ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Best Fall Leaf Viewing and Farmers Markets in Illinois

Updated on May 1, 2017
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has 30 years of successful experience in medicine, psychology, STEM courses, and aerospace education (CAP).

Source

Leaf Peeping in Rockford, "The Forest City"

The counties of Northern Illinois, including Rockford's Winnebago County, are centers for Fall Foliage Tours accessible by driving or hiking, although some Fall Foliage Train Tours extend over a period of days and are popular around Illinois as well.One of the most popular trees in this area is the fast growing American Beech or Fagus grandiflora, whose leaves turn bright orange in this part of the country in autumn and may not fall to the ground at all during the fall and winter.

The fall colors are brilliant from September through the end of October in Northern Illinois, but intensely so in the botanical gardens and state parks of Rockford, a far suburb of Chicago to the southeast on Lake Michigan. The entire area is good for travel. Along the foliage routes are many large U-Pick and pre-picked farmers' markets with indoor and outdoor venues.

The farmers' wares include anything from free range chickens and eggs to home raised honey, apples, berries, vegetables, cheeses, pumpkins, and gifts from attached shops. Hayrides and other autumn activities are prominent and make for a good vacation or weekend getaway in which travelers come away with fresh foods grown with sustainable methods. All this makes the fall season more enjoyable than if travelers stayed indoors when temperatures begin to drop and did not discover these places.

The peak of colors occurs during the first two weeks of October.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
American Beech, often seen in Illinois.
Source
American Beech, often seen in Illinois.
American Beech, often seen in Illinois. | Source

Best Illinois Foliage Tours

Anderson Japanese Garden in Rockford.
Anderson Japanese Garden in Rockford. | Source

The best sites for a driving tour through the fall foliage of the Rock River Valley lie on a diagonal through Rockford, Illinois. Beginning in the southwestern part of the community, there is the Severson Dells Forest Preserve, part of the reason that Rockford is known as "The Forest City." Driving to the northeast, visitors will find Kehlm Arboretum and Botanical Park, Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens, Sinnissippi Gardens, Sinnissippi Park, and Rock Cut State Park.

The Great Gardens of Rockford:

A series of botanical gardens called the Great Gardens in Rockford include six sites that welcome visitors. Among them are:

  • Anderson Japanese Garden,
  • Heritage Gardens and Midway Museum,
  • The Kehlm,
  • La Paloma Gardens,
  • The Sinnissippi, and
  • Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens.

Find them all on the map below.

A
Klehm, Illinois:
Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 2715 S Main St, Rockford, IL 61102, USA

get directions

B
Rock Cut State Park, Illinois:
Rock Cut State Park, 7318 Harlem Rd, Loves Park, IL 61011, USA

get directions

C
Sinnissippi Park, Illinois:
Sinnissippi Park, Rockford, IL 61107, USA

get directions

D
Severson Dells Forest Preserve:
Severson Dells Nature Preserve, Rockford, IL 61102, USA

get directions

E
The Sinnissippi:
1122 Healthcare Dr, Mt Carroll, IL 61053, USA

get directions

F
Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens.:
411 Kent St, Rockford, IL 61102, USA

get directions

Nearby Attractions Among the Foliage

Farms and Farmers Markets

City Market in Rockford

A
Water Street, Rockford IL:
N Water St, Rockford, IL, USA

get directions

Market Street runs into Water Street at the City Market sites.

Winnebago County, Including Rockford

CITY MARKET - The largest and most popular market int he state is City Market in Rockford, open Fridays 3 PM - 8 PM from June through October. In conjunction with this market, the city offers Forest City Queen Riverboat and Trolley Car36 rides to market from the downtown trolley station. Longer riverboat cruises are offered on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and sign language interpreters are offered for cruises. Call 815-987-1685. The market operates on Water Street in Downtown Rockford between State and Jefferson Streets.

Bethkes’ Farm Apples and Raspberries
Location: 6587 Cherry Valley Road in Cherry Valley to sell Royal Gala, Big Jon, Ozark Gold and apple cider. June – October, 10 AM to 6 PM 7 days a week. Phone: 815-522-2215.

Curran’s Orchard - Tart cherries, apples, raspberries, autumn/Halloween straw maze, hayrides, pumpkins. Open June through November for various U-Pick/Pre-Packed items and the farm store. 9-6 Monday through Saturday; and open especially for Christmas throughout December until 5pm. Petting farm and a cutaway bee hive are great attractions. The shop had jams, jellies, apple butter, salad dressings, real maple syrup.

Location: 6385 Kilburn Ave/Route 70 in Rockford. Phone: 815-963-7848.

Edgebrook Farmers Market - Every Wednesday morning through lunchtime from June through October. Fresh-picked produce, free range meats and poultry, roasted nuts, baked goods, cheeses, plants, fresh flowers, and hanging baskets.

Location: Edgebrook Shopping Center at the corner of North Alpine and Highcrest Roads in Rockford.

Harrison Market Gardens - Asparagus, beans, beets, blackberries, broccoli, carrots, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, flowers, herbs and spices, various melons, onions, peas, peppers, red raspberries, rhubarb, summer and winter squash, strawberries, tomatoes, others. At various times they have potatoes, sweet potatoes, lettuce, spinach, turnips, tomatillos, okra, pumpkins, kale, Swiss chard, edamame, and gourds.

Location: 9024 Harrison Road, Winnebago IL. Phone: 815-629-2126. 7 miles northwest of Rockford.

Hazzard Free Farm - All-natural agriculture. Beans, beets, broccoli, carrots, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, flowers, herbs and spices, melons, onions, peppers, summer and winter squash, tomatoes, others. Picnic area available. Fine place for weddings and receptions, school tours, birthdays and special events.Open May through October, 7 days a week.

Location: 5111 Ahrens Road, Pecatonica IL. Phone: 815-289-1431.

Valley Orchard - Apples, beans, blackberries, blueberries, corn, pumpkins, red raspberries, yellow raspberries, rhubarb, winter squash. An on-site Cider Mill presses cider daily. U-pick and pre-picked produce, large farm market, gift shop, picnic area.

Location: 911 East State Street, Cherry Valley IL. Phone: 815-332-9696.

Location of Popular Markets

A
Cherry Valley IL:
Cherry Valley, IL, USA

get directions

B
Valley Orchard:
811 E State St, Cherry Valley, IL 61016, USA

get directions

C
Winnebago IL:
Winnebago, IL 61088, USA

get directions

D
Pecatonica IL:
Pecatonica, IL 61063, USA

get directions

E
Hazzard Free Farm:
5111 Ahrens Rd, Pecatonica, IL 61063, USA

get directions

© 2012 Patty Inglish MS

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Me, too! I'll be driving around this weekend.

    • SommerDalton profile image

      Sommer Dalton 

      5 years ago

      Voted up and more! Very educational and looking forward to fall now!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      @vespawoolf - I had a friend that lived there for several years and she loved it , too. I hope you are able to return to visit soon and wish the markets could last all year round!

      @carol7777 - How wonderful to be able to stay on a farm as you did! Thanks for reading my Hub; I'm ready to go back and visit.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Writing about Rockford, Illinois brought back some old memories. When my first husband was in Dental school at Northwestern we were invited there. We stayed on a farm for the weekend and went skiing nearby. It was a lovely place. Love your photos and information. UP.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 

      6 years ago from Peru, South America

      This is another great resource! I'd love to take an autumn foliage tour, stop at a few farmer's markets and the botanical gardens, too. You chose beautiful photos. Now I'm homesick! : ( Thanks for another interesting hub.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)