See Stunning Fall Colors in the Great Rivers & Routes Region

Whether you're biking, hiking or driving along the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway, the fall colors are simply breathtaking.

Autumn color cruising along the byway, over river ferries and among the rolling hills of the countryside has become a favorite pastime for repeat visitors to the region. Check out these Great Rivers road trips around Alton to see some stunning fall foliage.

Three Rivers & Routes Road Trips with Great Views of Fall Foliage

1. Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway

The road most traveled heading west on the Great River Road from Alton to Elsah, Grafton and Pere Marquette State Park and back... The average weekend warrior takes this drive because it is the easiest run to remember, but it has the heaviest traffic on Autumn Saturdays and Sundays.

Length: 80 miles roundtrip (approximately 1 hour, 42 minutes)

Directions: Click Here

Fall Colors Peak Percent: 0%


2. US 67 Country Loop

We consider this to be the best country day drive in the state of Illinois. Enter anywhere along this loop, but remember: drive counter clockwise and see the Scenic Byway by driving downriver – the view of the bluffs is the absolute best.

Length: 90.4 miles (approximately 2 hours, 14 minutes)

Directions: Click Here

Fall Colors Peak Percent: 0%


3. Calhoun County Vistas & Ferries Loop

Rolling hills, winding roads, orchards and riverboat ferries create the perfect scenery for a peaceful drive through Calhoun County. If you began the loop at the Golden Eagle Ferry, simply cross the Brussels Ferry back into Calhoun County to access the ferry and return to Missouri.

Length: 63.1 miles (approximately 1 hour, 36 minutes)

Directions: Click Here

Fall Colors Peak Percent: 0%


While on your road trip, make sure to stop and have lunch or dinner at one of the area's many charming restaurants. Need a place to rest your head? How about a romantic inn or cozy B&B? Find out about all of the area's lodging options here.

Peak Foliage Dates 2011 – 2020

To give you a better idea of when fall foliage peaks in the region, here are the peak foliage dates from the past 10 years.

2020: Nov. 7 - 10

2019: Nov. 2 - 7

2018: Nov. 5 - 10

2017: Nov. 4 - Nov. 9

2016: Oct. 25 - Nov. 2

2015: Oct. 25 - Oct. 31

2014: Oct. 26 - Nov. 1

2013: Nov. 3 – Nov. 9

2012: Oct. 28 – Nov. 3

2011: Oct. 23 – Oct. 29

Fall Road Trip Stopovers

While touring the Great Rivers & Routes area this fall, stop and visit some sites and enjoy some authentic autumn experiences.

1. Orchards & Farm Stands

Mouthwatering peaches, crisp apples, plump pumpkins and everything in between can be found at the orchards and roadside stands of Grafton. Ride out into the fields and pick your own fruit at local orchards. Or, just browse the stands along the Main Street in Grafton for some of the best locally grown produce available from early spring to late fall.

2. Fall Festivals & Fairs

Some of the more popular annual festivals and events will be returning again this year. For example, the Grafton Rendezvous returns this year on Oct. 19 - 20. See pre-1840 history come to life with period dress and demonstrations of archery, tomahawk and knife throwing and traders selling items of the period.

3. Haunted Alton Tours

(September - November)

Visitors wishing to experience “one of the most haunted small towns in America” need to look no further than Alton, Ill. Guided tours are available from early September through mid-November for the spookiest season of all.

4. Spirit of Peoria & Hakuna Matata River Cruises

(Select dates September - October)

See the changing of fall colors along the Great River Road on a river cruise aboard the Spirit of Peoria or the Hakuna Matata.

For a full listing of events, click here. Follow us on Facebook & Instagram to view more photos and see what our fans are saying as they make their journeys along the road in the coming days.

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