SPRINGFIELD – Just in time for the start of fall, (Sept. 22), the Illinois Office of Tourism, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), has released the 2022 Fall Colors Trip Planner, a new online guide to make finding the best time to spot peak fall foliage across the state easier than ever. The Fall Colors Trip Planner features the new Illinois Fall Color Tracker, an interactive state map for desktop and mobile that allows users to track fall colors by region within a specific time frame throughout the season.
Illinois' Fall Colors Trip Planner will serve as a useful trip planning resource featuring regional road trip itineraries, weekly fall color reports and the top fall activities across the state. Travelers are also encouraged to share their fall color photos all season long using the #EnjoyIllinois hashtag to be featured on EnjoyIllinois.com.
"Fall in Illinois is magical, with beautiful leaves, spooky sites and the perfect sweater weather," said Sylvia I. Garcia, Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). "The new Illinois Fall Color Trip Planner and Fall Color Tracker are great tools for anyone looking to plan a fall getaway, whether they live in Illinois or are visiting from another state or country. This fall, we encourage folks to get out and explore the beautiful Illinois foliage while enjoying our one-of-a-kind small businesses and unique attractions across Illinois."
To view the Illinois Fall Colors Trip Planner and new Fall Color Tracker, click here.
The annual Illinois Fall Colors Trip Planner will be updated weekly, offering a real-time look at where to spot fall foliage during peak times in the following regions of Illinois.
- Northern Illinois - Second week of October
- Central Illinois - Middle of October
- Southern Illinois - Last week of October
"Each region of Illinois offers breathtaking fall scenery and our state parks in particular will be bursting with changing colors in the weeks to come," said Colleen Callahan, Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. "Take your family on a fall colors drive or hike to enjoy the show in the woodlands, along the river bluffs, lakes and picturesque hiking and biking trails."
The new Fall Colors Trip Planner also includes a variety of fall travel trip itineraries created to highlight must-visit sights and attractions that are unique to Illinois. A few highlights include:
- Spellbound in the Suburbs - Experience all you love about fall just outside Chicago where city skyscrapers quickly give way to apple orchards & pumpkin patches. Make a visit to Bengston's Pumpkin Farm in Homer Glen, Richardson Adventure Farm in Spring Grove or the Morton Arboretum in Lisle - all truly spectacular in the autumn.
- Destination Shawnee - Trek across thousands of acres of majestic natural landscapes that emit colors of fall foliage resembling sunrises and sunsets. With majestic rock formations, picturesque hills, lush woodlands and scenic bluffs, there's no better place to experience fall than the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois.
- Frights & Delights in Illinois- Featuring local haunts in the southwest region of the state along the Great River Road, including the McPike Mansion in Alton, the Ruebel Hotel in Grafton and Alton Hauntings Tours, winner of a 2021 Tripadvisor Traveler's Choice Award.
- Great Pumpkin Country -Discover some of central Illinois' fun-filled agritourism destinations for families to enjoy like the Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur, picking apples at Curtis Orchard and a visit to the state's only Dark Sky Park in Champaign.
More seasonal trip itineraries can be found here.
Illinois' tourism campaign, 'Illinois. The Middle of Everything' directed by and starring actress and Illinois native Jane Lynch, will feature two new ads showcasing the best of fall in Illinois. The ads were filmed at Skydeck Chicago and Starved Rock State Park. To view the new ads and all media assets for the "Middle of Everything," click here.
The Illinois Office of Tourism also recently released the fall/winter issue of Enjoy Illinois magazine. The new magazine issue, which highlights Galena's Chestnut Mountain Resort on its cover, includes features on Illinois' wine trails, The Great Chicago Fire, 10 Reasons to Love Winter in Illinois and more. To subscribe to the free travel magazine, view it online or download, click here.
To view the 2022 Falls Colors Trip Planner and learn more about planning a fall getaway in Illinois, visit EnjoyIllinois.com.