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Fall in Texas may be a short one, but it is still quite the scenic route. During November, hit the road to embrace the cooler weather, view the changing fall foliage, and enjoy some Thanksgiving weekend fun in the Lone Star State. From East Texas to the Hill Country to the Texas desert, there are several great spots to celebrate the changing season.
East Texas is one of the top destinations to view fall foliage in the Lone Star State. Take the scenic drive from Athens to Palestine to view the colorful deciduous trees. Known as the Pineywoods Autumn Trail, this 145-mile road trip bursts with red, orange, and yellow fall foliage. There are also plenty of scenic stops along the route, including the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, Lake Athens, Tara Vineyard & Winery, and the East Texas Arboretum. If you are up for an adventure, head to New York, Texas ZipLine Adventures to zip past fall foliage or hop on the Texas State Railroad for an effortless trip through the colorful East Texas woodlands.
The Texas Hill Country is a beautiful stretch of scenery that offers stunning views no matter what time of year. During the fall, the temperatures cool down and the foliage starts to change. Southwest of Austin is the Devil’s Backbone Scenic Drive, a must-do during the fall months. This road, which stretches from Wimberley to Blanco, is only 20 miles but offers up incredible views of rolling hills and valleys dotted with colorful oak trees. If you seek a longer journey, head to the German town of Fredericksburg to visit wineries and shop in the historic downtown area.
Ranch Road 337, between Camp Wood and the town of Leakey, has been referred to as one of the most scenic drives in Texas. With a winding road that twists through hilly scenery, this has become a popular destination for motorcyclists and motorists. The road climbs to some of the highest elevations in the region. If you want to travel further, complete not just RR 337 but also 335 and 336. Together, these three roads are the Twisted Sisters. For even more fall scenery, drive south to Garner State Park, which is only 10 miles south of Leakey, since it’s the perfect destination for a fall camping trip.
For those who don’t mind a lengthy road trip, head to Big Bend National Park. This arid and desert environment truly offers a mountainous, remarkable landscape and several beautiful hiking trails for those who like to explore by foot. One of the more popular scenic drives in the area is Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. This road is only 30 miles long but passes along many scenic overlooks, such as Mule Ears Overlook and Santa Elena Canyon. You can’t miss the Santa Elena Canyon as the cliffs rise 1,500 feet above the Rio Grande River. The fall months are a great time to visit this area because of the cooler temperatures. Do watch your speed limit because this area is teeming with wildlife.
One of the best places to visit in Texas during the autumn months is Palo Duro Canyon State Park. To view the canyon and all its glory, take a scenic drive on Texas State Highway 207. This 48-mile stretch of road runs between Claude and south of the town of Silverton. Catch glimpses of the second largest canyon in the United States, dubbed the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” along with views of the changing cottonwood trees that add bursts of yellow to the canyon landscape. Make sure to stop along the turnarounds to snap a great picture of this stunning Texas scenery.
This 54-mile route from Daingerfield State Park to Caddo Lake passes through several scenic spots and the town of Jefferson. Daingerfield State Park is one of the best parks to view fall foliage, so get your camera ready. Start your journey at the park and take Highway 259 and 729 to pass along Lake O’ Pines. Choose to head to the historic town of Jefferson, a great pit stop along the route. Then end your scenic drive at Caddo Lake State Park and a visit to Caddo Lake.