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Cook County Illinois fall foliage photo essay

Cook County Illinois fall foliage

Cook County Illinois fall foliage in Crabtree Nature Center

Cook County Illinois fall foliage

In between a trip to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and a weekend camping in Wisconsin, I enjoyed a couple of hikes in my home state of Illinois.Β  The purpose of these outings were to view fall foliage. I visited Crabtree Nature Center in Barrington, Busse Woods in Schaumburg, and Pottawatomie Woods in Wheeling.

While the views in Illinois do not match up to nearby states with more impressive stands of trees, the colors here hold their own. The peak time for colors in northern Illinois is the middle of October. Leaves are mostly down by Halloween.

Cook County Illinois fall foliage

Cook County Illinois fall foliage – Pottowatomie Woods in Suburban Illinois

Crabtree Nature Center

Crabtree Nature Center is located in South Barrington on Palatine Road. The two major trails are the Burr Ridge and the Phantom Prairie. Both are excellent for viewing fall foliage. The Phantom Prairie is a two mile walk in the prairie and has excellent views back into the woods.

Crabtree Nature Center

Phantom Prairie Trail in Crabtree Nature Center

The prairie also turns an almost burgundy or golden brown during the fall. The color of the prairie is outstanding, especially when framed against the colors of the trees. The park closes early at 5:30, so make sure you get here early.

Cook County Illinois fall foliage

Cook County Illinois fall foliage from Crabtree Nature Center

Crabtree Nature Center prairie

The prairie turns a brown or almost burgundy color during the fall

Crabtree Nature Center

Crabtree Nature Center

Crabtree Nature Center

Lone tree in the prairie at the entrance to Crabtree Nature Center

Crabtree Nature Center

Color greets you right away at Crabtree Nature Center

Cook County Illinois fall foliage

Cook County Illinois fall foliage at Crabtree Nature Center

Cook County Illinois fall foliage

More golden brown prairies at Crabtree Nature Center

Crabtree Nature Center Burr Edge Trail

Burr Edge Trail at Crabtree Nature Center

Busse Woods

Busse Woods Forest Preserve in Schaumburg is right next door to Woodfield Shopping Mall. Hard to believe one can find fall foliage right next to one of the biggest shopping areas around. Busse Woods has a network of ponds with tree covered shorelines which make for great photographic opportunities. The place is criss-crossed with bike trails and roads, so it is easy to get around and also a great place to kayak and canoe.

Busse Woods

Busse Woods

Busse Woods

One tree in the lawn at Busse Woods

Cook County Illinois fall foliage

Cook County Illinois fall foliage at Busse Woods

Busse Woods fall foliage

Fall foliage at Busse Woods

Busse Woods fall foliage

Busse Woods fall foliage

Pottawatomie Woods

Pottawatomie Woods is located in Wheeling just east of Milwaukee Road on Dundee Road. The Des Plaines River flows through the forest preserve and there are a nice group of hardwood trees located here. There are plenty of options to explore here including canoeing, walking, biking, or tooling around in the car.

Cook County Illinois fall foliage

Cook County Illinois fall foliage at Pottawotamie Woods

Des Plaines River

Fall foliage with the Des Plaines in the background

Pottawotamie Woods

Pottawotamie Woods

Pottawotamie Woods

Cook County Illinois fall foliage at Pottawotamie Woods

Illinois is not known for its forests, so the best fall colors in the area is found farther north in Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin. This does not mean that northern Illinois should just be written off, especially if you live here. There are plenty of forest preserves in the area featuring impressive woods for a city and suburban environment. You can visit the three that I mentioned, but there are hundreds of other options in the area.

Adventure On!

The goal of Traveling Ted is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then enter your email in the box to get email notifications for each new entry. Daily travel photos are excluded from your email in order to not flood you with posts. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).

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8 Responses to Cook County Illinois fall foliage photo essay

  1. Nichelle October 31, 2014 at 2:42 am #

    Wow, the colors of fall are just so stunning. Wish we have that here in the Philippines.
    Nichelle recently posted..A day in Amsterdam for 12 euro

  2. Larry October 31, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

    Seems quite reasonable for those that can’t stray far from the ChiTown area …. thanks for sharing!
    Larry recently posted..Check Out: The Best Time To Visit Saint-Pierre And Miquelon

    • Traveling Ted November 1, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

      Thanks Larry,

      That is the great thing about fall color, you can even enjoy walking around a city street.

  3. JP November 2, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

    Nothing better than fall colors in my book, especially the Smoky Mountains, I miss it! Great photos πŸ™‚
    JP recently posted..Guavaween: Tampa’s Freak Show

    • Traveling Ted November 3, 2014 at 12:57 am #

      Did not make it to the Great Smoky Mountains this year. That is one of the best places to view fall foliage, but Illinois will do and not as far as a drive for me.

  4. Renuka November 2, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

    GORGEOUS. Autumn is my favorite time! There is so much to admire! Cook County seems to be my kind of a place. Thanks for a wonderful photo essay!
    Renuka recently posted..So How Did I Quit The Cubicle For The Road?

    • Traveling Ted November 3, 2014 at 12:58 am #

      Thank you! How is fall foliage in India Renuka?

  5. Renuka November 3, 2014 at 4:29 am #

    Well, it’s not as beautiful as other parts of the world, but the climate is very pleasant at this time of the year! πŸ™‚

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