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story.lead_photo.caption Two things must happen for leaves to turn colors. "First, sugars produced by photosynthesis are trapped inside leaves by chilly — but not freezing — autumn nights," Missouri Department of Conservation Resource Forester Cory Gregg said. "Those sugars are the building blocks for red, yellow, orange and purple pigments. Cool nights simultaneously cause the breakdown of green pigments, allowing these other colors to show through." Photo by News Tribune

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is once again offering Fall Colors Tram Tours on the Katy Trail.

There will be two-hour roundtrip tours to take trail visitors between Rocheport and McBaine in a tram coach Oct. 23-24.

This 9-mile section of trail is known for having some of the best colors along the bluffs and scenic views of the Missouri River, MDC officials said. As riders enjoy the scenery from the open tramcars, interpretive guides will explain the natural history and cultural features along the trail.

The tours are free and open to the public, with a suggested donation of $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 12 and under. Tours will be offered at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. both days and begin at the trailhead in Rocheport.

Each tour time has five trams with seating for 16 people, and these seats can be reserved in advance by calling the Katy Trail State Park office at 573-449-7422 between 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The deadline for reservations is Oct. 18. A limited number of standing room only spaces will be available on a first-come, first served basis, so advanced registration is recommended.

The event is co-sponsored by Missouri State Parks and Boone Electric Cooperative.

Correction: This article was edited at 8:40 a.m. Sept. 9, 2019, to correct the name of the state agency offering the tram tours.

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