Covering the Land of Lincoln

The best time for fall foliage tours in Illinois

Predictive map suggests Chicago will just start seeing partial leaf changes in early October. Map courtesy of SmokyMountains.com. Green = no change, yellow = minimal, mustard = patchy, orange = partial, red = peak, dark red = peak, brown = past peak.

Local leaf peepers can expect foliage to start changing in late September, with peak colors emerging in mid- to late October.

Driving the news: The 2022 interactive Fall Foliage Prediction Map came out this month with data-informed prognostications on leaf changes nationwide.

The intrigue: If you’re headed to an Illinois college for a game — or to secretly entice your kid to apply there — this map can help you choose ideal dates for peak leafy campus looks.

  • Northwestern, NIU, UIC and U of C: Oct. 24
  • U of I Champaign, Illinois State University, U of I Springfield, Western and Eastern Illinois Universities: Oct. 31
  • SIU Edwardsville and Carbonale: Nov 7

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