Colorful autumn leaves are lasting into November this year, in an unusually late and long season for fall color. There is still plenty to enjoy. The taller East Woods sugar maples may be losing their leaves, but that gives the lower understory sugar maples their time to shine.
Visitor Center Parking (Parking Lot 1): You’ll find great fall color around the Visitor Center and the Administration Building. In the Groundcover Garden and Hedge Garden, look for colorful foliage on lindens, ginkgos, hazelnuts, European beeches, Moline elms, bottlebrush buckeyes, fothergilla and many other trees and shrubs. Yellows dominate the parking lot, but you will find dark red on oak-leaved hydrangeas and viburnums. White pines are dropping their older yellow needles.
Northern Illinois and Midwest Collections (Parking Lot 2): The large leaves of pawpaw trees are yellow. Bitternut hickories are golden yellow. Pin oak is turning red. Red maple is showing a pale red color, while orange leaves are falling from sugar and black maples. Viburnums are turning dark maroon red, while sycamores are turning yellow and brown.
Frost Hill (Parking Lot 3): Yellow and pale orange still can be seen from the hill overlooking Northern Illinois and the DuPage River valley. The tall, slender sugar maples to the east are showing orange leaves. The magnolias to the west are yellow. The pines on the top of the hill are dropping older yellow needles, which is normal at this time of year. Japanese zelkova leaves are turning dark red.
Crabapple Lake and Rose Family Collection (Parking Lot 4): Surrounding woodland white oaks are brown and light purple. Red oaks are yellow and brown.
Crowley Marsh and Magnolia Collection (Parking Lot 5): Magnolias are beginning to turn yellow. Tulip-trees are yellow. Surrounding white oaks are brown and light purple. Red oaks are yellow and brown.
Buckeye Collection (Parking Lot 6): Sugar maples to the west are yellow and orange. Bottlebrush buckeyes are yellow and brown. Witch-hazels near Spikerush Marsh have delicate yellow blooms. Black-gum trees are turning red. White oaks are brown and light purple. Red oaks are yellow and brown. Pin oaks are turning yellow.
Maple and Oak Collections (Parking Lots 7 and 8): The Oak Collection is showing shades of yellow, brown, russet, and purple with hints of red among the late-turning oaks. The Maple Collection continues to display colors from around the world, including yellow, orange, tan and red.
East Woods (Parking Lots 8 to 15): The tallest sugar maples have lost many of their leaves, but this is the week for the shorter maples in the understory of the woods to glow with rich yellows. Bitternut-hickories are golden yellow. White oaks are turning brown and purple, while red oaks are brown and yellow. The plants along the ground are turning shades of yellow and brown.
Maple and Beech Collections (Parking Lot 14): This is another great spot to park and walk through the Maple and Beech Collections to see fall color from around the world. The lone sugar maple at Parking Lot 14 still has a few orange leaves, but you will find better colors along the trail that leads over the hill into the main part of the Maple collection.
East Woods (Parking Lot 15): The smaller sugar maples are golden yellow. White oaks are brown and light purple. Red oaks are yellow and brown.
Appalachia, China and Japan Collections (Parking Lots 16 to 18): Sugar maples, pawpaws, ginkgos, and Miyabi maples are yellow. In the China Collection, most of the colorful trees are yellow. Asian maples to the south of the road show shades of yellow, orange, and red.
Sumac Collection (Parking Lot 18): Various shades of red can be seen on sumacs and smoke-trees from North America and China. The big show is on the west side of the road, where gingkos will be gloriously yellow until they suddenly drop all their leaves.
West Side Main Route
River Bridge and Ozark Collection: Peking lilacs, wild hydrangea, and American beech are yellow and brown. A sugar maple is dropping its orange leaves. Bitternut hickory is golden yellow, while sycamore is yellow and brown.
Crabapple and Europe Collections and retention basin (Parking Lot 19): Swamp and silky dogwoods have a purple tint. European linden, oak, and ash are yellow.
Founder’s Grove (Parking Lot 20): White oaks are brown and purple. Red oaks are yellow and brown. Witch-hazels have yellow flowers. Sweetgum is yellow.
Thornhill Education Center (Parking Lot 21): Marmo and Jeffersred Freeman maples are showing red on their leaves. Redbuds and elms are yellow, while red oaks, sycamores, and catalpas are yellow and brown. White oaks are brown and light purple. Viburnums are turning dark red.
Daffodil Glade (Parking Lots 22 and 23): White oaks are brown and light purple. Red oaks are yellow and brown. Bitternut hickories are golden yellow.
Pine Hill (Parking Lot 24): White oaks are brown and light purple. Red oaks are yellow and brown. Bitternut hickories are golden-yellow; redbuds are yellow.
Schulenberg Prairie (Parking Lot 25): Grasses are turning gold, red, and purple. Sumacs are red. Red oaks are brown and yellow. Sugar maple is orange.
Sterling Pond (Parking Lots 25 and 29): White oaks are brown and light purple. Red oaks are yellow and brown. Bitternut hickories are golden yellow. The last sugar maples are yellow.
Birch Collection (Parking Lots 30 and 31): Birches and hornbeams have yellow leaves. As the leaves fall on different kinds of birch, they show off attractive bark that is white or has an interesting texture.
Nut Tree Collection (Parking Lot 31): Yellow and brown tints are appearing on the pecan trees.
DuPage River and Willow Island (Parking Lot 32): Sugar and Norway maples at the river bridge are yellow. Norway and Miyabe maples along the fence to the south are yellow. Freeman maples across the river to the west have a red-purple color. Viburnums show dark red.
Godshalk Meadow (Parking Lot 33): Yellow leaves are falling from Miyabe maples. Red oaks are yellow and brown. Swamp white oaks are turning golden brown.
West Side Alternate Route
Sargent’s Glade (Parking Lot 26): White oaks are brown and light purple. Red oaks are yellow and brown. Bitternut hickories are golden yellow and sycamores are brown and yellow.
Lake Marmo and Sterling Pond (Parking Lots 27 and 28): Catalpas and red oaks show yellow and brown. The Freeman maple on the north side of Marmo continues to display purple leaves. Sugar maples are orange and yellow on the north side of the lake. Bald-cypresses are russet brown.
Lower Joy Path and Lake Road: Silver maple and tulip-trees are yellow. Bitternut hickory is golden-yellow. Magnolias are turning yellow. Bald-cypresses are turning russet.