Fall Foliage in Greater Peoria


Discover Peoria


Our neck of the woods puts on a seasonal show like nowhere else—and stunning foliage is just the beginning. Nearly everyone can agree one of the most magical parts of autumn is watching the leaves transform from lush green to bright orange and deep red. Like clockwork, we begin to reach for seasonal favorites like spiced lattes and hot cider, whip out our coziest sweaters and knitted scarves, and head outside to take in the cooler temperatures and fall foliage.  

With autumn in full swing, it’s the perfect time to hit the road for leaf-peeping in the Illinois River Valley. We’re sharing 13 of our favorite spots in Greater Peoria for autumn views of the changing hues.

Autumn Fall

Black Partridge Park  {Metamora}    //    Black Partridge Park is the crown jewel of the Metamora Park District system. It offers 450 acres of beautifully maintained trails to hike, mountain bike, run, jog and leaf-peep.

Eagles Landing Observation Tower  {Chillicothe}    //    Eagles Landing Observation Tower gives onlookers the chance to admire eagles and wildlife from an uninterrupted 50-foot view above the Illinois River. The Observation Tower is an amazing location to watch the annual progressive changing of the leaves.

EastPort Banquet Center  {East Peoria}    //    The tower at the East Port Banquet Center offers an unparalleled opportunity to enjoy the autumn colors against the Peoria skyline and within the nautical landscape of the Illinois River.

Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge  {Lewistown}    //    Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge is a 2600-acre wildlife refuge that abuts Emiquon Preserve and is part of an 11,000-acre wildlife refuge complex. With a mix of forests, prairies, wetlands and river views, Emiquon’s mosaic wetlands reflect the autumn trees during sunset making this refuge a must-visit during peak foliage season.

Farmdale Reservoir  {East Peoria + Washington}    //    With approximately 15 miles of trails, Farmdale Reservoir is an excellent mix of fast open stretches and tight, twisty singletrack, with many fun gravity dips and ravines. The trails are shared by hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. Sections of the Reservoir have been returned to native tallgrass prairie, while others are mature Oak-Hickory forests—making this park amazing for bird watching, photography, and leaf-peeping.

Fon du Lac Drive Lookout Points {East Peoria}    //    Along Fon du Lac Drive in East Peoria, there are various lookout points to stop and absorb the magnificent views of the Illinois River and Peoria Skyline. This vantage point in autumn is ablaze with beautiful fall colors reflected in the water. Bring your camera and capture the perfect photos of the colorful fall leaves along the river.      TIP:  Use “401-525 Fondulac Dr” in your GPS to find one of the lookout points

Grandview Drive  {Peoria Heights}    //    Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Grand View Drive is a 2.52 mile meandering pleasure drive and park that offers scenic views of the Illinois River. It’s not named “The World’s Most Beautiful Drive” for nothing—this scenic road through Peoria and Peoria Heights offers clear views of the Illinois River valley as well as some of the most prestigious and historic homes in the area.      TIP:  Use “Pimiteoui Trailhead” in your GPS

Havana Riverfront Park  {Havana}    //    This stunning shady park is a bird watching and leaf-peeping hotspot. Havana Riverfront Park is a linear park with ample walking trails along the east bank of the Illinois River. On the park’s bluff (at the terminus of Main Street) is an observation deck and raised boardwalk nestled in a grove of American elm, red maple, mulberry, northern catalpa, and black locust trees. The deck and raised walkway are perfect spots to soak in the autumn foliage.

Lacon Riverside Marina  {Lacon}    //    Lacon Riverside Marina is an adorable city park and marina on the Illinois River. The view of the Lacon Bridge—one of the oldest crossings of the Illinois River—with an explosion of autumn hues in the fall leaves is a true autumnal assault on all the senses.

Rock Island Trail  {Dunlap, Peoria Heights, Princeville, Wyoming, Toulon}    //    This 26 mile section of crushed smooth limestone cuts through the towns of Dunlap, Peoria Heights, Princeville, Wyoming and terminates in Toulon. The trail is excellent to bike, walk, or jog and every aspect of the route leads to stunning views of the seasonal foliage.

Rocky Glen Park  {Peoria}    //    Rocky Glen Park is a local treasure. It is 126-acres of forest, hills, and streams. Lace up your hiking boots and check out this park. Although hills are steep and the box canyon requires some creek crossing, the rock formations are similar to those at Starved Rock State Park. There are periodic benches along the trails and perfect resting spots to stop and take in the autumn scenery and wildlife.

Sand Ridge State Forest  {Forest City}    //    Sand Ridge is an island in a sea of agriculture. As the largest Illinois State Forest, it boasts sweeping expanses of native oak-hickory, extensive plantations of pine, sprawling open fields, grasslands, and completely unique sand prairies. The raw, undeveloped expanses of hardwood and pine blanketing the panoramic vistas contain miles of outstanding hiking, backpacking, snowmobiling, horseback riding and leaf-peeping opportunities.

Tower Park  {Peoria Heights}    //    The feature of Tower Park is a 200-foot water tower with exterior glass elevator providing seasonal access to the top viewing decks. For an uninterrupted, 360-degree view of autumn in all its glory, climb (or ride) to the top of this beautiful Peoria Heights staple and checkout the fall foliage.

Enjoy miles of red, yellow, and orange while playing in the local pumpkin patches and apple orchards >>

Autumn Fall

Discover Peoria
Discover Peoria
Discover Peoria, IL