Illinois state park among America's ‘hidden gems' for fall foliage


A new ranking has tabbed an iconic state park in Illinois as one of the best places in the U.S. to see fall foliage in the coming months.

According to the ranking, created through a survey of 3,000 individuals conducted by Mixbook, Starved Rock State Park in LaSalle County was the No. 24-ranked “hidden gem” for finding incredible fall colors.

“This off-the-beaten-path sanctuary offers a serene escape to witness the seasonal transformation while exploring its lesser-known trails, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts seeking a tranquil and enchanting retreat amidst the stunning colors of fall,”

According to officials, Castle Rock State Park and Pere Marquette State Park both made the cut as well.

The survey asked participants to describe an “under-the-radar” destination where the colors of fall would be on their fullest display, according to the website.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Michigan was No. 2 on the list, while Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio was No. 7. New York’s Sterling Forest State Park was the top selection.

Indiana’s top entry was Morgan-Monroe State Forest, which checked in at No. 17.

While forecasts are still being dialed in, current estimates indicate that the Chicago area could hit its peak fall colors between Oct. 16 and 23.

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