Best Hikes and Scenic Drives for Fall Color in Kansas
I’m falling in love with all of the free and cheap things to do this fall in Wichita. From our pumpkin patches to our scary movies at the drive-in, there’s so much fall fun to be had. There’s so much going on, but don’t forget to stop and soak up the beautiful Fall color in Kansas!
I’ve noticed some trees already transforming into beautiful colors of yellow, orange, and red.
Whether you choose to walk or drive, there are plenty of places to view the beautiful fall leaves. But we probably haven’t seen them all, so please let us know of your favorite destinations for fall beauty!
Best Fall Nature Walks in Wichita
Sedgwick County Park
Sedgwick County Park transforms into golden yellow glory this time of year. You can take a drive or walk through this truly beautiful natural Fall color display.
Just the other day we drove along the river on our way to Riverside Park and I noticed that the larger than life trees were beginning to change color and drop thousands of brightly colored leaves. Riverside Park and the streets near the park are a beautiful place to observe Kansas’s Fall color.
You can’t really have a list of botanically beautiful places without including Botanica. It’s gorgeous in the spring, as everyone knows, but the Wichita gardens include enough variety to make it a beautiful stop at any time of year.
Great Plains Nature Center/Chisholm Creek Park
The GPNC sits adjacent to one of the most beautiful walking parks in Wichita, which is Chisholm Creek Park. One of the best things about the park is that the paths are paved and therefore easily accessible, but you feel like you are 100 miles out into the country. (There’s some traffic noise and at one spot you can glimpse the Home Depot sign, but other than that…) This trail highlights native Kansas plants, which includes poison ivy, so don’t let the walking trail’s civilized appearance lull you into complacency.
You will drive right by this park and never know what you’re missing so just pause your scrolling for a second: Bring a friend, park the car in the lot at 1011 N. Maize, and be prepared for at least 20 minutes at a leisurely pace through this Wichita Wild Habitat area. Like Chisholm Creek Park, the natural beauty of Swanson belies its neighborhood location. Some foliage is evergreen so it won’t change color, but there’s plenty of deciduous deliciousness in the fall.
Pawnee Prairie Park
I’m not going to lie – I’ve gotten lost in this park, and it’s big. The trails are absolutely beautiful though, and its location inside the city of Wichita is so convenient. Pawnee Prairie is the only Wichita park that has horseback riding trails (!) but it’s a gorgeous fall walk whether you’re hoofing it or the horse is.
Fall drives in Kansas
If you want to get out of town, here are a few of our top recommendations for fall drives in Kansas. I don’t know if we’ve found them all though, so if you have suggestions please share with us and other readers by leaving a comment below!
Just under 2 hours away is Cross Timbers State Park. One September our family went camping at Cross Timbers and the Fall colors were quite the sight to see. Head in that direction (of southeast Kansas) and you won’t be disappointed.
Although we won’t find many leaves changing color, this classic scenic drive is home to the subtle hues of fall all across the rolling plains of Kansas. Our family loves driving through the Flint Hills, no matter what season it is.
The Bartlett Arboretum is already known for it’s stunning display of colorful nature, and fall is no exception. The colors on display during Fall make this a worthy walking place.
Let us know of your favorite destinations for fall beauty!
For more places to see Fall color in Kansas check out Travel KS article: 10 Fall drives in Kansas that will cure your Fall fever
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