Across the Buckeye State, the colors of the season are making themselves known in a big way. Fall colors are peaking, but it’s not too late to enjoy the show.
It’s that time of the year where nature dazzles us with its free display of fall colors. Some like to call it a “Woodlands Fireworks Show.” And why not? In autumn, the bright reds of the black gum trees appear first along with the bright reds of various maple trees. Next, the russet shades of oak trees follow with the bright yellow of the ginkgo trees begin to burst. It’s like nature is putting on a month long fireworks show of colors.
Greene County is a great area for leaf peepers to take short road trips to view, admire, and photograph fantastic local fall foliage.
Are you a leaf peeper? If not, your chance to become one is here. A leaf peeper is simply a person who travels to view and photograph the fall foliage in areas where leaves change colors in autumn. Leaf peeping is officially defined as a breed of tourism exclusively about finding fall foliage, admiring it, and photographing it.
Some great ways to view nature’s “color show” are by hiking, walking or driving through your local area parks, forest, nature preserves, or state parks.
Some of the best nearby places to visit and enjoy the fall foliage are: Cedar Cliff Falls, Indian Mound Reserve, Clifton Gorge, Narrows Reserve, Beaver Creek Wetlands Reserve, John Bryan State Park, Glenn Thompson Reserve, Hebble Creek Reserve, Russ Nature Reserve, and Old Town Reserve.
Also, try biking or walking one of the many local bike paths in Greene County. Greene County has one of the best networks of biking and recreational trails in the country and offers incredible scenery, woodlands, and forest views.
If you want to make your leaf peeping a weekend trip or getaway, scenic train rides in some parts of the state offer a unique way to witness the fall colors. Three of the best are the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, and the Lebanon Mason & Monroe Railroad.
Climbing atop a fire tower is also another cool way to witness nature’s woodland fireworks. Ohio’s state forest have five fire towers that are open for public access: Blue Rock, Hocking, Mohican, Zaleski, and Shawnee.
Or just get in your car and take a scenic drive through the countryside to enjoy all the dazzling fall colors this season.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources provides scenic fall foliage maps of the best scenic drives and activities in the area and throughout the state. Many include covered bridges and unique roadside attractions. To find the best scenic fall rides and maps simply google “fall colors ODNR” or go to ohiodnr.gov.
Ron Brohm is an outdoors writer and regular contributor to this newspaper.