COLUMBUS, OH – Leaf gazers were blown away this year by the seasonal colors of Ohio’s parks, nature preserves and forests, but windy and stormy conditions are bringing the fall foliage season to a close this week.
Recent rain and winds have been bringing down a lot of leaves across the state over the last week. Most Ohio state parks and forests are reporting that peak fall color is over and leaves are expected to start or continue falling this weekend.
“This year’s fall color season was much different than what we normally expect,” said Casey Burdick, fall foliage expert for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry. “Ohio started with drought stressed trees in mid-September showing early color, then nearly the entire state peaked showing a brilliant display around the second week in October. Lack of rain and strong wind events have shortened our usual five to six week fall color season.”
Although the leaves are falling, there are still great opportunities to enjoy outdoor fun at Ohio state parks, forests and natural areas. These scenic venues are free and available to all Ohioans and visitors who want to spend some free time hiking, paddling, fishing, golfing or horseback riding. This is a great time to take in the scent of the woods, the crunch of the leaves and the rush from the crisp, fresh air. And don’t forget the season for three of Ohio’s most popular game species – ring-necked pheasant, cottontail rabbit and bobwhite quail – begins Friday, November 5.
This coming weekend, check out one of the following events at one of your Ohio State Parks…
Halloween Campout, Deer Creek (C) – Oct. 29-31. Hayrides, trick or treat, crafts, games & campsite decorating. (740) 869-3124.
Halloween Campout, Dillon (SE) – Oct. 29-30. Costume and campsite decorating contests, pumpkin decorating & trick or treat. (740) 453-4377.
Haunted Hocking, Hocking Hills (SE) – Oct. 29-30 at the Old Man’s Cave campground. Campsite & pumpkin decorating, hayrides, trick or treat & movies. (740) 385-6841.
ROAR Day, Lake Hope (SE) – Oct. 30, 9 AM-5 PM at the shelterhouse and Hope School. Appalachian crafts, food & entertainment plus Halloween treats. (740) 596-3030.
Hayride & Moonlight Tour, Malabar Farm (NE) – Oct. 30-31, Noon-8 PM. Continuous 30-minute hayride tours include hot cider and a bonfire. Hayrides are $3/person. Bromfield “Big House” tours are offered at 6 PM and 7 PM at the regular fee. (419) 892-2784.
To find out more about these and other events, visit www.ohiodnr.com. The site will serve as a premier guide to Ohio’s fall color season. Its pages provide information for travelers who want to map a scenic road trip, adventurers who are refreshed and energized by the cool autumn weather, vacationers who seek places of solace to enjoy the changing seasons and even the students who need a resource for leaf collection projects. Ohioans and out-of-state visitors can also find information about fall foliage by calling 1-800-BUCKEYE or visiting www.discoverohio.com/autumnadventures.
Ohio’s 74 state parks, 21 state forests and 134 state nature preserves provide excellent locations to view fall foliage. Here are the most current reports from selected locations:
|Alum/Delaware Creek State Parks||Central||Fading|
|Beaver Creek/Guilford Lake State Parks||East||Fading|
|Blackhand Gorge Nature Preserve||Central||Fading|
|Dillon/Blue Rock State Parks||East||Fading|
|Buck Creek State Park||West||Fading|
|Burr Oak State Park||Southeast||Fading|
|Caesar Creek State Park||Southwest||Fading|
|Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve||West||Fading|
|Deer Creek State Park||Central||Fading|
|Harrison Lake State Park/Forest||Northwest||Fading|
|Hocking Hills State Park/Forest||Southeast||Fading|
|Hueston Woods State Park||Southwest||Fading|
|Indian Lake State Park||West||Peak|
|John Bryan State Park||West||Fading|
|Kent Bog Nature Preserve||Northeast||Fading|
|Kiser Lake State Park||West||Fading|
|Lake Hope State Park||Southeast||Fading|
|Malabar Farm State Park||Northeast||Fading|
|Maumee State Park/Forest||Northwest||Fading|
|Mohican State Park/Forest||Northeast||Fading|
|Mt. Gilead State Park||Central||Fading|
|Pike Lake/Paint Creek State Parks||Southwest||Fading|
|Punderson State Park||Northeast||Fading|
|Quail Hollow/Wingfoot State Parks||Northeast||Fading|
|Salt Fork State Park||East||Fading|
|Shawnee State Park||Southwest||Fading|
|Sycamore State Park||West||Fading|
|Tar Hollow State Park/Forest||Southeast||Fading|
|Triangle Lake Bog||Northeast||Fading|
|Van Buren State Park||Northwest||Fading|
|Zaleski State Forest||Southeast||Fading|
COLOR CONDITION KEY: 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.