guide