Fall in Nebraska can be hit or miss – we often go from summer heat to overnight frosts in a matter of weeks and the trees just don’t have time to display their colors before the leaves all fall. This year we’ve had a nice transition into fall, so many trees are lit up in spectacular fashion all across the state. While this is by no means a definitive list, these are some of the state parks you can visit to see spectacular foliage. But you’d better hurry – the pretty leaves never last very long!
1. Arbor Lodge State Park, Nebraska City
Is it any surprise that the home of one of the world's biggest tree huggers would be full of beautiful fall foliage? The leaves in Arbor Lodge State Park are worth the drive even if you don't live close by.
2. Chadron State Park, Chadron
We can't say enough good things about this place. It gives you a full view of Pine Ridge, and although the evergreens out here are supposed to be, well, ever green, the area takes on a really lovely blush in the fall.
3. Indian Cave State Park, Shubert
Known for its great camping and even better hiking, Indian Cave State Park also deserves some recognition for this spectacular view.
4. Niobrara State Park
This park's unique location lets you see forever out over the Missouri and Niobrara rivers. The trees and grasses along their banks do not disappoint when it comes to brilliant colors.
5. Platte River State Park, Louisville
You can see for miles from the observation tower at Platte River State Park! In this photo taken last fall, the trees are really showing off for observers.
6. Ponca State Park, Ponca
Just an all-around seriously beautiful place to be, Ponca State Park is particularly stunning in the fall. The leaves underground are just as eye-catching as those still hanging on to the branches.
7. Schramm Park, Gretna
Schramm Park is educational AND entertaining. Learn all about fish and other wildlife in the learning center, then head out for an amazing walk through the fiery foliage.
8. Smith Falls State Park, Valentine
The waterfall? Amazing. The hiking? Some of the best in the state. And the views? Come on - is there anything prettier than that?
Please note: ALL of Nebraska’s state parks are stunning in the fall. All of them! But we don’t have access to copyright-free pictures of all of the state parks all decked out in their bright colors, so this is just a small collection of really great photos. Get out there for yourself and check out how amazingly beautiful Nebraska’s state parks are in the fall!
Here are some great suggestions from the Nebraska State Game and Parks Commission on where to catch some great fall colors. If you take any particularly mind-blowing pictures you’d like to share, please post them on our Facebook page.