In November, Mother Nature adds artistic touches of gold, orange, and red to foliage all over the Upper East Side of Texas. For a true delight, visit one of the Texas state parks in our region, which offer a calm, peaceful environment where nature takes center stage.

Parks in our region have the advantage of more rainfall and cooler weather and they offer a good variety of deciduous foliage. Maple, oak, sweetgum, elm, and hickory trees turn a variety of colors.

Driving, hiking, bicycling, paddle boating, and camping allow enjoyable views of foliage along lakes and trails, often in mild, sunny weather.

Though words can’t adequately describe the beauty of fall foliage, the science behind the changing colors is not difficult to explain. Leaves are green in the spring and summer, when their green chlorophyll uses sunlight and rain to create nourishing sugars and starches.

As deciduous trees prepare for winter, they draw minerals from their leaves and store them in trunks and roots. As the chlorophyll leaves, so does the green color, and only the remaining colors are still visible.

The brightest fall colors follow a season of abundant rainfall and cooler temperatures, whereas too much hot, dry weather causes them to turn brown. With many lakes and waterways, state parks in our region offer the perfect setting for enjoying the last days of warm weather.

Many Texas State Parks have capacity limits due to COVID-19 precautions, and reservations for day use and camping are required. Call ahead at (512) 389-8920 or reserve online at www.tpwd.texas.gov. (Information from Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife)

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