Texas may not be the first state that comes to mind when you think about fall foliage, but, if you know where to look, you can find some beautiful autumn leaves in the Hill Country. “West of Austin, the Hill Country puts on a show of color thanks to the bigtooth maples, sumacs, sycamores, chinaberries, and cottonwoods,” said Texas Tripper. “These trees begin to blush with fall’s first flush as the days start to grow shorter and the nights a little cooler.”
Here are the areas you’ll want to make sure you see for fall color in the Hill Country.
The most popular place to go for fall foliage in the Hill Country is Lost Maples State Natural Area in Vanderpool. The area features bigtooth maples are known for its vibrant colorful leaves at this time of year. But be prepared for a crowd. “Weekend visits during this time can be very crowded and note that the parking here is limited to only 250 cars, said Lovetripper. "The best time to visit is during mid-week when you can enjoy a walk into the park without crowds.”
Added Texas Less Traveled: “With little question, this amazing natural area is one of the best places in Texas to view the turning colors of fall. Visitors to the park can enjoy picnicking, camping, backpacking, sightseeing, hiking, photography, birdwatching, fishing, swimming, and nature study.”
If Lost Maples is too crowded, Garner State Park is another option for Hill Country fall color. Some even prefer this park for the contrast of the Frio River against the gold and orange leaves. You’ll see lots of changing leaves on the drive from Utopia to US 83.
“West of Utopia, RR 1050 winds its way through the Hill Country, crossing the Frio River before eventually intersecting with US 83 north of Concan. During late fall, the drive is dotted with blazing sumacs, sycamores, chinaberries, and cottonwoods,” said Lovetripper.
Devil's Backbone along RR 32 is a popular scenic loop that goes through Canyon Lake, Wimberley, and Blanco, and provides some great views of fall foliage along the way. “For over 20 miles, this drive snakes along a ridge that offers some of the best fall views of the Hill Country,” said Lovetripper. Check out My Scenic Drives for more details.
What’s the most scenic drive in Texas that provides a view of fall foliage? Lovetripper suggests it's the one between Camp Wood and Leakey. “The road climbs to some of the highest elevations in the Hill Country at over 2,300 feet and roadside lookouts offer great vistas of reds, greens, and golds.”
The River Road scenic drive just might provide some of the best views of all—not just of changing colors but also of the area’s natural bounty—and it’s right in the heart of the Hill Country. “River Road is a 10.6-mile scenic drive between Loop 337 in New Braunfels and Canyon Lake Dam which crosses the Guadalupe River four times,” said Texas Less Traveled. “The river cuts through tall limestone bluffs and towering cypress trees. There are occasional rapids, but for the most part the river flows along lazily. The riverfront property is all privately owned, and there are many places to camp and spend the night, as well as restaurants.”
Those who love nature and Hill Country views, not to mention ideal communities on the Texas Wine Trail, an array of homes and homesites, and resort-style amenities, are drawn to New Braunfels masterplans like Vintage Oaks. The fastest-selling community in the Hill Country, Vintage Oaks is the choice of Hill Country landbuyers looking to capture the magic of the area right from their own backyard.