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Fall Guide 2012: Five Great ... Places to See Fall Foliage

It seems to me as if the trees in our area exploded in vibrant colors seemingly overnight. And according to experts, I'm not imagining it. Our mild winter and early spring, combined with this summer's drought, have resulted in trees changing colors two to three weeks earlier than normal. Those conditions have also contributed to the trees' colors being brighter, too.

Photo by freefotouk on Flickr.So if you want to enjoy the fall foliage, don't delay! Get outside and do some leaf peeping now. Here are some of our favorite places to enjoy the vibrant colors of fall in Chicago's western suburbs:

Silver Springs State Park in Yorkville: Features majestic oaks, as well as a 45-acre prairie restoration project, picnic tables, two lakes for fishing, boating opportunities and a four-mile trail.

Phillips Park in Aurora: This 325-acre park has not only gorgeous, huge old trees but a small, free zoo; a visitors center with a collection of mastodon bones; a dog park; trails; a BMX/skate park and a wonderful, large playground. You get to treat your eyes to some fall colors, and the kids get to see some animals and play. Win-win!

Fabyan Forest Preserve in Geneva: Located on both sides of the Fox River, there is a reason this spot is a favorite with photographers, every season of the year. 

Harris Forest Preserve in Kendall County: This 92-acre site features trees including blue ash, white oak, bur oak, shagbark hickory and sugar maple. There are streams to cross, 230 native plant species to admire, a horse arena, fishing and open fields for roaming.

Morton Arboretum in Lisle: The arboretum lists several choice spots that are particularly beautiful this time of year, such as the East Woods Sugar Maples and Meadow Lake. 

Go West Readers: Where is your favorite spot for seeing the colors of fall? Or have you noticed someplace new this year that is looking particularly good? Please share!

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