This year has been one of extremes. Winter held some of the coldest weather we have had in recent memory, while summer was one of the mildest in decades. Now as we head into a new season, fall appears to be following suit.
What's the Best Time to Plan YOUR Trip?
As the sweet gum and redbud trees begin changing colors, the rest of Southern Illinois is still green, but as we head deeper into September and early October, peak fall leaf viewing will be harder to predict. Southern Illinois has seen peak colors as early as mid-October through late-October, with trees on the eastern side of the Shawnee National Forest sometimes holding leaves into early-November.
The one thing that is for sure is that when the fall leaves begin to turn people will begin to pack their vehicles and enjoy the rolling hills and steep sandstone bluffs of Southern Illinois.
There are numerous outdoor activities that can be enjoy as the temperatures become pleasant during the day and cooler at night.
- Hike the Giant City Nature Trail at Giant City State Park
- Take-in the sweeping views off the ancient limestone bluffs at Pine Hills
- Visit the photogenic and scenic town of Alto Pass
- Drive up to one of the highest points in Southern Illinois and take in Bald Knob Mountain
- Stay at one of the quaint Bed & Breakfasts and cabins
- Tour the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail and find your own favorite wine
- See the iconic Camel Rock at Garden of the Gods
- Take one of the many scenic drives through the forest.
- Pick your own pumpkin at Rendleman Orchards
- Listen to some music at The Old Feed Store in Cobden