5 Great Spots to See Fall Foliage in Columbia

Rock Bridge - fall

Not only does autumn mean the return of great fall festivals and Mizzou football, Columbia also becomes a beautiful place to watch the colors change. Grab your camera and check out these CoMo spots this fall:

Gans Creek Wild Area

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is always a beautiful park to explore but for finding fall foliage, we suggest specifically checking out the Gans Creek Wild Area. The trail system here is 8.5 miles but you don’t have to walk that far for the great views: take Highway 163 to East Bonne Femme Church Road, where you’ll find the Shooting Star Trailhead. Follow the trail until it forks and veer left. That will take you to a few scenic overlooks – perfect for taking in all the fall colors.

Enjoy the view at Les Bourgeois Vineyards A-Frame in Rocheport.
Enjoy the view at Les Bourgeois Vineyards A-Frame in Rocheport.

Les Bourgeois Blufftop Bistro and A-Frame

If you’re less into hiking and more into wine and food, hop in the car and head to Les Bourgeois in Rocheport. The Blufftop Bistro offers a full menu and, of course, awesome bluff-top views while you dine of the Missouri River. If you would like to hang outside with a gorgeous view, check out the A-Frame where you can grab a glass of wine and listen to some live music while soaking in the autumn views. Don’t forget to stop by the Tasting Room and Gift Shop on your way back if you want to take a few bottles of wine home with you.

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Stephens Lake Park

Stephens Lake Park is a serene park located right off of Broadway and Old Hwy 63, which makes it easy to escape the hustle and bustle without even leaving town. With an abundance of trees like maples, walnut, and bald cypress, the park is bursting with color in the fall.

MKT Trail and Katy Trail

Columbia (sometimes) has the perfect fall weather so take advantage of it by walking, running, or biking on our trails. Stay in town and hit the MKT Trail at the Stadium trailhead (don’t miss the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial at Battle Garden) or jump onto the Katy Trail in Rocheport or Hartsburg where it follows along the river. Both trails run through a canopy of trees – we know you just pictured yourself on the trail with the leaves falling around you.

Memorial Union - fall foliage

University of Missouri Campus

Mizzou Botanic Garden is home to eleven thematic and seven special collection gardens. Since the garden IS the campus, it is open year-round and is free to visitors. Several thousand annual flowers are planted each year so summer and fall is the perfect time to visit! The sidewalks are accessible, and you can find a printable map online for your self-guided tour.

Be sure to tag your fall photos – #ShowMeCoMo!

Written by Rachel Grant from the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau. Rachel is momma to Boone the golden retriever who loves to go to the local dog parks whenever possible to see his friends. Rachel also loves a good queso dip and Hot Box Cookies with cold milk.  

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