It's ALL the rage. 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 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 colors. What could be better than a drive to see the color art live in real time?
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.”
"And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be are full of trees and changing leaves..." -Virgina Wolfe
“Never jump in a pile of leaves with a wet sucker.” -Linus
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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 Oak are some of the earliest to change. In 573 Land, the trees begin to show their fall colors by Oct 1st.
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.
Our region enjoys gorgeous colors and lots to rage about. Here is a list of some popular routes listed below. But don't be afraid to explore off the beaten path, where you'll find tons of color.
“The heart of autumn must have broken here, and poured its treasure upon the leaves.” -Charlotte Bates
Road Rage List:
Hwy 72 from Fredericktown to Ironton
Hwy 67 from Fredericktown to Sam A Baker State Park and Sam A Baker State Park.
Hwy F from Farmington to Ste. Genevieve. A great time to pop into the wineries. Twin Oaks, Crown, Chaumette, and Charleville make for a great time with a designated driver, of course!
Anyway, you slice it; the Drive from Ironton to Eminence is crazy great! The hike up Taum Sauk Mountain is worth the calories.
Hwy 61 from Perryville to Fruitland.
Hwy 177 from Fruitland to Cape and the Trail of Tears State Park is simply delicious.
Any of the roads and levy roads along the Mississippi.
Hwy 51 from Puxico at the Mingo National Wildlife Refuge to Zulma.
"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the Earth seeking the successive autumns." -George Eliot
These colorful roads certainly are all the rage. Now, Get Out There! Your sunken sofa will be fine without you.
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