ST. LOUIS – Fall colors have emerged in the Show-Me State, and one Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) community forester shares several locations where you can check out all the season’s views.

“There are several routes in southeast Missouri that offer beautiful autumn-painted vistas and breathtaking scenes,” Jennifer Behnken said. “Colors are prominent a week or two earlier than usual. The dry weather, coupled with warm sunny days and cooler nights, have accelerated this process.”

Here’s a list of the suggested locations to view fall colors.

  • Along Highways 61, 67, 32, 34, 21, 72, and I-55
  • Mississippi River Hills
  • St. Francois Mountains
  • Ste. Genevieve/Farmington area
  • The Arcadia Valley (Ironton)

The best views also include bluffs, hillsides, and rivers. Here are some recommended areas to visit and why.

  • Amidon Conservation Area – This 1,630-acre area located on the upper reaches of the Castor River in Bollinger and Madison counties range from mixed hardwoods to short leaf pine to cedar glades.
  • Elephant Rocks State Park – Stand end-to-end on 1.5 billion-year-old elephant rocks.
  • Hawn State Park – Check out oak trees, sandstone canyons and cliffs, as well as sandy-bottom streams in western Ste. Genevieve County.
  • Hickory Canyon Natural Area – Two short hiking trails in Ste. Genevieve County, northeast of Farmington, offer views of the area’s canyons and bluffs
  • Johnson Shut-Ins State Park – St. Francois Mountains provide a great backdrop for camping, hiking, and picnicking.
  • Millstream Gardens Conservation Area – Check out woodlands composed of hickory, pine, and oak trees in the uplands.
  • Taum Sauk State Park – Rocky glades and woody areas provide a recluse experience for hikers.
  • Trail of Tears State Park – Check out fishing areas, hiking and horse trails, and shaded picnic sites at this historic site

For updates on fall colors across Missouri, click here.


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