Even if you're not comfortable calling yourself a leaf peeper, you won't want to miss the glorious fall foliage of southeast Missouri. The Parkland 573 is famous for the brilliance of the autumn foliage, and a seasonal tourist industry is growing around the few weeks in autumn when the leaves are at their peak.
"...the roads paved with crimson and gold.”
Rudyard Kipling said “No pen can describe the turning of the leaves – the insurrection of the tree people against the waning year. A little maple began it, flaming blood-red of a sudden where he stood against the dark green of a pine belt. Next morning there was an answering signal from the swamp where the sumacs grow. Three days later, the hillsides as far as the eye could range were afire, and the roads paved with crimson and gold.”
Trying to predict the peak of fall color is difficult. Leaves turn at different times and, as a result the fall color season may last four to six weeks. Sassafras, Sumac and Virginia Creeper are some of the earliest to change. They begin to show their fall colors by mid-September. By late September, Blackgum, Bittersweet and Dogwood are changing.
The peak of fall color is usually mid-October. This is when Maples, Ashes, Oaks and Hickories are at the height of their fall display. Normally by late October, the colors have faded and the leaves are beginning to drop from the trees.
...explore off the beaten path...
Our region enjoys gorgeous color, and you'll see some popular routes
listed below. But don't be afraid to explore off the beaten path, where
you'll find tons of color.
Hwy 32 from 67 to hwy 21 to Ironton
Hwy 72 from Fredericktown to Ironton
Hwy 67 from Fredericktown to Sam A Baker State Park
Hwy F from Farmington to Ste. Genevieve
Hwy 8 from Potosi to Steelville
Hwy OO from Farmington to Fredericktown
Actually, just about any road off hwy 67 and you’ll find lots of color!
And while you're out cruising, be sure to stop in at some of the area parks, wineries, and those awesome hole-in-the-wall eateries Rural 573 is famous for, you'll be happy you did.
Get out there!