Here are three of the best places in Illinois to see fall colors this year:
Cap Sauers Holding Nature Preserve
With a stunning 1,520 acres to explore, Cap Sauers Holding Nature Preserve offers much more than a glimpse at all the top fall colors. As you travel down the gravel trails, the tree-lined ravines and bluffs will treat you to rich warm tones from light yellow to deep burgundy.
With their gorgeous cinnamon orange hues, the many huge bur oak trees will undoubtedly grab your attention first. From there, you’ll get to see the beauty of all the cattail marshes and wildflower prairies. The recent restoration efforts allow more sun to reach the forest floors, too, infusing the space with even more color from shrubs growing all around.
Matthiessen State Park
With a trip to Matthiessen State Park, you’ll get to delight in the views as the forest meets the prairies in a clash of colors. The bright vegetation looks phenomenal against all the stunning geological formations like the waterfalls carved out of the sandstone gorges.
When it comes to exploring the 1,938-acre park, you have many options, including hiking, biking, and horseback riding. If you bring your horse, you’re even welcome to stay in the equestrian campground for one night or more. As you explore the landscape, expect to see leaves changing color on the black and white oaks. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot honeysuckle as its leaves move from green to purple tones.
Pere Marquette State Park
Set along the Illinois River, Pere Marquette State Park gives you stunning views of the fall foliage from many different vantage points. You can go to the waterside to see the vibrant colors reflected in the water or travel down the trails to the many bluffs for an overhead view.
The many hiking, biking, and equestrian trails suit all skill levels, each taking you through scenic landscapes of all kinds. No matter which trail you choose, all the bright hues will frame your journey perfectly as the oak, ash, sugar maple, sassafras, and red elm trees change through the season.