Fall settled in Chicago area; read on when the leaves are at their brightest

CHICAGO, Illinois – With cool mornings, moderate afternoons, and crisp, crimson-hued foliage, autumn has nicely settled into the Chicago region.

And while the fall foliage in Illinois as a whole may not reach its peak until late October, leaf-peepers in and around the city and suburbs should have an earlier opportunity to witness the colors shift.

According to the Smoky Mountains’ 2022 Fall Foliage Map, which tracks and predicts when leaves are expected to change color across the country, the Chicago metropolitan area is expected to reach its fall foliage peak during the first week of October, precisely on October 3.

By 10 October, the leaves should be at their height. However, one week later, this hue will begin to fade.

At the Morton Aboretum in Lisle, glimpses of autumn colors are already beginning to emerge, with daily changes in the foliage.

The arboretum’s monthly fall color report states, “Changing leaf color is especially apparent in buckeyes.” “The green hues of hackberries, corktrees, coffeetrees, walnuts, some elms, and catalpas have become lighter. In sunny regions, look for early reds to develop on sumacs, Virginia creeper, and the occasional poison ivy vine.”

When could Illinois’ autumn foliage be at its peak?

Regarding the remainder of the state, the colors are anticipated to shift somewhat later. According to the Fall Foliage Map for 2022, most of the rest of Illinois will not experience near-peak colors until October 17, when the golden hues will be leaving the Chicago area.

By October 24, some places will have reached their peak color while others will have passed it.

By Halloween, the leaves in the northern park of the state will have already turned, while those in the southern park will still be golden.

Although the science of predicting fall leaf color changes is imprecise, numerous factors could result in a later-than-usual peak in the state. The National Weather Service predicts a stretch of drier-than-normal weather as well as a warmer-than-normal start to autumn.

According to Enjoy Illinois, Starved Rock State Park Forest Preserves of Winnebago County and Millennium Park in Chicago are among the greatest spots in the state to view the fall colors.

According to Farmer’s Almanac, Pere Marquette State Park in west-central Illinois is the ninth finest spot in the United States to view autumn foliage.

As a self-proclaimed “heaven for nature lovers,” the park will provide views of the changing leaves against a backdrop of wooded ravines and lanes along the Illinois River. Explorers can also take advantage of the land’s towering bluffs, which provide a panoramic perspective of the 12-mile trail’s lush surroundings.

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