Behold the canopy of many colors

Local sites offer perfect vantage points to take in autumn scenery


Last updated 10/18/2023 at 11:34pm | View PDF

The views at Morton Arboretum are hard to beat for those seeking to get an eyeful of fall colors. In addition to having inviting natural settings, the arboretum and area forest preserves offer special programs to help visitors optimize their foliage viewing experience. (photo provided)

Fall color in northern Illinois is expected to peak this coming week, experts forecast. The western suburbs offer a rich palette of sites and programs to enjoy this seasonal fashion show. Here are a few worth checking out.

• Learn why trees drop their leaves and the reason behind leaf color change on the Fall Color Walk from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, 9800 Willow Springs Road, Willow Springs. Visit or call (708) 839-6897 to register.

• Families will enjoy the Fall Color Walk at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, 12545 W. 111th St., Lemont, observing the nature's splendor on a leisurely walk designed for all ages. Visit or call (708) 257-2045 to register.

• The DuPage County Forest Preserve District is sponsoring a couple of Monday morning Forest Hikes next week. Join the hike Oct. 23, at Pratt's Wayne Woods on Powis Road north of Army Trail Road in Wayne, or the one on Oct. 30 at West DuPage Woods on Route 59 north of Roosevelt Road in Winfield. Gear up and enjoy some healthy exercise on a quick-paced 3- to 5-mile guided hike through the wonders of theses preserves. Both hikes will take place from 8:30 to 10 a.m. and cost $5 per person. Visit http://www.dupageforest or call (630) 933-7248 to register.

• The entire month is full of excitement at the Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle, where visitors can savor the magic of foliage's gradual wardrobe change by exploring the arboretum's woodlands and global tree collections. Sign up for the Fall Foliage Walking Tour from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, to enjoy a seasonal stroll guided by an arboretum ecologist, who will discuss the seasonal changes trees experience throughout the year that lead up to this visual masterpiece. The cost is $32 per person. Visit or call (630) 968-0074 to register.

The arboretum also is holding other outdoor events to leverage the leafy delights. Sample ciders and seasonal beers amid the rich fall colors around Meadow Lake at the Cider and Ale Festival on Saturday, Oct. 21. Walk alongside an acting troupe and follow the classic literary tale "Anne of Green Gables" performed live among the beautiful landscapes every Saturday and Sunday in October as part of the arboretum's Walking Plays series. And stroll the Scarecrow Trail along Meadow Lake to see the friendly faces of scarecrows handmade by local scout troops and schools - and cast your vote for the winning designs. Visit or call (630) 968-0074 for registration information or more details about these programs.

The arboretum also posts a weekly Fall Color Report to keep help people track when the colors are at their most vibrant. Visit

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean


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