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The Buzz

This Interactive Map Helps Guide You to This Season's Fall Colors

The big bridge along the Plum Creek Greenway Trail at Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve. (Photo by Chad Merda)

Every year, we eagerly await the arrival of fall colors, which can be quite spectacular around the county. And given the current state of affairs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, colorful canopies in the preserves are sure to be a much needed bright spot in our days.

But when exactly that will happen depends on a variety of factors, including temperatures and precipitation. While we can use our knowledge to make some local predictions about the timing of the leaf changes, the folks behind the Smoky Mountains website have come up with a national forecast map.

They've used a variety of data, including historical temperatures, rainfall and past leaf trends to come up with the 2020 Fall Foliage Prediction Map.

The prediction map charts out the estimated changes each week from now through the end of November, with the intent of helping people plan their outdoor excursions. Locally, it's the sugar maple, ash, oak, and hickory trees putting on the show in the preserves.

As of now, the forecast has the fall colors in Will County starting to come in a little earlier than last year, with patchy color starting to appear the week of September 28 and peak fall color hitting on the week of October 19. 


If the prediction holds true, that would provide some excellent opportunities to soak in the views during a number of hiking programs in October, all of which can be found on our event calendar.

Do you prefer to explore on your own? 

Participate in our "Woods Walk" hiking challenge, where you can view some wonderful scenery while hiking the designated trails.


Stay up-to-date on the happenings in Will County's forest preserves by subscribing to The Citizen, our weekly digital newsletter that provides subscribers with updates on Forest Preserve news, upcoming events, and other fun and useful information for the whole family. If you're only interested in programs, subscribe to The Weekly Five, which outlines the five must-do programs each week. Signing up for either newsletter is easy and free of charge.

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