Fall Color

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Fall Color
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Fall Color
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Predicting the peak of fall color can be difficult. Missouri is blessed with a great variety of trees, shrubs, and vines. Their leaves turn at different times, so Missourians enjoy a fall color season that may last four to six weeks. Sassafras, sumac, and Virginia creeper are some of the earliest to change, beginning in mid-September. By late September, black gum, bittersweet, and dogwood are turning.

The peak of fall color in Missouri is usually around mid-October. This is when maples, ashes, oaks, and hickories are at the height of their fall display. Normally by late October, the colors are fading and the leaves beginning to drop from the trees. Fall color is usually finished by the middle of November.

The progression of color change usually starts earliest in northern and western Missouri and moves southward and eastward across the state. Generally, the color change is predictable, but it can vary from year to year. Much depends on the weather.

MDC's Fall Color Reports usually begin in the second half of September (whenever colors start to appear) and wrap up around the middle of November, when most of the leaves have fallen. Reports appear weekly and are usually posted by Thursday evenings.

Where’s The Best Place?

You can enjoy Missouri’s fall color almost anywhere.

  • For spectacular vistas, choose routes along rivers with views of forested bluffs, and along ridges with sweeping scenes of forested landscapes.
  • On a smaller scale, drive on back roads, hike, or take a float trip under a colorful forest canopy on a clear, blue-sky day. Visit MDC Conservation Areas and Missouri State Parks.
  • Even treeless areas, such as prairies and roadsides, display beautiful shades of gold, purple, olive, and auburn with autumn wildflowers, shrubs, and curing, rustling grasses.
  • If you can’t get out of town, enjoy places with mature trees, such as older neighborhoods, parks, and even cemeteries.

Find events on your route

The Missouri Division of Tourism’s online calendar is packed with events happening all across Missouri this fall. Find those along your preferred routes.

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Fall Color Reports

  • MDC regional map with Central Region highlighted
    Central Region, including Columbia, Jefferson City, and Lake of the Ozarks
    Status
    Not Started

    Posted 1-24-22

    Fall color reports will resume in September.

  • MDC regional map with Kansas City Region highlighted
    Kansas City Region
    Status
    Not Started

    Posted 1-24-22

    Fall color reports will resume in September.

  • MDC regional map with Northeast Region highlighted
    Northeast Region, including Kirksville and Hannibal
    Status
    Not Started

    Posted 1-24-22

    Fall color reports will resume in September.

  • MDC regional map with Northwest Region highlighted
    Northwest Region, including St. Joseph and Chillicothe
    Status
    Not Started

    Posted 1-24-22

    Fall color reports will resume in September.

  • MDC regional map with Ozark Region highlighted
    Ozark Region, including Rolla, West Plains, and Eminence
    Status
    Not Started

    Posted 1-24-22

    Fall color reports will resume in September.

  • MDC regional map with Southeast Region highlighted
    Southeast Region, including Cape Girardeau, Farmington, and Poplar Bluff
    Status
    Not Started

    Posted 1-24-22

    Fall color reports will resume in September.

  • MDC regional map with Southwest Region highlighted
    Southwest Region, including Springfield, Branson, and Joplin
    Status
    Not Started

    Posted 1-24-22

    Fall color reports will resume in September.

  • MDC regional map with St. Louis Region highlighted
    St. Louis Region
    Status
    Not Started

    Posted 1-24-22

    Fall color reports will resume in September.