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Fall Color Reports

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Welcome to the ultimate guide for fall colors in Illinois! During the autumnal months, this page will be updated regularly with info on the changing leaves throughout the state. It's the perfect tool for planning your fall photo ops and outdoor adventures.
For an interactive map to see how the colors change throughout the state, view our fall colors trip planner.

Photos from the Week

  • Northern Illinois

Northern Illinois

At night, the lights of Chicago's skyline make for a dazzling display of its own, but look down and you'll see plenty of fall foliage popping up among the city's verdant parks and public spaces. Be sure to venture outside the city, where some of the best fall colors can be seen, peppering Northern Illinois, the region known as Chicago & Beyond, with all the hues of autumn.

  1. Starved Rock State Park, a storied natural area located less than 100 miles southwest of Chicago. Stay in the Starved Rock Lodge for amazing views overlooking the trees.
  2. The lush woods that make up over 10,000 acres of protected land at the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County.
  3. In Chicago, the fall trees are a great excuse to visit sites such as Millennium Park with its iconic Cloud Gate.
  4. Located in Lisle, the Morton Arboretum celebrates with fall-themed activities and events among 1,700 acres of seasonal splendor.

Northeast

  • McHenry County area:
    • Fall colors are winding down in the McHenry County area.
    • Many trees have lost leaves at this point.
    • There are red oak still holding on with, in many cases, brilliant red foliage.
    • White and bur oak continue to maintain yellow and russet.
    • High winds have blown the leaves off most of the early turners.
  • McHenry County area:
    • Fall colors are winding down in the Will County area.
    • Many oaks remain in leaf, with splashes of yellowish-brown showing through the canopy.
    • Some silver maples in protected areas are a washed out yellowish-green, while others in exposed areas are fully defoliated.
    • The understory remains green where invasive species remain.
    • All others are done for the season.

Northwest 

  • Rock Island area:
    • In the Rock Island area most of the yellow color is gone at this point.
    • There are still some good orange, golds, browns, and red color left from the oaks, hickories, and maples.
    • This is likely the last week for colors.
    • The understory is all but gone expect for the green honeysuckle.

Second week of October

Show us your leaves! #ENJOYILLINOIS

Northern Illinois

  • Central Illinois

Central Illinois

Central Illinois features some of autumn's most brilliant landscapes. Home to cities such as the capital, Springfield, the Illinois River Valley comes alive with the orange and yellow of maples and oaks, the purple hues of dogwoods and hazelnuts, and the red and orange clusters of rose hips on wild roses.

The Best Places to See Fall Colors:

  1. Farms and orchards, such as Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery and The Great Pumpkin Patch.
  2. The town of Monticello, home to the 1,517-acre Allerton Park.
  3. The area round beautiful Lake Decatur, including the Rock Springs Nature Center.

West Central

  • Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Greene, Hancock, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Pike, and Scott counties:
    • Trees in much of the area are now completely barren of leaves and any fall color whatsoever.
    • In spot areas, vibrant but fading fall colors can still be found (specifically, urban settings and rural areas with high populations of wind-protected and sun-protected sugar maple in the mid-stories).
    • Red oak and shingle oak appear to be a couple of the final species to turn.
    • Areas with predominantly oak and hickory mixes are still displaying a rusty-brown-yellow-red appearance, but the leaves are steadily falling.
    • This week will mark the end of the fall color season for the area.

 Eastern

  • Charleston area:
    • In the Charleston area fall color is winding down.
    • Black oak and northern red oak are showing color variation from yellow orange to reddish orange to scarlet.
    • White oak is deep purple to orangish-brown. 
    • Pin oaks are typically displaying bronze to red.

Late October

Show us your leaves! #ENJOYILLINOIS

Central Illinois

  • Southern Illinois

Southern Illinois

The sprawling canopies of Shawnee National Forest cover the landscape of Southern Illinois, a region known as Trails to Adventure. In the fall, hickories, red oak, and sassafras form a tapestry of yellow and orange, while trees like white oak settle into a deep red. All of it makes for a perfect time to hike among the trails or take a trip through Shawnee Wine Trail.

The Best Places to See Fall Colors:

  1. The canopies of Shawnee National Forest — with a great overhead view from Garden of the Gods.
  2. More outdoor trails (including horseback riding) at Giant City State Park.
  3. The many wine trails, lakes, and other activities near Carbondale.

Southern

  • The few nights of below freezing temperatures took the brightness of the leaves.
  • Many trees have dropped leaves.
  • Leaves of trees which were in the process of turning such as silver maple will not finish the color change, the leaves have a dull withered look.
  • Some oak species still are in the process of turning.
  • The bald cypress is bright rusty brown with a carpet of needles underneath the ones that changed first.
  • The wide view now is a mixture of tree branches, trees in color, and the holdout green oaks at Cache River State Natural Area.

End of October

Show us your leaves! #ENJOYILLINOIS

Southern Illinois