September may have just started, but I know we are all ready for cooler temps and fall colors. Find out when it will be the best time to take the perfect fall family pictures.

While football and pumpkin spice lattes are great and all, perhaps nothing says "fall is here" more than seeing the trees change color. It truly is the spirit of the season. And if you want to see autumn at its autumniest, there's actually a scientific way to figure out when the colors of fall will come to the Tri-State area.

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A website called predicts that the optimal time to see fall colors in Illinois, and that time is the weeks of Oct. 26 and Nov. 2. According to the website,

The weeks of Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 look good for a fall leaf viewing trip, depending on what part of the state you hit. Most of northern Illinois will be at peak or near-peak fall foliage viewing the week of Oct. 26. Central Illinois should hit peak fall foliage the week of Nov. 9, and Southern Illinois, Nov. 16 — but by then, the rest of the state will be past its peak.

The interactive map put out by lets you figure out what day and month would be best to have the bet backdrop for family photos and all your social media photos.

Of course, there is no 100% accuracy that this will happen during these dates, this is completely a estimate based on weather. Some of the best places to visit for fall in Illinois to see all the colors are Cap Sauers Holding Nature Preserve, Matthiessen State Park, and Pere Marquette State Park. Plus, the Tri-States have some pretty parks and trails to visit during the fall season.

Bring on the fall colors. I am ready.

RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.


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