Cooler weather is starting to creep in, and every year around this time, I find myself trying to make everything just a tad bit cozier for the family. I can almost feel the change as the leaves start to lighten. Dogwoods are turning a deep burgundy red. Here and there pops of orange, red, and yellow can be seen amongst the trees. In some ways I’m excited for the view, though it does mean that winter draws closer.
The vibrant colors we enjoy here in Arkansas are definitely in a league of their own. The beauty of fall is just astounding, making anyone who takes the time to really notice and observe, stop in awe to take it all in. Of course, there is a flip side, right? Who’s going to rake up all those leaves…again? Oh but let’s enjoy the view, worry about that later!
Why do the leaves change?
Homeschooling my boys has led to so many questions down through the years. One such question…why do the leaves change?
Leaves have three pigments that give them their color: Chlorophyll (green), Carotenoids (yellow, orange, brown) and Anthocyanins (red, blue, purple). As the days shorten, chlorophyll production slows and stops. That’s when carotenoids and anthocyanins begin to show their true colors, so to say. Of course, weather conditions also affect leaf color and the vibrancy of that color. According to the USDA Forest Service, sunny and warm days paired with cool nights (but not too cold), seem to be the kind of weather that brings on the beautiful fall views we hope for each fall. Learn more.
Where to leaf watch in and around Rogers
Rogers has so many beautiful places to enjoy gorgeous fall colors. Every year around this time, my family and I love to pile in the car and go for a Sunday drive. One of the places we’re hoping to explore a little more this fall is Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area. Hobbs State Park is about 10 miles east of Rogers and is the largest state park with 12,056 acres to explore, including land along the Beaver Lake shoreline. There are areas to drive through portions of the park, but there are also several trails just waiting to be hiked.
While you’re visiting Hobbs State Park, why not check out the views around Beaver Lake, as well as War Eagle Mill? We love taking the drive out to the Mill, crossing the bridge over Beaver Lake in the fall. Autumn colors lining the shore make for beautiful leaf watching. War Eagle Mill is an experience that you may want to allow a little more time for. The drive alone is worth the trip, driving through part of Hobbs State Park, down a narrow paved road with overhanging trees and forest all around. Once you get to the Mill, you have the pleasure of walking across the old bridge that crosses the War Eagle Creek and enjoying the surrounding countryside.
Once you’re back in town, take time to walk around Downtown Rogers. You’ll enjoy fall colors amongst the shops and restaurants, but take a drive around historic neighborhoods close to the downtown area, as well. Older neighborhoods like this always have massive trees lining the streets with flaming red, yellow, and orange leaves that can’t be beat. You may even want to stop by Rogers Public Library, where you can take in the view while enjoying a good book in a comfy, cozy corner.
Take a little drive, just outside of town, to Lake Atalanta. We enjoy visiting this lake, though we haven’t explored it to its full potential yet. It’s a 17-acre city park with a beautiful lake that allows for all sorts of activities, from hiking to biking, exercise stations, and more. It’s usually less crowded, and the views are spectacular.
Another less known place, outside Rogers city limits, is Hilltop Drive off Little Flock Drive. It’s a short drive, but the trees are absolutely amazing. It’s just an old country road that winds through the trees, with homes here and there, as well as a little bit of farmland.
Want to take even more of a drive, in hopes of seeing more fall color? Take a drive from Rogers to Eureka Springs on Highway 62. If you don’t feel like driving, you may enjoy hoppin’ the train, seeing parts of Arkansas you might not otherwise get to see. Take a ride on the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad, which you can catch in Springdale.
You’ll find the latest fall color information through Arkansas’ state website.
If you’re a fellow leaf watcher, where are your favorite spots in and around Rogers for beautiful fall colors?
Mel is a wife and homeschool mom to 2 boys, as well as a lifestyle/travel blogger and freelance writer residing in Northwest Arkansas. Mel blogs at MamaBuzz. You can also find Mel on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.