Time to hit the road for the ultimate fall road trip through Illinois.

Photo by Greg Shield on Unsplash
Photo by Greg Shield on Unsplash

It's almost that time of year. The air will get crisp and chilly. The leaves on the trees will start to turn the bright fall colors we love so much. I don't know about you, but driving past really colorful fall foliage just makes me happy. It reminds me of being a little kid.

So why not make an entire road trip out of it? I present to you, the ultimate Illinois fall foliage road trip -

  1. Wadsworth Wetlands Restoration Project: Des Plaines River Trail, Wadsworth, 60083
  2. Chicago Botanic Garden: 1000 Lake Cook Road Glencoe, IL 60022
  3. Morton Arboretum: 4100 IL-53, Lisle, IL 60532
  4. Starved Rock State Park: 2678 E 875th Rd, Oglesby, IL 61348
  5. Matthiessen State Park: 2500 IL-178, Oglesby, IL 61348
  6. Mississippi Palisades State Park: 16327A IL-84, Savanna, IL 61074
  7. Pere Marquette State Park: 13112, Center Ln, Grafton, IL 62037
  8. Grandview Drive:  4000 Grandview Drive Peoria Heights, IL 61616
  9. Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois campus
  10. Garden of The Gods: Herod, IL 62947

Your route will end up looking something like this -

Photo by Caleb Jones on Unsplash
Photo by Caleb Jones on Unsplash
Credit Google
Credit Google

So when's the best time to plan this road trip so you can see the brightest colors?

In northern Illinois, the best time to enjoy fall foliage is the week of October 26. For Central Illinois, the week of November 9th, and for Southern Illinoisans, it's the following week. So since your trip covers a lot of Illinois, it would be best to pick somewhere right in the middle of all of those dates.


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