Leaves are changing color, and there’s a fresh autumnal smell in the air—what a good excuse to explore the great outdoors! Pull on your hiking boots, grab plenty of water, and perhaps a sweater too—because fall is the perfect season for hitting the trail with your little adventurers. To give you an idea of the adventures that lie ahead, we’ve rounded up the best autumn hikes in the country. From mountain rambles and forested strolls to historic walks and more, you can discover them all in the album below.

Caprock Canyons State Park, Tx

Bats and bison make their home in Caprock Canyons State Park. Fall brings cool temps, perfect for hiking with the family, and if you can stay up late, there's amazing stargazing too. Try the one mile Mesa trail, or take in a small section of the Caprock Canyons Trailway, which spans 41 miles, and crosses 46 bridges and a railroad tunnel.

Insider Tip: If you visit in early fall, you can catch the Mexican Free-Tailed Bats of Clarity Tunnel before they migrate south for the winter.

Onlinetpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/caprock-canyons

photo: Kerry via Flickr</

Can you recommend a favorite fall hiking spot in your neck of the woods? Tell us about it in the comments below!

— Helen Walker Green