State Parks Getaways – November 2018

View as a Webpage

Reservations | Find a Park | Activities | More

State Parks Getaways

Catch the Fleeting Colors of Autumn

Mist on the water of a lake with a pier and autumn color

Autumn is spinning trees into gold – catch it while you can. State parks in the Hill Country and Northeast Texas are surefire places to find landscapes and pop-ups of gold, copper, orange and red.

Hill Country favorites

  • Lost Maples – This park has a foliage color report to keep fans updated on its famous fall color. The "lost" bigtooth maples on the East Trail are a must-see. Plan your visit on a weekday to avoid weekend traffic and crowds.
  • Guadalupe River – Cypress trees fringe the river in copper and gold, and more colors await you along 13 miles of trails. The short Barred Owl Trail will lead you to a scenic overlook of the river.

Northeast Texas favorites

  • Daingerfield – Colorful maples and oaks are abundant here. Take a scenic drive or hike, then rent a canoe at the park and paddle through the fall colors reflected in the water. 
  • Ray Roberts Lake – Just north of DFW, this park is typically rich with color due to a variety of hardwoods and gold cottonwood trees. You'll find plenty at the Isle du Bois unit, which means "Island of Trees."

Since fall color is fickle, check out park Facebook and Instagram pages or our Flickr for up-to-the-minute images. We'd love to see your photos of fall color at state parks, so tag your social media posts with #fall4tx. 

Pro Tips for Fantastic Fall Photos

buckeye butterfly on mistflower

Parks are perfect for fall photo safaris. You can find migrating birds and butterflies, wildflowers, morning mist and other seasonal surprises. 

Big harvest moons appear in fall, so head for a park outside city lights to shoot one. But first, read our pro tips for lunar photography.

We also found 5 parks especially picturesque in autumn. Add them to your photo safari bucket list.  

woman photographing gold trees with iPhone at McKinney Falls State Park

Our in-house photographer Earl Nottingham has tips to help you get top-notch fall foliage shots, like

  • Dress your subjects in earth tones if fall foliage is the background 
  • Best times of day to shoot
  • Why cloudy is good 
  • How color saturation and white balance settings can make your colors pop. 

Outdoor Fun Built for the Chill

roasting marshmallows over a campfire

It's campfire time! Beautiful, warm, just right for telling stories and cooking treats, campfires are their own form of entertainment – binge-watching encouraged. We've got the info on how to build a campfire and how to make some exotic s'mores

If you'd rather let someone build a fire for you, check for Campfire Gatherings on our calendar.

rainbow trout held just above water

We stock rainbow trout in over 20 parks during cold months. You don't need a license to fish in state parks, and some even offer loaner tackle, so trout fishing is a great way to get the family together outdoors. And rainbow trout are some of the tastiest fish around! 

Find classes and other events at your favorite parks on our Fishing calendar.

Camping Central

campsite on shores of Inks Lake in autumn

If cooler weather has got you thinking about the joys of camping, visit our Camping page. It lists all the parks offering each type of campsite, from backpacking sites to sites with full hookups for RVs.

INSIDER TIP: If you enjoy tent camping and prefer to camp in an area without RVs, choose a campsite without electricity.

COMING SOON: We're making our online reservation system better by allowing you to choose a specific campsite, cabin or shelter when you make your reservation. This change will be in operation in early 2019, and you can sign-up now to be notified when it's ready.