Discover the Coldest Place in Illinois

Located in the Great Lakes region of the United States, Illinois is one of the most populous states in the country. The capital is Springfield, but Chicago is actually the largest city. Illinois benefits from both fertile agricultural land and access to shipping via both the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. The state is generally very flat, and its proximity to the vast bodies of water of the Great Lakes greatly influences its climate. But where is the coldest place in Illinois?

Here’s how cold it gets in Illinois and where you can expect the coldest temperatures. Next, we’ll dig deeper into the coldest temperatures ever recorded in Illinois, and then explore the coldest places a little further. Learn. Finally, we conclude by discovering some of the funniest things to do in the coldest part of Illinois.

coldest place in illinois

Mount Prospect is the coldest place in Illinois.


Ranked by average maximum temperature Mount Prospect is the coldest place in IllinoisThe average high temperature in Mount Prospect is 48 degrees Fahrenheit. Not sure where Mount Prospect is? Well, it’s actually a suburb of Chicago, located northwest of the city center. Illinois, especially the Chicagoland area, is known for its cold and harsh winters. In fact, the coldest month in Illinois is January, with an average temperature of 25 degrees Fahrenheit. The average annual temperature in the state is only 52 degrees Fahrenheit. By contrast, July is the hottest month of the year, with an average maximum temperature of 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lowest temperature ever recorded in Illinois

The lowest temperature ever recorded in Illinois was minus 36 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Illinois Office of Climatologists. This temperature was recorded at Congerville in January 1999.

Because there are different ways to calculate the coldest place in Illinois, there are a number of different locations that claim the title. And there are multiple candidates for the coldest temperatures ever recorded in Illinois. A temperature of -38 degrees Fahrenheit was reportedly recorded at Mount Carroll in 2019.

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History of Mount Prospect

More than 50,000 people live in this Chicago suburb, officially known as the Village of Mount Prospect. The land was originally occupied by Native Americans until European farmers and settlers began to expand westward, displacing the natives from their ancestral lands. In the case of Mount Prospect, farmers were the first to move, led primarily by “Yankees” and German immigrants. But it wasn’t until 1850, when a train depot was built in town, that Mount Prospect actually appeared on maps.

By 1917, the village of Mount Prospect had 300 residents and a distinctive downtown area surrounding the train station. Since the 1920s, thousands of people have flocked to the quaint village just outside of Chicago, experiencing the greatest population growth since World War II. Today, the village is home to diverse businesses, outdoor malls, and a downtown area that blends history and modernity. Welcome visitors. This is reflected in the coldest place in Illinois’ slogan, “Friendliness is the Way of Life.”

wildlife and ecology

Dalmatian Squirrel, center frame, facing right, with withered legs in mouth, in green grass
Squirrel sightings are likely at Mount Prospect.

© Photo by d murk/

Urban life is the rule when it comes to Mount Prospect wildlife. However, the village is also adjacent to the Camp Pine Woods area, through which part of the Des Plaines River flows. It is also very close to the Busse Forest. Common urban animals at Mount Prospect include squirrels, raccoons, mice and birds of all shapes and sizes. Venture into the woods and you might spot coyotes, red foxes and striped skunks. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a night heron preying on small creatures like lizards, mice, and fish.

Things to do in Mount Prospect

The coldest place in Illinois, Mount Prospect is mostly suburban, but it doesn’t mean there’s a lot to do. One of the first things visitors want to do is check out the Randhurst He Village and downtown shopping districts. Both areas are jam-packed with opportunities to shop, eat, drink and stay locally. Mount Prospect has a variety of parks, golf courses, dog parks and even a skate park. Don’t miss the Mount Prospect Historical Society, housed in a historic building. Finally, the iconic village water tower (painted bright blue) is right next to the Historical Society. Don’t miss it!


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