Best Spots for Fall Foliage in and Around Florida

Enjoy the colors of the cypress trees in fall in Wakulla Springs State Park, Florida,
Enjoy the colors of the cypress trees in fall in Wakulla Springs State Park, Florida, | © Denis Blofield / Shutterstock
Photo of Mike Title
9 October 2020

Florida may not be known for its fall foliage, but there are a few places to get you in the mood as the Florida maple, sweetgum, sorrel and cypress trees start to change their leaf color. Peak time can come as late as mid-November. We have selected some of our favorite spots for you to enjoy the gorgeous colors in the Sunshine State.

Torreya State Park

Park
Map View

Drive west out of Tallahassee to the Torreya State Park, where you’ll see maples, sweetgums and sourwood trees in early November show off their resplendent fall colors. From a high bluff above the Apalachicola River, you have arguably the best spot in Florida to enjoy the change in seasons, where there are not only great views but tranquility to boot. Take the Weeping Ridge Trail, where you will be rewarded with a powerful waterfall.

Three Rivers State Park

Park
Map View

On Lake Seminole, a one-hour drive northeast out of Tallahassee, Three Rivers State Park is home to oaks, maples and pine trees that are perfect during fall for their dramatic displays. Fiery pockets of orange, reds and yellows impress, as the cooler temperatures arrive. It can still be pleasant enough to picnic around the lake and if you wish to stay overnight, there is a campsite and a modern cabin set-up to settle down among the squirrels, deer and foxes.

Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

Park
Map View
About 15mi (25km) south of Tallahassee, Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park is a park that will delight on a family day out. The location where parts of Tarzan’s Secret Treasure (1941) and Tarzan’s New York Adventure (1942) were filmed, it has some of the world’s deepest natural springs and it’s where dinosaurs once walked: mastodon bones have been found in the ground here. Take a boat tour on the lake and through the glass bottom you may even get to see them.

Suwannee River

Park
Map View
Suwannee River at Manatee Springs State Park, Florida
© James Schaedig / Alamy Stock Photo

Head east from Tallahassee for a couple of hours and you will see the trees turning into their fall outfits. The Suwannee River has some renowned hikes, particularly the Wilderness State Trail which you can do on foot or by kayak. The park is filled with moss and cypress tree roots and the campsites here offer great facilities for you to stay in comfort, perched up on raised platforms to experience the river by night.

Flying Eagle Preserve

Park
Map View

Only about an hour northeast from Orlando, the Flying Eagle Preserve near Inverness comprises small lakes, marshes, and swamps among many tiny islands on which the hardwood and cypress trees transform themselves from late October. There are many trails, as well as camping and horse riding. It’s an impressive place to see the change in season, and a little warmer than America’s more famous fall spots.

Fort Payne, Alabama

Park
Map View
Wolf Creek Overlook, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Fort Payne, Alabama, USA
© Pat & Chuck Blackley / Alamy Stock Photo

Across the state border in Alabama, Fort Payne is home to the Little River Canyon National Preserve with waterfalls and gorgeous fall foliage, including maple trees that turn a vivid purple. There is an 11mi (18km) drive through the park that ends at Eberhart Point Overlook. And do stop at Mushroom Rock for photographs.

These recommendations were updated on October 9, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.