“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” Albert Camus

It is almost time for the “second spring,” which means it’s the season for enjoying fall foliage in St. Louis. Predictions are that the leaves will begin to change colors around September 24, and peak between October 18 and October 25. Smoky Mountains provides an interactive map predicting fall foliage across the U.S.

If warm and dry fall days continue, the St. Louis area should see three weeks of color change this season. And, in many locations, seniors can enjoy the colorful view from their car or on easy, safe walking paths.

10 Places to Admire Fall Foliage in the St. Louis Area

1. Tower Grove Park

Tower Grove is a wooded Victorian park with grassy meadows and approximately 7,000 trees. It is the second-largest park in the city, which makes it a great spot for spying fall foliage in St. Louis this season.

Location: 4256 Magnolia Ave., St. Louis.

Open: Sunrise to sunset

Phone: (314) 771-2679.

2. Missouri Botanical Gardens

The Missouri Botanical Gardens is a National Historic Landmark and home to a wide variety of plants and trees. Advance e-ticket purchases are recommended to ensure faster entry and guaranteed access. Shuttles are available.

Location: 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis.

Open: Tuesdays-Sundays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Last entry at 4:30 p.m.)

Phone: (314) 577-5100

3. Forest Park

At 1,300 acres, Forest Park is the city’s largest park. It features beautiful landscapes sprinkled with forests, ecosystems, nature reserves, lakes and streams  – making it a dream destination for those seeking beautiful scenes of fall foliage in St. Louis

Location: 5595 Grand Drive, St. Louis

Open: The park is closed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Phone: (314) 367-7275

4. Sugar Creek Park

Sugar Creek Park is a small, 20-acre park off interstate 270 and Dougherty Ferry Road with a short walking trail.

Location: 435 Des Peres Road. Des Peres

Open: Sunrise to sunset

5. Longview Farm Park

Longview Farm Park features trails that wind through woods and around a lake alongside stables and pasture.

Location: 13525 Clayton Road, Town and Country

Open: Sunrise to sunset

Phone: (314) 587-2838

6. Creve Coeur Memorial Lake Park

Woodlands surround a 320-acre lake located in Maryland Heights. Trails in the park are both paved and unpaved, and relatively flat. The trails are shared by walkers, runners, and cyclists.

Locations: 

Sailboat Cove: 13725 Marine Avenue, St. Louis

Upper Park: 13236 Streetcar Drive, Maryland Heights

Open: 8 a.m. until 30 minutes past sunset.

A map of the area.

7. Main Street in St. Charles

Main Street is located along the tree-lined banks of the Missouri River. While viewing the foliage, you can visit a wide variety of shops, historic buildings and restaurants.

8. Lone Elk State Park

Located approximately 30 minutes west of St. Louis, Lone Elk Park is a wildlife management area, with bison, wild turkey, waterfowl, elk and deer. Miles of paved road wind through the park.

Location: 1 Lone Elk Park, Valley Park, MO 63088 (It is advised that you use a GPS or a print out for directions to the park.)

Hours: The park officially opens at 7 a.m. in the summer and 8 a.m. in the winter. However, the gates are physically opened and the public is free to enter by 6:30-7 a.m. year-round. The park closes at sunset.

Phone: (314) 615-4386

9. Rockwood Reservation

Rockwood Reservation is an 1,880 acres state forest and wildlife conservation area in St. Louis County. While some are easier than others, there are some challenging trails. Or drive through the park and tree watch.

Location: 2751 Glencoe Road, Wildwood, Mo. Approximately 40 minutes west of St. Louis.

Open: Sunrise to one-half hour after sunset daily.

Phone: (636) 441-4554

10. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park

Babler State Park is a 35 to 40-minute scenic drive west from St. Louis to Wildwood. Babler’s trail options are described in detail on their website.

Location: 800 Guy Park Drive, Wildwood, Mo

Find more fun activities for seniors by visiting Bethesda’s Senior Living blog.