In addition to heralding the start of football season, autumn days also bring cooler – but usually not too cold – temperatures perfect for enjoying the great outdoors.  There is much to enjoy as the changing colors of the leaves reinvent the beauty of the Oklahoma landscape.

Fall is a great time to explore the natural wonders found all across Oklahoma. With the nation’s most diverse terrain per square mile, the state offers unique opportunities to catch a variety of fall scenes. Whether you prefer a scenic drive, leisurely hike or adventurous bike trek – or even fishing, hunting or canoeing – the dynamics of changing foliage create new backdrops for favorite pastimes every day.

The 50 state parks located in virtually every part of Oklahoma offer convenient gateways to nature’s fall show.  Our state parks are as diverse and interesting as our people, boasting a variety of environments and enough activities to appeal to nearly every taste.

One of Oklahoma’s favorite fall destinations is the Talimena National Scenic Byway in Southeast Oklahoma. This 54-mile stretch of road spans three mountain ranges between its namesake communities: Talihina, Oklahoma, and Mena, Arkansas. Although the vast majority of the route is in Oklahoma, it extends about 16 miles across the state border.

  Winding through the Ouachita National Forest, the terrain of the Talimena Scenic Byway includes the highest mountain range between the Appalachians and the Rockies. Many first-time visitors are amazed to see the spectacular views not often associated with Oklahoma’s misleading “prairie” stereotype.

In addition to nature’s seasonal display, Oklahoma communities across the state host events and festivals this time of year. These celebrations offer a great opportunity to enjoy local customs and heritage along with entertainment for the whole family. Oklahomans can celebrate the long-standing traditions of their own area or venture out to another part of the state to learn more about our unique culture and history.

I encourage you to explore and enjoy all the beauty that our magnificent state has to offer.

If you have questions or comments, please write me at the Office of the Governor, Room 212, Oklahoma City OK 73105 or visit the “Contact the Governor” section of my website, www.gov.ok.gov.

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