Fall Foliage Vacations

Find incredible colors on Arkansas fall foliage tours

Embark on fall foliage tours in The Natural State and enjoy breathtaking views of stunningly vibrant landscapes in one of America's most picturesque autumn destinations. Many of Arkansas's visitors come during the autumn season for fall vacations that involve a mix of grand outdoor adventure, relaxation and self-guided fall color tours along scenic byways.

Keep up with our peak color updates here to plan fall foliage tours in The Natural State and discover why Arkansas is a prime spot for fall foliage vacations. Reports will be posted here every Thursday by 5 p.m. during the season so you can fine-tune your itinerary. Start making plans to travel through Arkansas this fall! You’ll find scenic beauty in every region of the state, from the forested hills to the wide open delta.

Central Arkansas

At Pinnacle Mountain State Park in Little Rock, about half of the park has experienced the fall color change.Yellows are the most predominant fall colors showing, with reds and browns also showing through. Sumacs are a fiery red, maples are starting to turn an orange-yellow and the elms, hornbeams, hickories, pecans and sweetgums are a shining gold. The sassafras trees are a beautiful blend of yellowish red. The oaks are skipping the color change and turning to brown. While there is still much green in the park, staff recommends taking a leisurely drive along Pinnacle Valley Road to see the sprinkles of color. If you’re more adventurous, the best way to see the color change is to hit the park’s trails, including the Rocky Valley Trail, the Arkansas Arboretum Trail, the Base Trail or the Jackfork Mountain Biking Trail.

An approximate 40% change is reported in the area around Conway, with the color change bringing in mostly reds, yellows and oranges. The area around I-40, heading west, has a beautiful mix of colors at this time.

Petit Jean State Park in Morrilton estimates a 20% color change.

Lower White River Museum State Park in Des Arc reports roughly 25% of the foliage has changed. Foliage is still mostly green, with some of the foliage turning brown. Sumacs are red and tulip poplars and maples are yellow, but turning brown. While there is not much fall color change here, a drive through Cleburne County in North Central Arkansas is recommended - the colors are beautiful there.

Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park in Scott estimates a 15% color change, with about 10% turning brown and 5% turning yellow. Ash, cottonwood, sycamore and box elder trees are still yellowish green. Bald cypress trees are showing mostly rusty-brown hues and a little bit of green. More trees are losing their leaves this week.

Northwest Arkansas

Sassafras located at the Bentonville Welcome Center, showing yellows, oranges and greens this week. Photo taken Oct. 19, 2016.
See more photos of the color change in Northwest Arkansas on our Fall Color Photos page.

The Arkansas Welcome Center in Bentonville reports that fall color has advanced over the past week. There has been a significant increase in color on the maples around Wilson Park in Fayetteville and there are nice oranges and some reds in and near the park. At the Welcome Center, the maple is predominately yellow with a tad of green left. Most of the ridges in the area still appear predominantly green, while the understory varieties of foliage are showing the most color change. One recommendation for viewing some of fall’s vibrant hues is to visit woodland interior trails, streams or riverbeds. It is highly likely that the gum trees will be at peak by the weekend.

Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area in Rogers reports a 20% change. The primary color is still green, but there are reds and yellows showing through. Elms and oaks are yellowing, the dogwoods are turning red, with red berries, and the black gum and sumac trees are red. Maples are turning yellow and orange.

The Arkansas Welcome Center at Harrison estimates 20% of the area’s foliage has turned. The oaks are still primarily green, but are showing some golden yellows. The understory trees and shrubs are showing the most color. The sumacs are past prime and are beginning to lose leaves, but still have some brilliant reds showing. Dogwoods are purple and the sassafras have a pinkish orange cast to them. Some smaller ornamental trees are showing purples as well. The maples are beginning to turn in downtown Harrison. Maplewood Cemetery has experienced an approximate 50% change, though the colors don’t seem to be as bright this year, but may brighten later. The trees here are mainly showing yellows with just a little red showing so far.

Withrow Springs State Park in Huntsville reports that roughly 30% of the foliage has changed. The primary color is still green, but quite a bit of yellow and some red is now showing. Dogwoods are mostly all red, oaks are still green, and yellow hues are beginning to show in many of the other trees. The War Eagle Trail is a great trail for views of the fall foliage. The overlook is easily accessible from the top trailhead located by the pavilion.

The Arkansas Welcome Center in Siloam Springs states that they are seeing about a 15% color change, with the maples estimated at 25% changed.

Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park in Prairie Grove reports a 40% color change, featuring reds, purples, oranges and yellows. Maples are turning brilliant yellows, oranges and reds and dogwoods are now a deep plum red-purple. Sassafras leaves are a reddish orange and oaks are turning various shades of yellow and orange.

Devil’s Den State Park in West Fork is seeing about a 40% change on the ridges, with poplars turning yellow and oaks changing to red. Purples and golds are also showing among the landscape. Peak fall color is expected to arrive to this area late next week if there is more moisture later this week.

The Arkansas Welcome Center in Fort Smith/Van Buren estimates a 15-20% color change. The majority of trees are still green, but the dogwood trees at the Welcome Center are starting to turn red and the sweet gum trees are changing to a bright yellow.

The city of Van Buren reports the area as still 90% green, with oaks turning brown and cottonwoods and redbuds turning yellow.

Photo taken near the Lake Dardanelle State Park Visitor Center on Oct. 18, 2016.
View more photos of the park taken this week on our Fall Color Photos page.

At Lake Dardanelle State Park in Russellville the landscape is still primarily green, though some trees are beginning to blush.

At Mount Nebo State Park in Dardanelle, the foliage is getting a slow start, with about 20% of the foliage changed. The cool weather forecasted for this weekend will hopefully bring more change. A few oaks are turning brown, the sweet gums are yellow and green and the red maple in the campground is orange. A lot of the leaves are already falling due to heavy winds earlier this week. The view from the mountain of the expanse of trees below reveals a more obvious color change, with the orangey brown of the oaks dominant. With leaves expected to start falling, now is the time to visit the park.

North Central Arkansas

Mammoth Spring State Park and the Arkansas Welcome Center in Mammoth Spring estimates a 25% color change, with maples, sumacs and dogwood trees starting to turn. While green is still the primary color, the area is quickly turning yellow and the forecasted cold front is expected to ignite the color change.

Bull Shoals/White River State Park in Bull Shoals reports an approximate 50% color change this week. Colors are becoming more vibrant with dogwoods turning plum-red, sycamores a golden yellow, and black gum and sumac trees changing to a blazing red. Ash, elm and hickory trees are turning yellow and oaks are turning dark.

Buffalo National River, from Red Bluff near Gilbert. Photo taken on Oct. 18, 2016 by Searcy County Chamber of Commerce member Lee Walsh.
View more photos of Searcy County taken this week on our Fall Color Photos page.

Searcy County reports a 50% color change, with hickories and ash trees turning golden hues.

Reports from the Batesville area indicate a 20-30% change. Sumacs are now a fiery red, black gums are slowly turning red and the elms and cottonwoods are a beginning to show golden hues. Estimates are that the fall color should be brilliant this year, and end-of-month tours are predicted to be the perfect time to catch peak color in this area.

Upper Delta

The Arkansas Welcome Center in Corning reports the area as 90% green, with sumacs, elms and black gums showing bright golds, reds and oranges. Fall colors are showing along Crowley’s Ridge.

Lake Charles State Park in Powhatan estimates a 20% color change, with yellows and reds popping out among the primarily green landscape. The Virginia creeper and sumac are red, hickories are yellowing and some dogwoods are turning red and yellow. Oaks are mostly green, but with some yellow.

Crowley’s Ridge State Park in Paragould still sees quite a bit of green present, with leaves starting to turn yellow and red.

The Arkansas Welcome Center in Blytheville estimates 90% of their area as green, with 10% of the foliage showing yellows and reds. Bradford pears are plum-red and purple and elms and cottonwoods are a beginning to show golden hues. Pecan trees are turning yellow and orange.

Jacksonport State Park in Newport reports an explosion of color over the last week, with the trees in the park now showing a 45% change. Most trees are displaying an attractive reddish-orange color. The sweet gum trees are showing a variety of colors, ranging from yellow and orange to red and purple. Most of the hackberry trees in the park have taken on a vivid yellow color which contrasts nicely with the pale textured bark of their trunks. The mahogany-colored leaves of the pecan trees are starting to fall due to the almost continual breeze off of the White River at the park. The park’s yard is covered with clusters of pecans, and the acorns are falling from the oak trees. The oaks are quickly gaining a copper color, and the hickory trees are turning from a mundane bronze to a rich golden color.

Village Creek State Park in Wynne reports an approximate 15% change. While green remains the predominant color, yellows and some reds are starting to show. The sweet gums are beginning to show their reddish purple colors and the elms are beginning to produce a nice yellow hue.

Parkin Archeological State Park in Parkin estimates that 30% percent of foliage has changed. About 10% of the foliage is red, and 20% is yellow to brown. The best fall colors at the park are the red sassafras leaves and the orange to red persimmon leaves. Pecan and ash trees have changed a lot since last week with yellows and browns now showing. Bald cypress trees are starting to change to orange-brown. Poison ivy is near its peak color, also showing an orange- brown.

The Arkansas Welcome Center in West Memphis reports the area is still 90% green, with oaks turning brown.

Lower Delta

The Helena-West Helena Welcome Center has seen very little color change, about 8-10%, in Lee and Phillips counties. The smaller, understory trees are starting to change. Bald cypress trees are turning a brownish-orange and elm and birch trees are yellowing. With the forecasted rain and cooler nights, a greater change is expected by this time next week.

The Lake Village Welcome Center reports a less than 10% color change, with a little yellow and brown showing amongst all the green.

Southwest Arkansas

Queen Wilhelmina State Park in Mena reports a 20% color change, with yellows and reds appearing among the green foliage. Black gums are turning red and oaks are slowly starting to turn. On top of Rich Mountain, the leaves are still green, but the drive towards Mena will reveal some of the color change.

Lake Ouachita State Park in Mountain Pine reports about 40% of the area’s foliage has changed. The park area is estimated at 60% green, 30% gold and 10% red. Oaks are turning brown, hickories are gold, elms and sweet gums are bright yellow and a few maples are turning orange-red. Views of foliage are greatly enhanced if you hike out to point 50 at the edge of the Caddo Bend Trail. This offers beautiful views of color change across the lake.

Lake Catherine State Park in Hot Springs reports less than a 10% color change. Fall colors are sporadic, with the primary color remaining green. A black cherry tree near the maintenance building has turned a delightful reddish hue.

 Sumac at DeGray Lake Resort State Park, taken Oct. 19, 2016. View more photos of the park taken this week on our Fall Color Photos page.

DeGray Lake Resort State Park in Bismarck has not seen much change since last week. The majority of trees remain green with some browns showing in the oaks, yellows in the hickories and deep burgundy popping up on the black gums. Sumac and poison ivy are turning a vibrant red and dogwoods are just starting to change to red as well.

Daisy State Park in Kirby estimates between 40-45% of the park has changed color, now showing shades of yellow, orange, red and brown. Sweet gums and maples are yellow, orange and red and oaks are mainly green and brown.

White Oak Lake State Park in Bluff City estimates a 25% change, with yellows, browns, oranges and reds showing through the abundance of evergreens in the park. Cypress and cedar trees are turning brown, cottonwoods and sweet gums are showing yellows, oranges and browns, and maple trees are turning a plum hue. Sumacs are turning to red and birch trees are yellowing.

Logoly State Park in McNeil is seeing an approximate 40% color change in the deciduous trees, with yellows, reds and browns showing among the primarily evergreen landscape. Sweet gums, mockernut hickories and winged elms are turning a bright yellow. White ash trees and Virginia witch hazels are fading from a light green to yellow. Black gums are showing off some glossy reds, oranges and yellows. The poison ivy vines are turning to a beautiful crimson. The variety of oaks in the park are turning brown. Several trees around the pond are showing off red and yellows.

The Red River Welcome Center and Texarkana Welcome Center in Texarkana reports that the Texarkana area is mostly green, with a 20% color change estimated. The crepe myrtles are just starting to turn and the Bradford pears are still completely green. The sycamore leaves are a bright yellow and golden brown, sumac is a deep red and the dogwoods are turning a deep red. The oaks are starting to lighten, but are still mostly green. Highway 27 North towards Murfreesboro is showing a 35% color change, with yellows and deep golden colors on display.

Report dated Oct. 20, 2016. Next report will be posted Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016.