St. Louis area: Foresters say the summer drought will reduce fall color. Prospects are just average, with a likely peak the weekend of Oct. 22 and 23. Big Oak Tree State Park in East Prairie is open from 6:30 a.m. to dusk daily for motorists to drive through the park and view the colors. Photography and wildlife viewing opportunities are at their best in the fall at Mingo Wildlife Refuge in Puxico. Beginning Oct. 1 and through November, the Auto Tour Route on the west side of Refuge is open to vehicle traffic.
Northwestern Missouri: Foresters there predict a normal year for fall color, with display peaking in mid-October. Poosey Conservation Area in Livingston County will host a fall color driving tour from noon until 4 p.m. Oct. 16. The 19th annual event showcases conservation practices with a striking backdrop of colorful foliage. Four-wheel drive vehicles with high ground clearance are recommended for the Poosey Fall Driving Tour. Driving the entire route takes about an hour, not counting stops. For more information, call Resource Forester Terry Truttmann at 660/646-6122.
Northeastern Missouri: Foresters predict poor fall color unless weather conditions change drastically. In that region, more rain and cooler nights are needed to develop more striking foliage.
Kansas City area: Foresters say recent rains have revived trees there, and say the fall color outlook is good. Places to look for turning trees include Swope Park, Maple Woods Natural Area and White Alloe Creek Conservation Area, Burr Oak Woods and Big Buffalo Creek conservation areas.
Central Missouri: Foresters are hopeful for a good fall color display. They predict a peak of fall color around Oct. 15 and suggest scenic drives along Highway 94 from Hermann to Jefferson City, Highway 179 from Jefferson City to Overton and Highway 87 from California to Glasgow. Katy Trail State Park offers excellent fall color viewing for walkers, runners and bicyclists.
Southwest Missouri: Foresters predict a patchy fall color display, with the best color in places that received more rain. Overall, they predict a below-average display.
Ozarks: Foresters expect subdued fall color unless considerable rain falls in the next few weeks. They say Shannon and Carter counties will have the best viewing.
For fall color updates as the season progresses, visit
www.missouriconservation.org/nathis/seas.... Updated reports are posted every Wednesday.