midwest fall foliage trip

9 of the Best Places to Visit on a Midwest Fall Foliage Trip

Are you looking for a great way to spend this fall? Fall foliage trips are the perfect escape. There are so many things to do and see when you take a fall foliage trip. For instance, there are pumpkin patches where kids can find the perfect pumpkin for the upcoming season. There's also apple cider donuts, hay rides and many more fall activities. Fall foliage trips are an excellent way to spend this season with your family or friends!

Fall in the Midwest is a sight to behold.

With spectacular colors and crisp air, it's an experience you'll want to share with your friends and family. The best way to enjoy all of the scenic spots is to plan a fall foliage trip.

If you want an authentic experience, take your trip late September into October because it will be too late by November. If you're a planner, make a list of all the places you want to see and explore.

Color periods depend on weather

The leaves on trees change color every year because they use natural pigments to make their green appearance. All throughout the growing season, chlorophyll is being lost in order for them to turn more orange or brown as fall approaches; this happens most drastically just before leaf drop occurs when there's not much left at all!

Summer drought conditions stress trees, which may cause them to lose their leaves prematurely or start color production prematurely. The result is a reduction in colors during the peak of season. Adequate summer rains promote good health and leaf retention so you can enjoy an autumnal display worth seeing.

In the fall, the temperatures get colder and there is also more rain and snow. Changes in these weather conditions can play a role in how early the leaves change and how long they keep their beautiful colors.

Extreme weather changes can also have an effect on the leaves. For example, a drought or an early frost could make the leaves fall off of the trees before they’ve had time to change colors.

Check the weather and do your research

First, check the weather forecast for your destination. Fall is a time of year that can change daily due to colder temperatures and rain or snow in some parts of the country. The weather can make a big difference on what you will do and see during your trip.

Dress for the weather and terrain. You definitely don't want to go on a hike through the trees in shorts and sandals. If you're going to be staying in a vehicle for the trip, you definitely want to be comfortable too.

Different trees color at different times

Midwest fall foliage is a beautiful sight to see. Fall colors begin to show in mid-late October, and the leaves change color as they turn orange and red. Different trees start turning colors at different times during months, but you can easily tell when one tree starts changing because it will be surrounded by other trees that are still green or not yet changed into their autumnal hues.

Best places to experience fall in the Midwest

The best time of year for fall foliage is typically in October, not September. The leaves are changing colors and the trees are starting to change their shape as they prepare for winter. The most picturesque place to see the leaves is in the northern part of Illinois.

The best time for fall foliage is typically October, not September. The leaves are changing colors and trees are starting to change their shape as they prepare for winter.

Include one of these great places on your next Midwest fall foliage trip!

Starved Rock State Park and Ottawa

Starved Rock State Park is a great place to see fall colors in the Midwest. The park has many different types of trees such as oaks, maples and pines. There are many different types of trails to take throughout the park. The beauty is also found in the rock formations. It’s a great place to take your family or friends for an afternoon out on nature.

Starved Rock State Park - Starved Rock Lock and Dam

This is a great place to spend the day with your family or friends. There are many different types of trees and rock formations that you can see as well as plenty of trails for walking!

Galena, Illinois

Galena - midwest fall foliage trip

One of the most beautiful places in Illinois for fall colors is Galena. Along with the beautiful fall foliage, you can take in the unique shops of the downtown area.

You can visit the Galena History Museum, which features a museum of local history, an art gallery and more. Don't forget to tour the home of Ulysses S. Grant, as well. The Italianate-style brick house, with original furnishings, looks very much as it did in 1865 when a group of townspeople presented it as a gift to him.

No matter what you do, one of the most important things is to wear comfortable shoes!

Door County, Wisconsin

Door County, Wisconsin is one of the most photographed places in America. The county has more than 1,000 miles of shoreline with towering cliffs, sandy beaches and white-sand islands. It's also home to more than 1,000 cherry trees and the world-famous Door County Cherry Festival.

During mid October, visitors can enjoy a trip during peak foliage season and see gorgeous red, gold and orange colors.

The Hills Montessori of Omaha - Door Peninsula

The Door County visitors' bureau recommends taking a scenic drive through the county to see some of its more popular destinations like Peninsula State Park, Potawatomi State Park and the Lighthouse at Port Washington.

It also recommends visiting some of Door County's less-known destinations like Whitefish Dunes State Park, The Kettle Hole and even driving down the Door Harbor to see the lighthouse.

Mackinac Island, Michigan

“Mackinac Island, Michigan is a popular tourist destination for its natural beauty and historic buildings. It's also the perfect place to experience fall colors in their peak season.

Michigan Technological University's Keweenaw Research Center reports that the island is at its most colorful from mid-October through early November. This is a great time to visit Mackinac Island. The leaves are changing colors and it's beautiful! It will be the best time to go before winter starts coming in.

Grand Hotel - Munising

The Mackinac bridge is the only way to get on (and off) the Island. But, it's worth driving across because of all the beautiful views you'll see and it's quite the experience! If you plan to stay overnight, book your hotel room in advance so you can enjoy all of Mackinac Island's great attractions!

Minnehaha Falls, Minnesota

Minnehaha Falls, Minnesota is a beautiful place to visit in the fall. The Minnehaha Creek and falls flow year-round, but this time of year it's particularly scenic.

Waterfall - Watercourse

Located along Hiawatha Avenue and Minnehaha Parkway, the 193-acre reservation features a 53-foot waterfall and overlooks overlooking the Mississippi River. The park has oak, elm, silver maple, basswood and cottonwood trees along with native and prairie wildflowers. Walking the lower trails allows you to fully take in the beauty of the changing leaves.

Palisades-Kepler State Park, Iowa

Palisades-Kepler State Park is located in northwest Iowa and has the most beautiful fall foliage colors. The park provides plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy, such as camping, hiking, fishing, and boating.

Park - Kepler Drive

Throughout the park, you'll find tall trees that are covered in brilliant colors. The leaves on the ground create a path of fallen beauty that can't be missed. You should come to this park this fall!

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is the place to be if you want to see some of the best fall foliage in Ohio. The trail system offers 13 trails that range in difficulty and distance.

Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail - Boston Mill Visitor Center

The Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail is a 19.5-mile path that follows along the original towpath of the canal, which was used to transport goods from Cleveland to Portsmouth.

A ride on Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is a special way to experience the scenery of the national park. The train offers round trip or one-way shuttle services for bikers, hikers, and paddlers.

Ozarks Of Missouri Fall Foliage

The Ozarks of Missouri, the rolling hills and valleys in the middle of America's heartland, offer some of the most beautiful fall foliage you'll find anywhere. The peak time to visit is usually between September and October.

Lake of the Ozarks - Bridal Cave

There are hundreds of miles of scenic highways and lake roads, as well as plenty of roadside attractions, that allow you to tour the region. The US Hwy 54 to State road W to MO Hwy 5 triangle is a great route to start your trip. Fall is an especially scenic drive here!

Platte River State Park, Nebraska

Nestled halfway between Nebraska’s two largest cities – Lincoln and Omaha; before it was a state park it was two separate camps – Harriet Harding Campfire Girls Camp and Camp Esther K. Newman – and a tract of woodlands.

Photograph - Photography

Platte River State Park is a great location for taking in the fall colors. It has miles of hiking trails, and easy access to many other nearby attractions. Some of the popular draws are the park’s picturesque waterfall, spray park, scenic hiking and biking trails and an observation tower that allow those who climb to the top a spectacular view of the Platte River Basin.

Enjoy fall foliage from the water!

Another, quite enjoyable way to enjoy the colorful foliage of the Midwest is by water. With many lakes and rivers to access, there are a plethora of opportunities to explore. One of the most popular spots is Lake Pepin, a lake with miles and miles of shoreline that you can explore by boat or canoe.

The Midwest is full of natural beauty in the fall. Wherever you go, there are always things to see and do. The best part about this region is that it offers so many different opportunities to enjoy the season. Whether you're looking for a scenic hike, want to spend time on the water or simply wish to get lost in nature's beauty, this is the perfect place.

Riverboat Cruise

A riverboat cruise down the Mississippi is a unique way to view the gorgeous fall foliage this region has to offer. You won't be able to resist the breathtaking views of nature as you travel downriver on your next riverboat cruise. The fall colors in this part of America are nothing short than stunning and offer something for everyone, whether they're looking for a quick little adventure or an extended journey with plenty more time spent exploring!

Riverboat Twilight offers a short, sightseeing cruise in the heart of the Midwest region. Or choose their 1 or 2 day cruise for an even greater experience. The sightseeing and 2 day cruises depart and return to LeClaire, Iowa. The 1 day cruise departs and returns to Dubuque, Iowa.

If you're wanting a longer cruise up the Mississippi, American Cruise Lines offers an 8 day/7 night St. Louis to St. Paul cruise. The cruise includes activities in 8 port towns as well as gorgeous scenery along the trip. The magnificent landscapes of the Upper Mississippi River have long inspired artists, writers, and steamboat passengers. It was here that literary great Mark Twain used the majestic river and its breathtaking views as the settings in his most famous works. Learn about his boyhood home in Hannibal, where the characters of Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, and Becky Thatcher come to life.

How long does peak foliage last?

The leaves start to turn in September and the season generally lasts until late October. The northern parts of the Midwest states will see the peak late September to early October, whereas the southern parts will see the peak of the change mid to late October.

What are the fall colors in the Midwest?

The Midwest has a spectacular range of colors. From the reds and oranges of Iowa to the vibrant yellows in Missouri, there's no shortage of fall foliage viewing opportunities. Indiana is bursting with color, as are Michigan and Ohio.

If you're looking for the perfect spot to view fall colors in Nebraska or Kansas, then head North where foliage peaks earlier than it does in the southern parts.

What is your favorite place to view fall foliage? What is your favorite fall foliage trip?

There are so many choices for where to go, you will have a difficult decision of what to do. One choice is the state parks that are open year-round for leaves or autumn colors. You could consider going to cabins' which are in the woods and surround with trees. The vibrant colors are something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.

Tell me where your favorite place is to take in the fall foliage.

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