Just my luck. The government shutdown has left the Shawnee National Forest in limbo, which really messes up my list of places to see fall foliage within 25 miles of Cape Girardeau.
Assuming that the impasse continues through the fall season, we'll have to be content with non-federal foliage photos. Thankfully we have a nice selection of state conservation areas near Cape. In addition, our fair city has plenty of parks and landmarks with colorful trees.
Here's a list of local leaf-peeping locations to enjoy later in October:
Dennis Scivally Park
Mr. Scivally's stately stone arch bridge(*) is a great photo opportunity in any season, but fall is especially nice.
(*) OK, fine, it's technically a concrete arch covered in a stone facade.
Old Hanover Lutheran Church
This is a glorious scene if you can catch the trees at their golden peak.
May Greene Garden
Sitting behind the North Carthage Police Station old federal building, this is a small but colorful park at the corner of Themis and Fountain.
Cape Rock Park
When people think of Cape Rock Park, they think of the river overlook, but the park includes more than that. Located just up the road, a gold-fish pond marks the beginning of a short but scenic trail through a small hollow filled with deciduous trees.
Juden Creek Conservation Area, etc.
This wooded acreage at the north edge of town is broken up into three properies with different owners (state, city, and university). However, the area is traversed by a single trail leading from a trailhead on Cape Rock Drive. The hillsides are dotted by massive trees.
Old Lorimier Cemetery
Combining pre-Halloween creepiness with fall color and a wonderful river view, Old Lorimier Cemetery is the perfect October scene -- if you can visit during the limited hours that the entrance gate is open.
Common Pleas Courthouse
Some of the trees have been lost at the courthouse grounds over the years, but this is still a fine location for photography. Certainly the "Gone Girl" movie production has taken advantage of the scene.