TravelTravel and Recreation

Planning a Fall Foliage Trip in the South Central States

I would like to plan a RV trip to Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee for fall foliage. When do leaves begin to change in this area? I want to stay in state parks with easy hiking or riding to see foliage. Any ideas on good parks? We'll start from NW Louisiana, up through western Arkansas, into Missouri, over to Kentucky, into Tennessee, and back to LA. We plan to spend 3-4 weeks on the road.

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By Carolyn Phillips from Shreveport, LA

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September 19, 20100 found this helpful

No one can predict exactly when the leaves will change, but we went to Springfield, Missouri two weekends in a row last year to see the changing foliage (we're in central Oklahoma). First we took my parents the weekend of October 17th. The foliage was okay. So before we checked out of the hotel, my husband reserved rooms for the following weekend (the 24th), and took his mother for the second weekend. The colors were much brighter! I think you're at the mercy of how rainy it has been, plus when they get their first freeze/frost.

If you happen to go to Springfield, there is a lovely National Cemetery, with a regular cemetery right next to it (divided by a wall). It was very peaceful, and lots of beautiful leaves.

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I remember it wasn't too far from a Barnes and Noble bookstore. There was another cemetery with lots of trees we caught on our way out of town, but it started raining, so we didn't hang out very long. There is also Wilson's Creek National Battlefield in the area. If you're interested, it's a nice place to visit, too. Here is some info:
http://www.nps.gov/wicr/

We stayed in a hotel, so I don't know which parks would be good to stay in. But if you visit each state's tourism website, you can probably find some information there. Or they should have phone numbers listed . . . everyone at the visitors centers are so nice, I bet if you call they'll be happy to give you more information. I hope you enjoy your trip!

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September 21, 20100 found this helpful

Try going through Western Arkansas during the craft festivals throughout the Northwestern corner (Rogers, Springdale, Bentonville, Fayetteville). This is either the first or second week/weekend in October.

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War Eagle, Applegate, and the Holiday Inn shows are exceptional, as is the weekend Walmart show where you make crafts for free. Great time to check out the leaves and crafts. Get a room now!

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September 21, 20100 found this helpful

Thank you both for your replies. Goodness, a lot of information at tourism sites. Am planning to see the crafts shows. :)

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