Fall in the Midwest delivers beautiful weather and ample activities to take advantage of the scenic surroundings. Grab an extra layer and join us as we enjoy the great outdoors this autumn.
Parks, Forests and Preserves – Oh My!
Less than 100 miles southwest of Chicago, Starved Rock State Park is an Illinois gem that shines through November. Voted the number one attraction in Illinois, the topography of the region is unlike anything found in the state. Visitors can experience 13 miles of hiking trails through various elevations and terrain along the Illinois River. A guided color tour and “ghost tour” are two adventures available in October, among other highlights including hotels, camping and dining.
Southwest Michigan also boasts an array of recreational areas including Warren Dunes State Park, which offers stunning vistas of Lake Michigan. During the fall, the trees that line the dunes burst into vibrant shades of red, orange, and gold, creating a mesmerizing backdrop for visitors.
In Northwest Indiana, locals and visitors can see the stunning fall foliage in a number of destinations including the Indiana Dunes National and State Parks. Nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan, the parks are renowned for their recreational opportunities and are a paradise for nature enthusiasts.
Meanwhile in Wisconsin, Kettle Moraine State Forest covers more than 22,000 acres of glacial hills, kettle lakes and prairies along with 100+ miles of mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking and nature trails. Boating, fishing and camping are all available into autumn. Activities abound all year in this rustic enclave, but temperate weather and vivid colors make early fall a perfect time to soak in a little more Vitamin D.
Chicagoland is home to a botanical garden and arboretum that provide another way to maximize the outdoors as the days grow shorter. On the North Shore, the Chicago Botanic Garden offers all sorts of festive activities including garden walks to experience the season in full color. The Morton Arboretum has been inspiring people to appreciate, learn and protect trees for over 100 years and features a variety of special events for all ages.
The Fernwood Botanic Garden in Niles, Michigan has 105 acres of gardens and natural areas along the St. Joseph River. In addition to the picturesque surroundings, locals can enjoy occasional live music or a monthly book club that runs through November.
Take Your Pick
You certainly can’t beat this time of year in the Midwest for picking crisp, juicy apples. From Wisconsin to Illinois to Indiana to Michigan, you’ll find trees bursting with apples – Apple Holler, Royal Oak Farm, Radke Orchards and Twin Maple Orchards are just a few farms that offer apple picking and other seasonal events.