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Autumn Colors, Halloween Happenings in the Forest Preserves of Cook County

Oct 18, 2017

Hike through vibrantly colored forest preserves, attend fun Halloween events.

 

Throughout the Forest Preserves of Cook County, mid to late October is prime time for residents and visitors to experience the stunning seasonal transition of summer to fall as leaves change colors to vibrant autumn hues.

 

The best leaf color is seen when the autumn has sunny days and cool nights. Residents and visitors can experience this annual burst of warm colors by exploring more than 300 miles of trails, visiting Nature Centers and more.

 

What may surprise many visitors interested in this annual nature art show is that most of the yellow and orange leaf color has actually been in the leaves all summer, says Assistant Director of Trailside Museum of Natural History Irene Flebbe.

 

“During spring and summer, the beautiful fall colors were ‘covered up’ by the dominant green color of chlorophyll – the naturally occurring chemical that is responsible for helping trees and other plants turn sunlight into food,” explains Flebbe. “In autumn, the amount of chlorophyll produced by the plant decreases and eventually stops as the amount of daylight decreases. The chlorophyll is slowly broken down, revealing the colors we love to see this time of year.”

 

Residents and visitors can plan a fall hike by visiting the Forest Preserves’ interactive web map at map.fpdcc.com, stopping by a Nature Center, or checking out the guided hikes below:

 

Guided Fall Color Hikes

 

Autumn Walks

Saturday, Oct. 28 • 1 pm

Trailside Museum of Natural History, 738 Thatcher Ave, River Forest

 

Fall Color Walk

Saturday, Oct. 28 • 1:30 pm

Sand Ridge Nature Center, 15891 S Paxton Ave, South Holland

 

In addition to viewing the array of fall colors, residents and visitors can also celebrate Halloween throughout the Forest Preserves. Check out these great events. All below events are family-friendly; some cost a small fee. Visit fpdcc.com/events for more information.

 

Halloween Happenings

 

Creatures of the Night

Sunday, Oct. 22 • 1:30 pm

River Trail Nature Center, 3120 Milwaukee Ave, Northbrook

 

Somewhat Scary Stories

Friday, Oct. 27 • 7 pm

Crabtree Nature Center, 3 Stover Rd, Barrington Hills

 

The Un-haunted Forest

Saturday, Oct. 28 • 1:30 pm

River Trail Nature Center, 3120 Milwaukee Ave, Northbrook

 

Halloween Hike and Happenings

Saturday, Oct 28 • 5 – 9 pm

Camp Sullivan, 14630 Oak Park Ave, Oak Forest

 

NIGHTLIFE – The Return of Scary Stories

Saturday, Oct. 28 • 7 pm

River Trail Nature Center, 3120 Milwaukee Ave, Northbrook

 

Owls, Bats and Spiders

Sunday, Oct. 29 • 1 pm

Crabtree Nature Center, 3 Stover Rd, Barrington Hills

 

The Un-haunted Forest

Sunday, Oct. 29 • 1:30 pm

River Trail Nature Center, 3120 Milwaukee Ave, Northbrook

 

A Sand Ridge Halloween

Sunday, Oct. 29 • 1:30 pm

Sand Ridge Nature Center, 15891 S Paxton Ave, South Holland

 

 

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Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County