The Most Amazing Places to Enjoy Fall Colors in the Suburbs

Fall in Chicagoland is a picturesque setting with warm, sunny days and cool, crisp nights. I feel like it’s our last chance to take long family walks, go out for bike rides, and enjoy nature without bundling up too much. There are plenty of wonderful opportunities to soak in the beauty of the season. (Looking to get the best fall photos? The hour after sunrise or the hour before sunset are the best times for photos. Overcast days work well for making the colors stand out.)

When you head out for your hike, take our free printable leaf hunt to make your walks even more fun!

Little Explorers Fall Leaf Guide

For the little explorers by your side, we have come up with a leaf guide illustrating common leaves found in the midwest to take along on your adventure (similar to a scavenger hunt). Click here to download the leaf guide to hunt for all the native trees in our area, or you can also print out the image below.

Beautiful Places to See Fall Colors in the Chicago Suburbs

Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve 
See the map with directions including where to park.
Darien, IL 60439
(630) 933-7248
A renowned spot for hiking in Illinois, with 2,492 acres and prairies, savannas, and woodlands. Check out our insider tips before you go!

See also
August Bucket List: 31 Ways to Celebrate the Last Month of Summer

Maple Grove Forest Preserve
See the map with directions including where to park.
Downers Grove, IL 60515
(630) 933-7200
Smaller woods with a one-mile trail through a magnificent display of colors when the maples begin to change. There is a playground and picnic pavilion at the entrance.

Lyman Woods Nature Center
901 31st Street
Downers Grove, IL 60515
(630) 963-9388
Start at the Interpretive Center before trekking through Lyman Woods, which features trails through diverse wildlife.

Patriots Park/Barth Pond
55th & Grand
Downers Grove, IL 60515
(630) 960-7500
A half-mile paved walking trail circles a pond at this local park, with a large playground right nearby.

The Morton Arboretum
4100 Illinois 53
Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 968-0074
Check their Bloom and Color Report page for regular updates on which trees are showcasing their colors each week. Advance reservations are required!

Twenty-Sixth Street Woods
26th St – West of Maple Ave
La Grange Park, IL 60526
(800) 870-3666
A picturesque trail to take in the changing leaves via hike/bike including an east and west end.

LaGrange Park Woods
10 W 31st St
La Grange Park, IL 60526
(800) 870-3666
Smaller woods connected to the larger Salt Creek and Bemis woods, as well as across the street from Possum Hollow Woods.

Knoch Knolls Nature Center
320 Knoch Knolls Road
Naperville, IL 60565
(630) 864-3964
A great place to kick off a hike through the hiking and biking trails of beautiful Knoch Knolls, including playground and places to picnic.

See also
Kid-Friendly Stops on the BNSF Metra Line

Central Park
1450 Forest Gate Road
Oak Brook, IL 60523
For those looking to see the fall color this year, you’re in luck! The trees of Oak Brook Park District’s Central Park put on an excellent show when the weather turns chilly.

Fullersburg Woods
3609 Spring Road
Oak Brook, IL 60523
(630) 850-8110
The Nature Center is currently closed, but don’t let that stop you from heading out to see the fall colors on the hiking trails.

Mayslake Forest Preserve
1717 West 31st Street
Oak Brook, IL 60523
(630) 933-7200
A one-mile trail goes around the lake and past a bunch of historic Mayslake Peabody Estate buildings to check out when you’re done leaf-spotting.

Trailside Museum of Natural History
738 Thatcher Ave
River Forest, IL 60305
(708) 366-6530
A neat place to visit nestled in Thatcher Woods’ beautiful oak woodlands and floodplain forest that offers fun fall programming.

Herrick Lake Forest Preserve
Wheaton, IL 60189
(630) 933-7200
See the map with directions including where to park.
Nearly 900 acres of land and 7 miles of trails of all sizes, depending on how long your family would like to venture.

Cantigny Park
1S151 Winfield Road
Wheaton, IL 60189
(630) 668-5161
A 3-mile nature trail and beautifully landscaped grounds with a fun fall event lineup including their fall color hayride tour.

See also
Horseback Riding Stables and Farms Where Kids Can Saddle Up

Little Red Schoolhouse
9800 Willow Springs Rd
Willow Springs, IL 60480
(708) 839-6897
Large nature center with live animals and nature-themed activities makes a great starting point for hiking trails through gorgeously wooded areas.

St. James Farm Forest Preserve
Warrenville, IL 60555
(630) 933-7200
See map to view places to park.
Wander down the 1.6-mile trail to discover fall colors from woodlands, wetlands, and prairies alike.

Bemis Woods
Wolf Road between 31st Street and Ogden Avenue
Westchester, IL 60558
(800) 870-3666
Connected to a series of forest preserves, allowing you to stay close to your car or stroll fairly far for a longer trek.

Cosley Zoo
1356 North Gary Ave.
Wheaton, IL 60187
(630) 665-5534
This sweet little zoo hosts a pumpkin fest in October, the perfect chance to check out the trees and animals alike. Advance reservations required!

Danada Forest Preserve
3S507 Naperville Road
Wheaton, IL 60189
(630) 933-7200
Over 800 acres of wetlands, woodlands, and prairies to view fall color.

Looking for more fall fun? Head over to our Fall Activities for Kids page! Please feel free to share your family’s favorite place to see fall color in the comments below.

About the Author

Nicole Majewski
Nicole and her family live in Bloomingdale. She is a former teacher and now stay at home mom of three adorable kids. Her family loves to be outside, exploring nature and getting dirty. In the winter months, you will find them at the local library or an indoor play place.

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