The leaves are finally starting to change and that means it's time to make some scenic drives with some donuts and apple cider. I found a list of the 10 best places in Illinois to see the Fall colors, and Rockford was one of the best spots!

According to WTTW, here are the top 10 Fall color destinations in Illinois -

  1. Big Marsh Park in South Deering - A former industrial site acquired by the Chicago Park District, the roughly 280-acre Big Marsh Park provides 45 acres of recreational opportunities.
  2. Cap Sauers Holding Nature Preserve in Palos Park - Wander through the glacier-formed landscape described as the “most remote place in all of Cook County”.
  3. Morton Arboretum in Lisle - Stroll along the 16 miles of trails to see fiery orange, warm gold and vivid crimson leaves.
  4. Forest Preserves of Winnebago County in ROCKFORD! - Dedicated to protecting and preserving natural beauty, the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County encompasses more than 10,500 acres of woods, streams, cliffs, prairies and dells. With more than 100 miles of hiking trails featuring a variety of terrain and length, there’s a hike for everyone. Three of the most scenic preserves – Blackhawk Springs, Severson Dells and Klehm Arboretum – have paved, handicap accessible trails, according to the forest preserves.
  5. Matthiessen State Park in Oglesby - Spanning more than 1,900 acres, it boasts canyons, streams, prairie and forests, including red cedars and black and white oaks that transform the terrain into rusty reds and oranges.
  6. Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton - Illinois’ largest state park sits along the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers and has become a popular spot for bird watching – about 230 species have been spotted soaring here – including American bald eagles.
  7. Grand View Drive & Park in Peoria - President Theodore Roosevelt called it the “world’s most beautiful drive” during a 1910 visit to Peoria.
  8. Lincoln Memorial Garden & Nature Center in Springfield - The 100-acres feature six miles of interconnected trails that wind through restored prairies, woodlands and wetlands, and cross streams and a small pond.
  9. Giant City State Park in Makanda - You can hike, fish, rock climb and rappel, hunt, camp and practice archery.
  10. Shawnee National Forest in Herod - Nestled between the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, it features oak-hickory forests, rolling hills, rugged bluffs and lakes over 289,000 acres.

So plan your next road trip, or just stay right here in Rockford.

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