Where's the Best Place to View the Fall Colors? – Your State Parks
Fall in Illinois is gorgeous! I grew up in south Florida where the only season is summer with a cold front that comes down for the month of January. I have never seen the changing of the leaves like there are in Illinois. One of my favorite things to do in the fall is to go to Washington Park in Springfield and walk around with my wife. The colors of the trees are absolutely incredible and if you venture up to the top of the Carillon, you can see the far reaches of the city.
Washington Park a 150-acre park located to the east side of Chatham Road in between Lawrence Ave. and South Grand Ave. Washington Park was added to the park district in 1901. This is one of the historic parks, developed as termini of the urban trolley line in use at the time. Designed by Ossian Simonds, noted for his naturalistic style of landscape design, the park is on the National Register of Historic Places. Its design and many features date back to its original development. (info from SpringfieldParks.org).
The park is always teeming with people, either as they drive or bike through the park on road that loops through, or as they run along the trails (or off the trails). Since the park is located near a residential area, there are a lot of people who walk their dogs in the park after work or on the weekends. Especially in the fall, you can find any number of photographers capturing the beautiful colors. Washington Park is certainly a photographic hot-spot suitable for landscape photographers and senior/wedding photographers alike.
In addition to amazing photographs, the park also has 12 tennis courts, paddle tennis courts, a pro-shop, a large playground, a large pavilion with ADA accessible restrooms, the large, enclosed pavilion, a band pavilion and a lagoon.
One other point of interest is that Washington Park holds Springfield’s only (and one of the seven in Illinois) Angel of Hope statue. The Angel of Hope Statue is in the Botanical Garden near the Carillon. The angel statue honors the lives of all children gone too soon and serves as a place of hope and healing for parents, families, and friends dealing with the tragic loss of a child. Nearly 300 area children’s names are commemorated on the Memorial Wall located at the angel statue site.
All in all, the Springfield Park District contains 42 parks for you to explore. I encourage you to get out this fall and enjoy the nice weather before it turns cold.
For some more of my images from Washington Park, click here.
- Jeremy Wilburn
To learn more about Jeremy, click here.