Fall Color Reports


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.


  • In the McHenry County area, cool evenings and dry weather have started yellowing black walnut, cottonwood, and honey locust in many places.
  • The Red and sugar maples have been starting to turn red and purple.
  • Sumac is changing to a deep red.


  • In the Rock Island County area, a lot has changed since the start of last week. All the yellow fall wildflowers are in full bloom..
  • Roses and sedums are in full red bloom.
  • The woodland sunflower is also full color.
  • Walnut and coffee trees, silver maples and black locust are turning yellow.
  • There are some red colors starting to show with the poison ivy, sumac, dogwood, hybrid and native maples.
  • The colder nights with less rain will speed up the change. There will be multiple beautiful days to drive around and view the colors in the next month as well.
  • The ag fields are beginning to show signs of fall. The corn and beans are starting to yellow and in some areas are almost ready to be picked.

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

  • Leaves are just beginning to turn colors at the Pere Marquette State Park:
    • Most of the changes are on the outer edges of the forested areas.
    • Less than 5% of the leaves are starting to turn color.
    • The best views will occur along Scenic Drive, Eagle’s Roost Overlook, at the Twin Shelter, Twin Mounds Overlook, McAdams Peak Overlook, the old visitor center (next to the fishing pond), and Goat Cliff Trail Hill Prairie Overlook.
  • Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Greene, Hancock, Jersey, Macoupin, Pike, Madison, and Scott Counties:
    • Patches of sumac and small groups of sassafras, dogwood, and Virginia creeper vines are starting to redden.
    • Strong hints and accents of fall color can be seen on early leaf-shedding tree species i.e. walnut is turning yellow and buckeye is turning yellow and orange.
    • The Sun-drenched and drought-inflicted, bottomland tree species like cottonwood, silver maple, boxelder, hackberry, honey locust is turning yellow.
    • 80-90% of area tree foliage is still green.


  • In the Coles County area, there are more black walnut and cottonwood that have a portion of their leaves turning bright yellow.
  • Some sugar maple, tulip poplar and persimmon have a portion of their leaves turning bright yellow.

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.


  • Fall is in the air at the Cache River State Natural Area near Cypress.
  • Many of the trees are lighter in color.
  • Black walnut, sassafras, black/sour gum, sumac, and sweet gum are showing some colors.
  • Sycamores are showing color but are also drying up and dropping.

End of October

Show us your leaves! #ENJOYILLINOIS

Southern Illinois