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Forest Preserves launches new web map feature to help find fall color

Fall foliage is set to peak in October this year, and the Forest Preserves of Cook County can now help visitors find the closest fall color hot spot via a new interactive web map feature.

“This new filter makes it easier for folks to find fabulous fall foliage near them,” says Forest Preserves of Cook County General Superintendent Arnold Randall. “The new Fall Color web map filter, plus a smartphone or other device, makes planning a fall color adventure close to home that much easier.”

In the first update since launching the interactive web map, found at, Forest Preserves staff compiled a list of spots most likely to feature dramatic fall color and marked them so users can easily navigate to their nearest Fall Color hotspot.

Created in 2021, the interactive web map helps users locate hundreds of Forest Preserves locations, trails, amenities and activities available throughout 70,000 acres of natural public land in Cook County. 

Here are some highlights of great places to find fall color in the Forest Preserves:

  • Deer Grove, N. Quentin Road, north of W. Dundee Road.
  • River Trail Nature Center, 3120 Milwaukee Ave. in Northbrook.
  • Thatcher Woods, Chicago Avenue, west of Thatcher Avenue.
  • Orland Grassland-South, Orland Grassland Land and Water Reserve and Orland Grove, just west of La Grange Road near Orland Park.
  • Schubert’s Woods, Sauk Trail, west of Ashland Avenue.

These are just a few sites. It’s easy to find the most convenient location to wherever you happen to be: just punch up the map, let your phone share your location, and select “Fall Colors” in the activity list (or type it in).

Fall foliage peaks early this year

The new feature’s release is timely. Forest Preserves Resource Operations Manager Nick Kuhn says a dry spring followed by rainy summer and crisp September evenings means some of the most vibrant colors in nature can be expected this month.

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