COLUMBUS, OH - As autumn slowly comes to an end, many pockets of fall color are still evident around the Buckeye State, especially in southern Ohio, according to Casey Burdick, fall color forester for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
"We are still noticing some color around the state including the oaks, which are finishing out the season in the brilliant reds and russets," said Burdick. "The best place to see fall color right now is in the southern portion of Ohio."
Although the leaves are falling, there are still great opportunities to enjoy outdoor fun at Ohio State Parks, wildlife areas, forests and nature preserves. Admission to these scenic venues is free and available to all Ohioans and visitors interested in hiking, paddling, fishing, golfing or horseback riding. This is an excellent time to take in the scent of the woods, crunch of the leaves and rush of crisp, fresh air. The hunting seasons for three of Ohio's popular upland game species - ring-necked pheasant, cottontail rabbit and bobwhite quail - also begin on Friday, Nov. 2.
There are several fun autumn events happening this weekend, along with numerous Halloween campouts at our Ohio State Parks:
Haunted Hocking, Hocking Hills (SE) - Oct. 26-28 at the Old Man's Cave campground. Campsite and pumpkin decorating, hayrides, trick-or-treat and movies. Call 740-385-6841 to learn more.
Night Owl Hike, Caesar Creek (SW) - Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. Meet at the nature center. Visit the park's raptors in the wildlife rehab flight cage, and take a night hike to learn about the importance of nocturnal critters in the wild. Call 513-897-2437 for more information.
ROAR Day, Lake Hope (SE) - Oct. 27, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the shelterhouse and Hope School. Celebrate Appalachian culture through authentic crafts, food and entertainment, plus Halloween treats. Call 740-596-3030 to learn more.
Trout or Treat Kiddie Derby, Shawnee (SW) - Oct. 27. Fishing for kids 12 and under, plus an archery program. Call 740-858-6652 for more information.
Fall Hike, Augusta Anne Olsen Nature Preserve (NW) - Oct. 28 at 10 a.m. The preserve is located in Huron County near Wakeman. Hikers will see beautiful views of the Vermillion River gorge, excellent tree and plant diversity as well as migratory song birds that are a fall feast for the senses. Call 419-836-9117 to learn more.
The ODNR Fall Color website at fallcolor.ohiodnr.com
is the premier guide to Ohio's fall color season, posting weekly color updates and information to help plan leaf-peeping adventures. Weekly videos from Fall Color Forester Casey Burdick will highlight color hot spots around the state and provide information about some of Ohio's 100-plus tree species. This page also offers helpful links for leaf collecting tips, scenic road trips and more.
Looking for some great fall getaway ideas? The Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism has numerous itinerary ideas at discoverohio.com under their Autumn Adventures feature.
Ohio's 75 state parks, 21 state forests and 135 state nature preserves provide excellent locations to view fall foliage. To learn more about going on a fall getaway in one of our state parks campgrounds, getaway rentals or lodges, visit ohiodnr.com/parks
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.com.
Editor's Note: This is the sixth and final update in a series highlighting some of the best locations to enjoy Ohio's fall color season. Fall foliage video reports with information from Casey Burdick, ODNR's fall color forester, are available online. See the attachment for this week's fall color update and use the color condition key below.
Color Condition Key: Mostly Green - no real fall color seen. Changing - Still mostly green, less than 25 percent color. Near Peak - significant color showing - anywhere from 30 to 60 percent color. Peak - peak colors - as much as 85 percent showing. Fading - fading from peak conditions and leaves falling to forest floor.