Fall Colors

Bright reds and oranges as the trees change on the Natchez Trace Parkway.
The Old Trace Drive, at milepost 375.8 is a great place to see fall colors in mid to late October. 

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Why do Leaves Change Colors?

In middle to late October, the maple, hickory, oak and other hardwood trees begin to change colors and visitors have the opportunity to view the brilliant fall foliage along the Natchez Trace Parkway. Each fall, as sunlight decreases, it signals the plant to stop producing chlorophyll. The best conditions to create fall color are when the autumn days are mild and sunny, and the evenings are cool and crisp, but not freezing. Ideal foliage is sparked by a warm, wet spring, a typical summer, and sunny autumn days with cool nights. While it is impossible to predict the peak time to see colors along the Natchez Trace Parkway, the following locations and reports may help you plan your trip.

Locations to Enjoy the Fall Color in Tennessee:

  • The Old Trace Drive (milepost 375.8) provides spectacular overlooks of a hardwood forest.
  • Metal Ford (milepost 382.8) and Swan View Overlook (milepost 392.5) provide quick stops to view the fall colors.
  • Leisurely walks at Meriwether Lewis (milepost 385.9) or Fall Hollow (milepost 391.9) are great locations to enjoy the colors.
  • Those interested in seeing the colors more closely may find a day hike along the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail from the Garrison Creek Trailhead (milepost 427.6), or the Old Trace Trailhead (milepost 426.3) a rewarding experience.

Locations to Enjoy the Fall Color in Alabama and Mississippi:

  • The Freedom Hills Overlook (milepost 317.0) provides a spectacular overlook of a hardwood forest.
  • A short leisurely walk on the Rock Spring Nature Trail is an easy way to get out and see the colors more closely.
  • The view from Little Mountain Overlook in the Jeff Busby Campground (milepost 193.1), provides a wonderful quick stop to view the fall colors.
  • Those interested in seeing the colors more closely may find a day hike along the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail from the Old Town Overlook Trailhead (milepost 263.9), or the Beech Springs Trailhead (milepost 266.0) a rewarding experience.
 

Final Color Report for 2019, November 22, 2019
The fall colors are showing around the Ridgeland Mississippi area and the Ross Barnett Reservoir. The fall color change in this area is roughly 40% of peak color. This is the last area in the park to see the fall colors.

The fall colors are past their peak from Jeff Busby Campground to the northern terminus at milepost 444. Some color is hanging on however the leaves are dropping quickly throughout the area.

Please remember that colors can change rapidly, and leaf color will vary widely along the 444-mile length of the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Color Report for November 15, 2019

The Jeff Busby Campground area south to the Ross R. Barnett Reservoir is the best place to see fall colors this week. They are approaching peak colors, however due to storms and severe weather many of the leaves have been blown off the trees.

The fall colors are past their peak from Tupelo, MS to the northern terminus. Some color is hanging on however the leaves are dropping quickly throughout the area.

Please remember that colors can change rapidly, and leaf color will vary widely along the 444-mile length of the Natchez Trace Parkway.


Color Report for November 7, 2019
The fall colors are at their peak north of the Meriwether Lewis site (milepost 385.9). From Colbert Ferry (milepost 327.3) north into Tennessee fall colors are approaching peak color. They are about 45-50% of their full color. The Tupelo area is finally showing some reds, light oranges and yellows along the Parkway. The color is about 35% in this area.

Colors have started to show in the Jackson, MS area south to the southern terminus. Light reds and yellows are visible around the Rocky Springs campground at milepost 54.8

Please remember that colors can change rapidly, and leaf color will vary widely along the 444-mile length of the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Color Report for October 31, 2019

With cooler temperatures continuing the fall colors are showing from the Meriwether Lewis site (milepost 385.9) north with colors at about 55-60%of their peak color. This is approaching peak color for this area. From Colbert Ferry (milepost 327.3) north into Tennessee trees are about 40% of their full color.

The Tupelo area is showing a roughly 20% of color change with light yellows and reds along the Parkway. Many leaves were knocked down in the area due to severe storms last Saturday.

Due to the lack of rain and higher than average temperatures along the length of the Natchez Trace Parkway throughout the summer and early fall we expect the fall foliage to not last as long as years past and the amount of color will also be diminished.

Please remember that colors can change rapidly, and leaf color will vary widely along the 444-mile length of the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Color Report for October 25, 2019
If you want to see fall colors this weekend the northern end of the parkway is the place to be. With cooler temperatures in the northern end of the park this past week the colors have started to show through. The fall colors are showing from the Meriwether Lewis site (milepost 385.9) north with colors at about 45-50%of their peak color. This is approaching peak color for this area. From Colbert Ferry (milepost 327.3) north into Tennessee trees are about 30% of their full color.

The Tupelo area is still only showing a low percentage of color change with light yellows and reds along the Parkway.

Due to the lack of rain and higher than average temperatures along the length of the Natchez Trace Parkway throughout the summer and early fall we expect the fall foliage to not last as long as years past and the amount of color will also be diminished.

Please remember that colors can change rapidly, and leaf color will vary widely along the 444-mile length of the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Color Report for October 18, 2019
The fall colors are starting to showing from the Meriwether Lewis site (milepost 385.9) north. Near Nashville at the northern terminus fall foliage colors are at about 20% to 30% of their peak color. From Colbert Ferry (milepost 327.3) north into Tennessee trees are about 15% of their full color.

Due to the lack of rain and higher than average temperatures along the length of the Natchez Trace Parkway we expect the fall foliage to not last as long as years past and the amount of color will also be diminished.

Please remember that colors can change rapidly, and leaf color will vary widely along the 444-mile length of the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Last updated: November 22, 2019

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2680 Natchez Trace Parkway
Tupelo, MS 38804

Phone:

(800) 305-7417

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