Mobile devices lead ‘leaf peepers’ to best fall foliage in Illinois

By U.S. Cellular

Autumn is a time when people shed their shorts and flip flops for a warm fleece and their favorite pair of jeans. Nights get a bit chilly, the sun sets earlier, and the trees blaze with vivid reds, oranges and yellows, bringing tourists to Illinois to celebrate fall harvests. In fact, fall foliage is a favorite activity for 43 percent of American travelers, according to a recent survey by TripAdvisor. And your mobile device can help you enjoy it all, including help find the best apple picking, hayrides, pumpkin patches and corn mazes in the area.

With advances in mobile technology, travelers can find new ways to use their mobile devices to simplify and enhance their fall foliage adventures,” said Jeff Olson, director of sales in central and western Illinois. “The latest mobile devices have great cameras and are a handy and convenient tool to help you find and enjoy the best fall foliage.”

The experts at U.S. Cellular suggest the following apps and websites to help leaf peepers find the best fall foliage in Illinois, share experiences, and help get to their destination.

• Finding the best fall foliage. A number of websites help determine where to go to view the best fall foliage. For example, features a map that tracks fall color as it unfolds in Illinois. You can also use your mobile phone to call the U.S. Forest Service’s Fall Colors Progression Hotline at 1-800-354-4595; choose No. 9 for Illinois.

• Capture and share your fall foliage adventure. Fall is a great time to share photos with family and friends. A recent survey by U.S. Cellular found many customers say their relationships have been improved by mobile devices. Of these customers, 66 percent of survey respondents like to share experiences right away using mobile technology and 52 percent share moments with family and friends that might otherwise be missed. With smartphones, like the Samsung Galaxy S 4 with its 13-megapixel camera, capturing the vibrant colors of fall and sharing them with family and friends is as easy as point and shoot. And uploading photos to Facebook or your Flickr account is just as easy. Flickr is a great free app that lets you share your photos in high resolution from anywhere to anyone, and it includes a terabyte of space for free, which is equivalent to approximately 500,000 photos.

• Finding your way. Whether it is finding your way to a small town or finding a hiking trail to enjoy the foliage, mobile devices are great navigational tools. Google Maps can help you navigate those out-of-the-way, quintessential Illinois towns to find the best fall foliage. Google Maps offers voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions. Or, if you are hitting the trails, AllTrails is a free app that helps you find the trails nearest to you and provides more than 40,000 high-quality trail guides and maps.

• Bobbing for apples and hayrides. A lot of great fall activities exist for families to enjoy in Illinois. From apple-picking to finding your way out of a corn maze, there is something for everyone. For a listing of Illinois apple orchards, visit The website has a listing of orchards and is searchable by town or postal code, with options near Rockford.

Autumn is a great time to travel in Illinois as the beauty of fall spreads from north to south,” Olson said. “And with the 4G LTE network, it’s quick and easy to take full advantage of Illinois’ fall beauty while out and about.”

Posted Oct. 23, 2013

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