Texas Fall RV Destinations - Top 5
With over 80 state parks, natural areas and historic sites, there's a ton to see if you are ever visiting the great state of Texas. When autumn arrives and the air feels crisp and clean, you'll want to get out and enjoy all of the natural beauty available across Texas. Since there are so many excellent places to choose from in the state park system, it can be difficult deciding where to go with your Jayco RV.
Where are the best RV destinations in Texas during the fall?
After much discussion, we've selected our top 5 places to go in the Texas State Park system that we think you need to check out, too. So, here are our best Texas RV destinations for the fall season based on a combination of foliage color, things to do, peace and quiet, interesting landmarks and overall beauty (in no particular order!).
- Daingerfield State Park
- Caddo Lake State Park
- Garner State Park
- Tyler State Park
- Lost Maples State Natural Area
1. Daingerfield State Park
Where is the best place to RV near Dallas in the fall?
It was the summer of 2015, and we were just getting started on our RV journey. While camping at our local Army Corp of Engineers Park, one of the campground hosts recommended we try Daingerfield State Park in the fall. Boy, was it a great recommendation! It has been on our regular rotation of parks we like to visit each autumn, sometimes multiple times.
What is so great about Daingerfield State Park?
Proximity, foliage and quiet all top our list. Since we live in the Dallas area, this state park is one of our closest at around two hours away. It makes for a quick weekend getaway in the fall when we usually have plenty of weekend responsibilities to handle: basketball, festivals, birthdays…your typical American October and November. The foliage here is probably our favorite in North Texas. What you get is a nice mixture of pines surrounding your RV with a blend of orange, red and yellow scattered through the campground. If you look out across the lake, you'll see the pines standing tall with this same beautiful combination of oak, sweetgum, and other color-changing trees among them. Of all the state parks in Texas, this is my favorite one to wake up in and go for a walk along the lake. Speaking of the lake, a good percentage of RV sites have a view of the lake. Two of the loops that accommodate RVs have a limited number of sites, so they can be especially quiet. In addition, on many mornings, if you get up early enough, you are likely to be treated with some calming lake fog. Sitting and listening to the birds sing as the morning light breaks through the fog is a magical experience! (see our video from Daingerfield State Park.)
2. Caddo Lake State Park
If you have never visited Caddo Lake State Park in the fall, you are absolutely missing out on one of the best state parks in Texas! Well known as the only "natural" lake in Texas that was not man-made, Caddo Lake is world-class in so many ways. Sitting near the border of Louisiana, Caddo Lake State Park is a cypress tree lover's dream come true.
Why visit Caddo Lake State Park in the fall?
When we first visited Caddo years ago, we went in the summer and loved it. The green cypress trees covered with Spanish Moss were gorgeous, and sitting out at night with fireflies all around made for a very memorable time with the kids. After later booking a fall trip, we discovered that Caddo Lake State Park is even more stunning this time of the year. The green cypress trees turn a vibrant orange-red that you need to see for yourself. Throw in some beautiful maples and oaks changing color around the campground and you will feel like you are in Texas fall foliage heaven. Since it’s East Texas in the fall, many early mornings you can expect to see some fog on the lake. The fog plus autumn colors on the water makes for a very pleasant experience and really adds to the tranquility of the park in the early morning. We enjoy renting one of the canoes the park has to offer. It feels incredibly surreal paddling through the groves of cypress trees and a layer of fog in the cool morning air. When this foggy condition occurs, you'll see rows of professional photographers line up on the park's pier to snap some shots. Out on the water at Caddo Lake State Park, you are bound to see a variety of wildlife. In fact, it's one of the main reasons why we go to this park. In addition to numerous other species, we regularly see birds like blue herons, white-faced ibis and great egrets in the fall. It's a great park for bird watching!
3. Garner State Park
Garner deserves a spot as the most popular state park in the Texas State Park system. This park is popular for numerous reasons, and the great fall foliage here will make you want to visit in November and not necessarily just when Texas temperatures are blazing hot.
What is Garner State Park like in the fall?
In the fall months, people that usually visit Garner State Park for the world-class summer tubing head here for the fall colors. The landscape pops with spectacular hues of reds, yellows and oranges that are a marvel to see on the surrounding hills. Add in the gorgeous green color of the Frio River and you have a photographer's dream! We also love hiking in this park. The limestone rock hill has a many caves that are fun to peek into, and the trails are somewhat challenging for this part of Texas. Some hikes have a decent amount of elevation gain over a very short distance making for a good leg burner. Once you are at a high point on the trails, you'll notice Garner State Park has some of the best views of any state park in the Texas hill country. We feel like the views are definitely in our top 5 for all parks in the Texas State Park system. You’ll want to be careful high up on these trails because you'll likely find lots of loose limestone rocks along the way. Not up for a hike but want to see all of the amazing colors in Garner? Try going for a leisurely bike ride or a walk. There are plenty of paved walkways for strolling through the park and ample places to ride your bicycle with autumn colors all around you.
4. Tyler State Park
This park is the first sort of "long-distance" one we ever visited after purchasing our Jayco RV – call it our RV testing ground. At two hours away from our home in the Dallas area, it's another park we like to keep in our camping rotation since it is so close to us in East Texas.
What is so nice about Tyler State Park in the fall?
This park is perfect for bringing your RV to check out East Texas fall foliage. There is something amazing about riding bikes with your family in the campground under the oaks and maples popping with color. Dogwoods and sweetgums are sprinkled throughout, showing off their awesome autumn color as the leaves gently fall to the ground on the ride. It's a pretty special moment to share! We have also found that this lakeside park has some great water activities you can enjoy too. Swimming in the fall is a bit too chilly for our family, but if you are tougher than we are, you can give it a shot or come back in the summer when it's warmer and much more active with swimmers. Another reason to visit this park in the fall is to boat on the lake. We prefer to use the pedal boats at Tyler State Park to any of the types of boats. The water has always been pretty calm for us on this lake, and it's pretty relaxing taking a pedal boat along the shore to get a different view of all the fall colors. The mountain bike trails are also very nice here if you enjoy a little fall workout. This is East Texas, so don't expect enormous hills to climb or very technical trails, but it does have a couple of nice spots to help get your heart rate up. There is also something to be said about riding through the forest with dappled light shining down and a spattering of multicolored leaves all over the ground. Tyler State Park is also a great place for kids to play since it has a nice playground with padded ground underneath. There are usually plenty of children at the lakeside playground for your little ones to play with. Located near the park store, you can grab a snack and sit in the excellent autumn Texas weather to enjoy watching your kids have fun.
5. Lost Maples State Natural Area
If we had to rank all of the places on our top five list in order, Lost Maples State Natural Area would probably come in first as the best place to see fall foliage in Texas. But we aren't, so let's see why Lost Maples might just be our top selection for the fall (but it isn't).
Why visit Lost Maples State Natural Area in the fall?
Based on our YouTube and Instagram accounts, you might already know that we love to hike. It's one of the main hobbies we enjoy doing together as a family. Well, Lost Maples State Natural Area is a wonderland for hikers like us that enjoy amazing fall colors, and it's typically known to have some of the best colors in all of Texas. Why? It's loaded with maples and oaks that are woven beautifully among all the other species of trees in the area and the colors pop when autumn rolls around. We have found that this park has several great hikes with landforms you can't find anywhere else in Texas. On one such hike, you can see a rock that looks like a gigantic monkey and it kind of reminded us of a funky-looking Curious George. There's also a mossy grotto area with water dripping from limestone that is incredibly relaxing to watch. Any season these features would be great to see on their own but imagine them with the spectacle of fall red, yellow and orange all around. Stunning! Also, while in Lost Maples, make sure to hike to some of the best overlooks the Texas hill country has to offer. You can enjoy spectacular views of surrounding hills covered in beautiful colored leaves all around you that you won't soon forget. Simply put, this is a great place to hike! Make sure to check out all of the other Texas parks when you are RVing in the Lone Star State in the fall. You really can't go wrong with any of them!