This week should be the peak of the autumn colors in central Missouri. Most sugar maples in the region are lit up, showcasing their bright yellow-orange shades. Some red maples are turning their characteristic crimson, and silver maples are at their peak shade of yellow. Fragrant, or aromatic sumac is still a stunner, carpeting the woods in orange and red. The oaks are beginning to turn: the various red oaks are tipped in red, and some of the white oak species are too, but others are simply turning brown. Black oak is beginning to turn a mix of yellow and brown. Some hickories remain brilliantly yellow, but many are turning brown and dropping leaves at this point. Many persimmons have lost their leaves, leaving their abundant orange fruit hanging on bare twigs. In town, sweet gums are turning yellow. Hopefully the return of sunny days will coax some shades of red and purple out of them in the later part of the week. Last week’s high winds made a lot of the leaves fall already, particularly in the northern part of the region, but colors remain bright in the southern part of the region.
Fall Color Hot Spots
This is the time to enjoy a conservation area with a vista! Cooler weather makes for a more pleasant hike, and the fall color is a great reward. Take a hike up to the scenic overlooks at Grand Bluffs CA in Montgomery County, Hart Creek CA in Boone County, or Painted Rock CA in Osage County.
If you’re in the mood for some fall fishing, put your boat in at Larry Gale Access at Lake of the Ozarks, which is currently a very pretty area.
For scenic drives, we recommend the bluff-lined highways of MO 94, MO 179, and MO 100; these are always seasonal favorites.
- Remember that this is also a great time to be out hunting, so be careful while you’re in the woods.