Viewing fall’s changing leaves is one of the best things about this time of year, but the phenomenon is short-lived. Within just a few weeks, these reds, yellows, and oranges will be browns. Now is the perfect time of the month to head outside and view some of the state’s best fall foliage.
While the whole state is full of lovely trees, there are nine specific places in Illinois that have the best ones with the best colors. Scroll on to check them out.
1. Anderson Japanese Gardens
This 12-acre garden is beautiful anytime of year, but if you love fall colors, you'll want to visit in autumn. Now is the perfect time to see what fall in parts of Japan is like. Full of waterfalls, bridges, and other tranquil spaces, this lovely oasis is located at 318 Spring Creek Rd., Rockford, IL 61107.
2. Chicago Botanic Garden
Visiting this immaculate place is like stepping into a fairy tale. There are several different types of gardens to enjoy here, but this time of year the outdoor ones will be your favorite. Enjoy the cool and crisp autumn air while changing leaves fall all around you. Find this gorgeous place at 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe, IL 60022.
3. Starved Rock State Park
Possibly the state's most popular state park, this wonderful world of waterfalls and canyons is idyllic in the fall when the leaves turn yellow, orange, and red. Numerous trails give you ample opportunities to view many amazing different types of trees, bushes, and wildlife. This fantastic park is located at 2668 E 875th Rd., Oglesby, IL 61348.
4. The Morton Arboretum
The changing leaves of autumn have never been more beautiful than they are at this museum of trees. Ponds, bridges, and winding paths let you explore every inch of this 17,000-acre paradise of trees. It is located at 4100 IL-53, Lisle, IL 60532,
5. Fern Clyffe State Park
Spanning 2,430 acres, this lesser-known state park is a beautiful paradise of waterfalls and rock formations throughout most of the year. In the fall, though, you'll also find a plethora of bright colors that will keep your camera clicking. Full of trails and places to camp, this state park is located at 90 Goreville Rd., Goreville, IL 62939.
6. Mississippi Palisades State Park
This National Natural Landmark is a conservation of plant species and wildlife along the greatest river in the United States. While it is a fantastic place to visit anytime of year, fall lovers will especially enjoy the beautiful colors of the changing leaves this time of year. Get to 16327A IL-84, Savanna, IL 61074 before all the leaves fall.
7. Giant City State Park
Riddled with trails and unbelievable natural wonders, this state park in the Shawnee National Forest spans about 1,100 acres and is perfect for hiking and biking. As it is in the southern portion of the state, the leaves should stay colorful much further into the season. Find this great park at 235 Giant City Rd., Makanda, IL 62958.
8. Matthiessen State Park
This neighbor to Starved Rock State Park is often overlooked, though it has just as many wonders. Waterfalls, rock formations, and endless trails abound, and it is also an excellent place in Illinois to view the fall leaves. It spans 1,700 acres and is located at 2500 IL-178, Oglesby, IL 61348.
9. Garden of the Gods
Also in the Shawnee National Forest, this sprawling recreational area is full of great views year round, and if you love rock climbing, it's the perfect place to be this autumn. You can find this 280,000-acre paradise at 50 Highway 145 S, Shawnee National Forest, Harrisburg, IL 62946.
Where else in Illinois do like to watch autumn’s changing leaves? Share your favorite fall photos with us below in the comments or share them to our
Illinois Nature Lover’s group on Facebook.