Fall in the Fort Leonard Wood Region has to be the most beautiful time of year. The trees change to brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows and the weather cools off allowing ample time for outdoor exploration. Though we love our picturesque region and the many outdoor activities offered here, we also like making a trip to St. Louis this time of year to enjoy their many parks and check out the fall colors in the city.
If you’re interested in adding St. Louis to your fall travel list, here are the top five parks we recommend checking out while you’re there.
Little Creek Nature Area Trail in Dunegant Park
This nature trail is a little under two miles long and makes a great, easy path for all skills levels. The nature area and trail are owned by the Ferguson-Florissant School District. The outdoor educational area has allowed teachers to bring science to life for students since 1974, so you should expect to see some school-age children at the park if you visit on a school day. The nature area shares a boundary with Dunegant Park, which is a Florissant city park, and the trail begins and ends in Dunegant Park. There is ample parking close to the trail and dogs are allowed as long as they’re on a leash.
Forest Park is one of St. Louis’ greatest treasures and one of our favorite places to visit when we’re in St. Louis. Not only is this huge city park open to everyone, but it also houses the free St. Louis Zoo. This fall, we recommend packing a picnic and leisurely enjoying the almost six mile trail around the park where you can admire all of the fall color. If you’d prefer not to walk the whole trail, look for the St. Louis Bike Share kiosks in the park and rent a bike for the day.
Head back in time and take in the beautiful scenery at Tower Grove Park where you’ll find around 7,000 trees, Victorian pavilions, and 19th century sculptures. Unlike many other parks, Tower Grove guarantees you won’t be bored with almost 300 varieties of trees you’re likely to see something you’ve never seen before. We also recommend bringing the kids to enjoy one of the three playgrounds, hiking trails, or a carriage ride.
Over 150 years old, this botanical garden opened in 1859, making it our nation’s oldest continually operating botanical garden. Though the garden primarily focuses on education, conservation, and science, you’ll find elaborate floral displays and unique plant and tree varieties here. You can also check out their website to find out what’s blooming right now so you can best time your visit.
If you’ve ever wanted a perfect picture of a fall day in Missouri, you have to visit this park. Nothing says Missouri like the Arch and with the trees beneath turning bright fall colors, you’ll get a great shot that will help you remember your time in our beautiful state. While you’re there, take some time to go up into the Arch to get a bird’s eye view of St. Louis and the mighty Mississippi or visit the Old Courthouse and learn more about the history of St. Louis. For those military-connected visitors, don’t forget that the National Park Service offers a free annual pass to national parks and historic sites with your military ID.