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 SmokeyMountains.com and check out their mapping predictions. (Sample of how it works is in the above video).
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.
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.”
Fall Color Report for the St. Louis Region
According to the Missouri Department of Conservation:
Update Posted 10-26-23
“Fall color is reaching its peak for much of the region, although some areas are past peak, mostly due to continued hot, dry weather and windy days that have removed leaves from many trees. But you can still find some early-changing species — such as dogwoods, redbud, black cherry, northern catalpa, Virginia creeper, poison ivy, and sumacs — that are still holding colorful leaves. Our oaks, hickories, and maples have joined in full force in most areas, and those that haven’t started to change will do so very quickly. Black gum, members of the white oak group, shagbark hickory and mockernut hickory, sugar maple, and sweet gum have the most consistent color. You can certainly find pockets of fantastic displays with most, if not all, of these species showing off.
The coming cold weather may result in hard freezes in the outlying counties so — along with the wind and rain — this may end the display fairly abruptly, especially in low-lying areas.
Invasive species like wintercreeper, Japanese honeysuckle and bush honeysuckles, and Callery pear become easy to spot this time of year since they remain green, so please help nature by removing these on your property. You can contact your local Private Land Conservationist for assistance.”
Fall Color Hot Spots
Parks or natural areas with oaks, hickories, and maples should provide good views, so this week we’re suggesting Greensfelder County Park; Babler and Castlewood State Parks; and Engelmann Woods Natural Area, Rockwoods Reservation, and Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center. These will be good locations to visit between the rain showers. Colors can be more brilliant on overcast days, so get out and take some photos!
Greensfelder County Park (Saint Louis County)
Babler State Park
Castlewood State Park
Engelmann Woods Natural Area
Powder Valley Conservation Nature Cente
Japanese Honeysuckle Control
Bush Honeysuckle Control
Callery (Bradford) Pear Contro
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