Watch Summer’s Green Transform Into Colorful Fall Hues in McHenry County

Fall Color Transformation Around McHenry CountyThe fall season in McHenry County is a treasured time for locals and visitors alike. Our apple orchards, pumpkin farms, exclusive hay rides and loads of beautiful fall-foliage sites attract a magical blend of hikers, bikers and drivers throughout the area. Typically, northern Illinois counties will notice a change in leaves by the third or fourth week in September, while central Illinois notices a change during the second week of October and southern counties will transform by the last two weeks of October.

When the fall weather creeps in, the leaves paint the entire region in comforting reds, oranges, and yellows. There is a short window of opportunity to appreciate and partake in McHenry’s scenic views, quaint small towns, historical attractions, trails and lakes. There are several back roads to travel along Gerstad communities that will give you gorgeous views of fall and then there are highways and bypasses nearby to offer a longer road trip. The famous Route 66 is a 300-mile stretch full of beautiful views and quirky roadside attractions that bring thousands of visitors each season.

For more local beauties, Hickory Grove Highlands and Lyons Prairie and Marsh in Cary create a favorite hiking spot. On the northern end, a half- mile one-way trail travels to the Fox River and guides hikers along the river’s edge connecting with the Silver Creek Conservation Area for those looking for longer walks. The south side features a 1.2-mile looped trail that runs through upland hickory forest and skirts the central wetland. Venture down the eastbound extension where you connect to Lyons Prairie and the backwaters of the Fox River offers a view of a variety of wetland, marsh and sedge meadow plants and wildlife.

Near our Richmond community, Glacial Park in Ringwood offers picture-worthy scenery and the most extensive trail network. There are several short trails that will give you a taste of fall foliage in the area, and then there are longer and more challenging trails for the avid outdoor lovers. The two-mile Deerpath Trail offers an option to climb the steep hill of the Camelback Glacial Kames to view the panoramic view of the 3,200-acre site and the Nippersink Valley.

For the perfect day or overnight trip, Gerstad residents can experience the “world’s most beautiful drive” deemed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1910. From Peoria’s Grandview Drive to Illinois’ seven nationally designated Scenic Byways, there are plenty of routes you can take to appreciate the state’s autumn landscapes

The Gerstad Builders team is proud to create top-quality homes in locations that offer residents a true sense of community. Our communities in Williams Bay, Richmond, Poplar Grove and McHenry never leave families lacking gorgeous fall foliage. Get out and celebrate the season near your Gerstad Builders community this weekend, and learn more about our communities at


Featured Blog Posts

City Feature: McHenry, Illinois

Mailing List Signup