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posted: 10/22/2013 10:04 AM

DuPage preserves offer views of fall color

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Forest Preserve District of DuPage County submission

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County invites fall fans to get out and experience the season's short-lived woodland color displays at DuPage County's forest preserves.

The woods at Maple Grove Forest Preserve in Downers Grove are known for intense colors. The preserve is composed mostly of black, silver and sugar maples, which develop into golden tones. A winding 1.1-mile trail offers a pleasant stroll and also passes through an oak savanna.

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At Meacham Grove Forest Preserve in Bloomingdale in the 40-acre grove on the west side of the preserve -- a recently designated Illinois State Nature Preserve -- stately maples, oaks and hickories often display bold colors, while broad-leaved goldenrods and Drummond's asters show off bright flowers from the forest floor.

St. James Farm Forest Preserve in Warrenville offers historic charm amid lovely fall scenery. There, tree-lined paths called "allees" of mature pin oaks, red maples and black walnuts beckon visitors. On Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in October, visitors can join tractor-drawn covered wagon tours to learn the history of the estate and take in the views. Tours take place 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and are $2 per person ages 13 and older; $1 for ages 5 to 12; and free for younger children.

Forest preserves such as Blackwell in Warrenville, McDowell Grove and Greene Valley in Naperville, Herrick Lake in Wheaton, West DuPage Woods in West Chicago, Waterfall Glen in Darien and Churchill Woods in Glen Ellyn are also notable locations for beautiful foliage.

Printable maps for these and other forest preserves are available on the district's website, dupageforest.org. Visitors also may request a trails guide that features 24 of the most popular locations by calling Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248 or emailing forest@dupageforest.org.

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