Fall has arrived, and with it, a whole new world of color. That’s right, autumn is officially here, which means that it is time to break out the knitted scarves, light a crackling fire in the hearth, and bask in the golden glow of the season’s last warmth.
The Reason for the Season
As we roll into October, we Northerners get to enjoy the beauty of autumn. The air is becoming crisp, and nature prepares to hunker down for winter – but not before giving us a spectacular seasonal show. As the leaves lose their greenery, they reveal gorgeous hues of gold, orange, bronze, and magenta, wowing and inspiring us to change with the season.
In the heat of the summer, chlorophyll gives leaves their bright verdancy, helping to absorb energy in the form of sunlight. But as the winter months approach, temperatures drop, and there are fewer hours of sun, marking the time for the little green food factories to pack it up. As the chlorophyll drains from the leaves, we are left with the stunning yellows, golds, and oranges that are hidden beneath the green pigment the rest of the year. In some cases, additional chemical changes can also bring out the brilliant scarlet and maroon hues beloved by leaf-peepers everywhere.
There really is nothing quite like watching the leaves change, so don’t miss the chance to see it for yourself! According to the folks at Smoky Mountain, the ideal time for leaf watching in Missouri is mid-to-late October. That means it’s time to strap on your walking shoes, grab your camera (or smartphone), and enjoy the glory of autumn.
So where can leaf aficionados best admire the seasonal foliage in and around St. Louis? If you’re on the lookout for leaves but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite hotspots where you can see the best nature Missouri has to offer.
Why not take a stroll through Forest Park in the heart of St. Louis? Not only is this urban haven beautiful, but it’s also historically significant, and a jewel in the city’s crown. Established in 1876, Forest Park has played host to numerous events. Over a century ago, Forest Park held the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. These days, it’s better known for its various festivals and charity events.
Nearly twice as large as New York’s Central Park and located in the heart of the city, Forest Park contains a remarkable array of sights, monuments, and water features, sporting facilities, and museums to greenhouses, a theater, and a zoo. Best of all, you’re guaranteed to spot some gorgeous leaves as you take in the sights and sounds. There’s a reason this spot is called the “Heart of St. Louis.”
Creve Coeur Lake Park
At just over 2,000 acres, Creve Coeur Lake Park has something for everyone—and especially avid leaf-watchers. This gem is located approximately 20 miles northwest of St. Louis, making it a great place to escape the city’s hustle and bustle without going too far afield.
The lake is ringed by a paved trail, offering an incredible view of the lake and the greenery that lines the path. The well-maintained asphalt trail is ideal for walkers, runners, bikers, skateboarders, and rollerbladers. Even pets are welcome, so long as they stay on a leash. So whether you’re taking a leisurely stroll along the path or paddling on the lake, there’s no better way to enjoy the colors of fall in Missouri.
Babler Memorial State Park
This beautiful spot is located in Wildwood, just 30 miles outside of St. Louis. Named after Dr. Edmund A. Babler, a St. Louis surgeon, it offers scenic trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, along with spots for camping and picnicking. This rural getaway features uninterrupted stretches of wooded trails, hilly views, covered shelters, and a massive stone gateway to its nearly 2,500 acres of gorgeous forest.
The state park is dedicated to nature conservation and is beloved for its swathes of mature trees and plentiful wildlife. If you are looking to get away from it all, lose yourself in the beauty of nature, and admire the colors of fall, Babler State Park is truly the place for you.
If you love nature as much as we do, St. Louis is the place to be! Do you have any favorite fall season spots to share? We’d love to hear about them. Reach out today, and let’s talk about it!