Attention Leaf Peepers! Take a Fall Foliage and History Tour of Southwest Illinois

(Alton, IL – Sept. 5, 2023) Calling all leaf peepers and history buffs: the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau is once again offering a series of guided Fall Color and River Road History Tours in Grafton and Elsah starting in late October and running through early November.

The Fall Foliage and River Road History Tours are 20-passenger guided shuttle tours that will highlight the stunning fall colors found on the river bluffs flanking the mighty Mississippi River and include visits to the historic Village of Elsah, Principia College and Pere Marquette State Park. The three-hour tours will kick off Thursday, Oct. 12 and are scheduled to run Friday, Oct. 13, Thursday, Oct. 19, Friday, Oct. 20, Thursday, Oct. 26, Friday, Oct. 27, Thursday, Nov. 2, Friday, Nov. 3, Thursday, Nov. 9 and Friday, Nov. 10.

“These are one-of-a-kind tours that can’t be found anywhere else in southwest Illinois,” Cory Jobe, President/CEO of the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau said. “We want to be able to give people the chance to drink in the beauty of the region and learn more about our local history at the same time.”

Tours will begin and end at the Grafton SkyTour in downtown Grafton. All tours start at 1 p.m. Tickets are $27.50 per person and must be purchased in advance. Tickets are available online at:

Tours will include a fall color drive along the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway between Grafton and Elsah showcasing one of the top Fall color drives in the U.S. There will be a stop in the Historic Village of Elsah with the opportunity to stroll through the village and visit the Elsah General Store which has vintage sodas and candy among other local delights. The tour also includes a drive through acclaimed Principia College and will include a photo stop at the college chapel with jaw dropping views of the Mississippi River from a scenic overlook. The tour will then continue to Pere Marquette State Park, north and west of Grafton. Pere Marquette is the largest state park in Illinois and home to brilliant fall colors. There will also be a photo stop in the park.

Following the shuttle tour, visitors can enjoy a ride on the Grafton SkyTour on their own or explore the historic community of Grafton.

(The Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau is a certified Destination Marketing Organization serving Madison, Jersey, Calhoun, Macoupin, Montgomery and Greene counties and East St. Louis in St. Clair County. The bureau is dedicated to educating visitors about the region by providing information regarding the area’s history, unique landmarks, recreational opportunities, leisure attractions, special events and scenic marvels.)