Arkansas state parks are naturally beautiful no matter what time of year, but autumn really brings out their best. Lift your mood as the season changes by getting out of the house and into the fall sunshine – take a walk around these state park trails or if you’re sporty enough, get a day’s hike in and take in the glory of the leaves and their colors changing!
12. DeGray Lake State Park
This resort state park stays popular year round, and autumn is no exception. Although the rush of summer tourists is done this year, DeGray Lake State Park is still a wonderful place to go to watch the leaves change color.
11. Cossatot River State Park
Located in southwest Arkansas south of Mena, Cossatot River State Park is known as Arkansas's best whitewater experience. Autumn is a great time to visit the park, as visitors can hike the three and a half mile Harris Creek Trail or the 14-mile River Corridor Trail.
10. Hobbs State Park
Located in the northwest part of the state, Hobbs State Park (land area wise, Hobbs is Arkansas's largest state park) is great for a hike or a drive out in the country to see the leaves start changing. Have a look at how the diverse Ozark landscape changes in autumn!
9. Lake Catherine State Park
Another popular summer destination, Lake Catherine State Park is still gorgeous when the seasons change. The waterfalls and mountain streams of the Ouachita Mountains take on a whole different beauty in fall.
8. Lake Dardanelle State Park
Lake Dardanelle is 34,300 acres of beautiful nature. This reservoir on the Arkansas River is a popular destination during the summer months, but the fall weather brings lovely scenery on either side of the lake (Russellville or Dardanelle). Take a look at the grand majesty of Mount Nebo during the autumn season!
7. Ozark Folk Center State Park
Walk the pavilion of The Ozark Folk Center State Park during the fall season and be transported to a charming old world full of color! The Folk Center also offers comfort foods at the Skillet Restaurant to make your trip even more delightful.
6. Lake Ouachita State Park
Lake Ouachita is surrounded by the Ouachita National Forest and is known for its scenic natural beauty. Popular for swimming, boating, and fishing, Lake Ouachita State Park is also excellent to visit and watch the leaves change color in the fall.
5. Withrow Springs State Park
Located just north of Huntsville, Withrow Springs State Park is situated in the Ozark Mountains. The park, created among scenic mountains and valleys in a wilderness that surrounds the site’s key feature, Withrow Spring, is gorgeous during the autumn season.
4. Pinnacle Mountain State Park
The cone-like appearance of Pinnacle Mountain is quite lovely to see from a distance when the reds and golds of autumn have made their appearance. Pinnacle Mountain State Park is wonderful for travelers and residents alike to enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys.
3. Lake Fort Smith State Park
Nestled in a scenic valley of the Boston Mountain Range of the Ozark Mountains, Lake Fort Smith State Park is an awesome location to admire the fall foliage. For backpackers, the park serves as the western terminus of the 165-mile Ozark Highlands National Recreation Trail.
2. Petit Jean State Park
A one-of-a-kind place rich in natural beauty, Petit Jean State Park is a true wonder to visit and admire the fall colors. Petit Jean Mountain itself becomes a picturesque sight, and visitors can take any available trail to see Arkansas in its finery during autumn.
1. Devil's Den State Park
One of the state's most amazingly scenic state parks in autumn for tourists on a hike or photographers looking for great shots, Devil's Den State Park includes an impressive native stone dam that spans Lee Creek in the heart of the park forming Devil's Lake.
This is just the beginning of autumn and there are plenty more Arkansas state parks to enjoy! Which state parks do you like to visit to see the fall foliage? Leave a comment and tell us about your trip!