Best Fall site-seeing stops in SW Missouri

November 12th, 2021 by


It is that wonderful time of the year again when everything is changing. The temperature is starting to get a little bit cooler, the air a bit crisper, and we’re headed into the fall season. This is the time of year to start thinking about change and shifting in life as we approach the end of the year and begin to prepare for a new year, with a new and positive attitude. It’s the time when we shift away from our cold brew coffees and drink our pumpkin spice lattes warm with extra whip cream.

As part of the change that occurs during this season, it is also the time where the leaves begin to turn from their bright green to an assortment of yellow, gold, red, and burgundy. Right before they fall off for the winter months, these trees create a beautiful background for a scenic ride to enjoy mother nature at its best. The southwest part of Missouri is no stranger to these changes and there are several locations that people can go to enjoy them

Drive through Neosho, MO

In the heart of the Newton County is the city of Neosho. Here we have a beautiful residential area that not only sports some interesting historic homes but also the fall colors in the trees and well as natural springs. Enjoy the picturesque downtown square as well as the natural beauty of mother nature’s color shift.  It offers unusual accents to the common green foliage and allows for the perfect type of view to be seen from the rolling hills of the Ozarks.

Be sure to make a stop at the Farmer’s market just off the square for a taste fall and harvest galore.

Carthage, MO

You can take the route around Joplin and drive through the gorgeous countryside to head over to Carthage, MO as your next stop. Known as America’s Maple Leaf City, this city really truly appreciates the Fall season. It dedicates the month of October to having a Maple Leaf festival, celebrating the season with a wide variety of events for everyone involved. It is great not only for locals and the surrounding cities but for those that really appreciate this season as a tourist destination in the heart of America.

You can enjoy events ranging from pageants to dog shows to food cook-off competitions. There’s even a full-on carnival full of rides for everyone. This is a great place for those that want to enjoy all that the Fall season has to offer, but in a way that is less adventurous and more about enjoying some delicious chilli and apple pie. Don’t forget to down it all with some delicious cold apple cider!

Grand Falls, Joplin, MO

If you are wanting more of a nature trip than a trip full of events and activities, consider expanding your journey to the Grand Falls near Joplin, MO. Enjoy this beautiful and unique waterfall in the middle of nature. Just a couple of minutes away from Joplin metropolitan area, this is the only continuously running waterfall in Missouri. Feel free to take a day trip with the family and enjoy the beautiful peaceful reenergizing nature with a day picnic, appreciating the abundant foliage as the leaves change color. If you’re feeling like being one with nature during this time, there are several safe and clean campsites all around the area so you can spend your time reconnecting with yourself and enjoying the changing season.

There are numerous opportunities for hiking and really disconnecting from the outside world to reflect on what matters to you most as you enjoy and take in all the beauty this place has to offer. It is another location that’s great not just for locals around the County but also a beautiful touristic destination. This can especially be said for those explorer influencers that are always trying to find those beautiful spots in our great country.

Big Spring Park, Neosho, MO

This is a true treat for all the local residents. Big Spring Park is a wonderful location in the Neosho area that is full of numerous types of flora, including those maple trees that get only more beautiful in the Fall season. It is also home to numerous events consistently year-round, with fall-themed events just beginning. It has the right balance of curated and wild nature, where you can enjoy a recreational day, or get lost in the abundance of nature through its big trees and numerous streams and creeks.

A perfect location just a quick drive away from your place in Neosho, where you can easily enjoy what nature has to offer. Either take in one of their many musical or sports events or grab that book you’ve been meaning to finish and get lost in the peaceful area, surrounded by nature.

Old Lime Kiln Bridge, Neosho, MO

If you want to truly find someplace where nature has conquered manmade places, then look no further than the Old Lime Kiln Bridge. A great fishing spot as well, this area is truly covered with overgrowth and beautiful picturesque trees, where nature is reclaiming its space.

It is a definite must for those that are visiting the area, as it not only provides an idyllic spot for fall foliage and photos but also a great piece of architecture of a different time. Stay safe though as the bridge really isn’t meant to be used!

Ozark MO

If you’re looking to make a real journey this fall season, then consider going to Ozark, Missouri. The best experience is to either go with your vehicle or with a boat down the many different wild riverways on offer. There’s nothing that can be more exciting than sitting in your canoe, surrounded by full trees in a variety of different colors.

You can also go camping, swimming or fishing in many of the offerings through the Ozark National Scenic riverways. For those with more adventurous blood, there are over 300 springs and caves to explore, so you can take a weekend getaway exploring these caves with your loved ones, while you go hiking and backpacking in this beautifully preserved area.

Where to next?

The southwest area of Missouri is a lush and beautiful area, where it is sprinkled with many cities that are all interconnected by beautiful routes covered in nature. It is a great place to explore and admire what nature has to offer, and a great place to go off-roading if you want to feel like a true explorer. There are numerous routes all over the Missouri area and you can either take a pre-built truck build with AWD or something custom that you might have been building out in the garage.


Regardless of which approach you take, it will be a true challenge of machine versus nature, as you go through beautiful trails barely touched by man, and really experience nature in its purest form. However, you choose to do it, always be safe and make sure you always have the right type of equipment for your car so that you do not accidentally break something critical while you are in the middle of a forest. Take the right precautions and always safety first.


So, whether you’re looking to celebrate with nature or with friends and family, this area in Missouri is a great place to enjoy both and to truly appreciate the changing season that is Fall.