Sweater weather is here, and fall color is on the way!
November 10, 2021
For some, autumn is the ideal time of year. If you love nature and color, the changing of the seasons in Oklahoma is spectacular. Glorious fall foliage and family-friendly festivals can be found all over our great state. Roll down the windows and take a scenic drive through one of the prime foliage areas. Or hike through a recreational area and watch the leaves change color before your very eyes. There are ancient mountains, beautiful lakes, and rippling creeks that abound with all the magnificent colors of mother nature.
Plan a fall mini escape during early November to catch the peak foliage displays. Here are 14 fall foliage routes you’ll enjoy, courtesy of our friends at travelok.com.
Boiling Springs State Park
An ideal oasis on the plains where tall hardwood trees intertwine with the sandhill and sagebrush landscape of northwestern Oklahoma.
Great Salt Plains State Park
Various hardwoods create a stunning canopy of radiant reds, yellows, and oranges throughout the park. Watch ducks, geese, and waterfowl or journey along with one of the nature trails to enjoy the gorgeous foliage and fall weather.
Roman Nose State Park
Enjoy stunning autumn scenes at Roman Nose State Park, with its astounding landscape known for rich Indian history and natural beauty. Spend the night in a cabin, lodge or a teepee after horseback riding and playing a round of golf.
Red Rock Adventure Park
Glorious fall color appears earlier than most, peaking about two weeks before the native species on the uplands of the canyon. Sugar maples offer vibrant color, set against red sandstone canyon walls, making for a dramatic landmark on the plains of western Oklahoma. Hiking, rappelling, and camping are available in the park.
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
Granite formations create an ideal backdrop for the amazing color of oaks you’ll see along this drive. Be sure to keep your camera handy to capture the beauty of this refuge, as well as the buffalo and elk herds that roam freely in the park. Rock climbing, camping, nature trails plus an old frontier gold-mining ghost town in Meers. Visit the picturesque early-day cobblestone resort village of Medicine Park and explore frontier history at Fort Sill, where Apache warrior Geronimo lived out his last years.
Chickasaw National Recreational Area
One of southern Oklahoma’s most beautiful fall drives. The area surrounding the Lake of the Arbuckles in Sulphur shows off acres of towering pines and colorful native hardwoods. Excellent nature trails. Close by: Turner Falls, along I-35 just south of Davis.
Lake Murray State Park
Oklahoma’s largest state park exhibits fall foliage along Hickory Creek and is an ideal weekend getaway. Cabins, camping, horseback riding, golfing, fishing, hiking, and wildlife watching.
Osage Hills State Park
This state park is composed of a dense hardwood forest with mostly oak timber. Fishing, camping, cabins, hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing. Nearby: Woolaroc Ranch, Museum & Wildlife Preserve, near Bartlesville, for a decidedly Western experience; Birch Lake, near Barnsdall, is another point of interest along this scenic drive.
Lose yourself in the beautiful, wooded hills overlooking Lake Oologah. Enjoy the winding path, Skull Hollow Nature Trail at Lake Oologah, and explore a majestic oak and hickory forest. Boating, fishing, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing. Also visit Dog Iron Ranch, the birthplace of Will Rogers, and the Will Rogers Memorial just north of Claremore.
Miami to Tahlequah
Take an excursion on scenic State Highway 10 for a spectacular display of autumn color, lakes, and rivers. Long, winding roads and rolling hills make this route a pleasure to drive and a perfect fall getaway. Lots of scenic bluffs, charming towns, and state parks along the way. Choose to extend your drive by motoring on south to the scenic Lake Tenkiller area for even more glorious foliage contrasting against sky blue waters.
Tahlequah to Sallisaw
Miles of forest and a rich history surround this area of our great state. US Highway 59 offers a breathtaking display of fall’s glory. In Sallisaw, visit Sequoyah’s Cabin to learn more about Cherokee history and the man who created their alphabet, putting their spoken language into writing.
Robbers Cave State Park
Fall’s amazing color shows itself in this great hideaway of hardwood trees and pines on a rocky landscape. Camping facilities, lodge, cabins, hiking, fabulous vistas.
Talimena National Scenic Byway
The most renowned fall foliage drive in Oklahoma takes a path through the Ouachita National Forest in southeastern Oklahoma. Mile after mile of hardwoods and evergreen pines present an array of fall color and splendor. Twist and turn through the gently rolling Ouachita Mountains and find vista after vista, each more breathtaking than the last. Hiking, camping.
The mountains and clear rivers of southeast Oklahoma are most colorful in the fall. Beavers Bend State Park on Broken Bow Lake is a prime destination to witness a splendid display of nature’s hues, as well as a favorite camping location. Camping, cabins, trout fishing, float trips, paddleboats.
These getaways are within a few hours’ drive of the Oklahoma City metro, making for an easy day trip or a fun overnighter. As of this writing, the fall foliage season in most areas is still in its early stages. But as temps cool, a color jump could arrive sooner than later. Check the website listed above for foliage updates and more information on each specific site.
There are also some great festivals, pumpkin patches, and family-friendly fall events in Wichita, Kansas … a mere two hours from Oklahoma City. Check out Wichita’s website for specifics: VisitWichita.com. Or if you’re thinking of traveling south of the Red River, check out some of the celebrations in North Texas: ArtAndSeek.org.
Wherever you decide to take your break, enjoy yourself and the glorious fall color Oklahoma offers … even if it’s right from your own Ideal front door!