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Oct. 1 Fall Colors and Weather Starts With a Bang: Ohio Fall Festivals

Ginkgo leaves shown in their fall color, yellow.

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COLUMBUS, OH – The first week of autumn is ushering in an array of colors as Ohio begins its fall color transformation, according to Casey Burdick, Fall Color Forester for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

“Many maple and ash trees are welcoming us into this year’s fall color season,” said Burdick. “The white ash are showing dark purples while the green ash are glowing with vibrant yellows and golden oranges. Various maples, especially along the edges of woods and in urban areas, are showing some early color; dogwoods are also showing some awesome dark reds.”

Trees in urban or wet areas, which are more prone to stress are starting to show a little color as well. The stress can be caused by extra heat, soil compaction, irregular watering, or even pollution.

Ohioans and out of state visitors who are waiting for peak fall color are encouraged to head outside and enjoy the crisp fall days leading up to it. Ohio state parks and nature preserves are offering a variety of activities that all can enjoy. The burst of color at the onset of the season provides a perfect backdrop for hikers, bikers or horseback riders who make their way across the hundreds of miles of publicly accessible trails. The brilliance of fall color will add to the excitement disc golf and golf, which can be played on beautiful, award-winning courses at several state parks. Anglers and boaters can also get priceless perspectives of amazing fall foliage as it reflects in the rippling water along miles of shoreline and waterways.

This coming weekend, check out the following events at one of your Ohio State Parks…

Fall Festival, Delaware (C) – Sept. 30 – Oct. 1 at the campground. Welcome fall with fall crafts, games, wagon & boat rides, movies, decorated campsite & costume contests. All reservable campsites are booked for this event; however, a limited number of non-reservable campsites are available on a first-come first served basis. Check campsite availability at www.ohiostateparks.org. For more information about the event, call (740) 548-4631.

Halloween Campout #1, East Harbor (NW) – Sept. 30 – Oct. 1. Get ready for Halloween with scarecrow & decorated campsite contests, kids’ crafts and games, hayrides, a haunted house, bonfire & cookout. All reservable campsites are booked for this event; however, a limited number of non-reservable campsites are available on a first-come first served basis. Check campsite availability at www.ohiostateparks.org. For more information about the event, call (419) 734-4424 ext. 2.

Fall Campout, Findley (NE) – Sept. 30 – Oct. 1. Enjoy seasonal crafts, trick or treating, hayrides and haunted trail.  All reservable campsites are booked for this event; however, a limited number of non-reservable campsites are available on a first-come first served basis. Check campsite availability atwww.ohiostateparks.org. For more information about the event, call (440) 647-5749.

Halloween Bash, Mosquito Lake (NE) – Sept. 30 – Oct. 1. This family friendly weekend of Halloween fun for campers includes trick or treating, movies, games, a decorated bike & stroller parade, campsite & costume decorating contests, and a potluck dinner. Check campsite availability and reserve your site at www.ohiostateparks.org. For more information about the event, call (330) 637-2856.

Pioneer Days, Beaver Creek (NE) – Oct. 1-2 at the pioneer village & Gaston’s Mill. Enjoy the backdrop of fall color for this heritage event featuring craft displays and demonstrations of pioneer life, including the working grist mill. (330) 382-9227. The nearby Beaver Creek Wildlife Education Center is open from 10 AM-5 PM, with fun duck races held at 3 PM on Sunday. For more information about the event, call (330) 385-3091or visit www.beavercreekwildlife.org.

Apple Butter Festival, Hueston Woods (SW) – Oct. 1-2 at the pioneer farm. Savor the sights, smells and tastes of fall with demonstrations of traditional apple butter making and pioneer crafts. Apples and apple products, pumpkins and decorative gourds are for sale. There is a $2 admission fee for adults; children under 12 are free. Proceeds benefit the Oxford Museum Association. For more information about this event call (513) 524-4250.

The ODNR fall color Web page 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 informative tidbits 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 www.discoverohio.com under their Autumn Adventures feature. And don’t forget to fall ODNR on Facebook and Twitter all season long.

Ohio’s 75 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:

Location Region Color Condition
Alum Creek/Delaware/Mt. Gilead Central Changing
Beaver Creek/Guilford Lake East Changing
Blue Rock/Dillon East Changing
Buck Creek West Changing
Burr Oak Southeast Changing
Caesar Creek Southwest Changing
Deer Creek Central Changing
Harrison Lake Northwest Changing
Hocking Hills Southeast Changing
Hueston Woods Southwest Changing
Indian Lake West Changing
John Bryan West Changing
Lake Hope Southeast Changing
Malabar Farm Northeast Changing
Mary Jane Thurston/Van Buren Northwest Changing
Mohican Northeast Changing
Paint Creek/Pike Lake Southwest Changing
Punderson Northeast Changing
Salt Fork Southeast Changing
Shawnee Southwest Changing
Sycamore West Changing
Tar Hollow Southeast Changing
Wing Foot Northeast Changing
Zaleski Southeast Changing

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.


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Ohio State Park Boat Lottery Deadline Aug. 31st

Lake Erie Islands. This was taken from atop th...

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COLUMBUS, OH – Boat owners wishing to rent public boat docks at several popular Ohio State Park lakes have until Wednesday, August 31 to enter lottery drawings used to select renters for available docks. Application forms are now available through the individual park offices.

Lottery drawings will be held in September for boat docks at Alum Creek, Buck Creek, Buckeye Lake, Cleveland Lakefront, Deer Creek, Delaware, Lake Milton, Middle Bass Island, Paint Creek, Rocky Fork and West Branch state parks.

Completed forms may be submitted in person to the respective parks by Wednesday, August 31, or sent by certified mail/return receipt.  Only one application per boat is permitted, and must be submitted by the boat owner.  Lottery applicants must be able to show current proof of boat ownership or lease at the time of entry, and may be required to show a photo ID.  Boats titled to dealerships are not eligible.

The drawings are held on or before the third Saturday in September.  Applicants need not be present to win, and the winning lottery applicants will be notified by the park.  Persons selected by the lottery are entitled to renewal privileges for up to five years.  Renewals may be completed in person or on-line on the Ohio State Parks website, www.ohiostateparks.org.

Contact the individual park offices for specific details on allowable boat sizes, dock amenities, and dock rental fees, as well as other application procedures.

In addition to the parks conducting the September lotteries, several state parks have seasonal docks available for rent on a first-come first-served basis.  They include A.W. Marion and Buckeye Lake in central Ohio; East Harbor, Grand Lake St. Marys, Indian Lake, Kiser Lake, Lake Loramie, and Mary Jane Thurston in northwest Ohio; Geneva, Guilford Lake, Mosquito Lake, Punderson, and West Branch in northeast Ohio; Burr Oak, Dillon, Salt Fork, and Shawnee in southeast Ohio; and Caesar Creek, Cowan Lake, and Hueston Woods in southwest Ohio

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.gov


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100 Days of Summer: Mountain and Trail Biking in NE Ohio

mountain bike in downhill race in forest ski trail

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Trail Biking

Akron Metroparks Bike and Hike Trail- 33 Miles

Brady’s Run Trails– Newly Improved Technical trails. 15 Miles

Mill Creek Bikeway– D’oh. I Left this off for almost a year

Stavich Bicycle Trail– Great Unknown Trail from Newcastle to Struthers along the river.

Ohio Bikeways.net– Ohio Rail to trails site.

Three River Heritage trail– 37 Mile bike and jogging trail around downtown Pittsburgh

Great Allegheny Passage– Connect Pittsburgh Airport (Parking) and region to Washington DC through a system of Rail to trail routes. Very Nice

Little Beaver Greenway Trail– 11 Miles in Lisbon, Canopied 10 foot wide paved trail

Moraine– 7 Mile Trail Bike Trail

Panhandle Trail-29 Mile Rail to Trail from Carnegie to Weirton.

Western Reserve Greenway– 47 Miles of trail, mostly in Ashtabula county

Yough River Trail-– 71 Miles of rail to trails

Mountain Biking

Beaver Creek-15 miles of mixed use trails for advanced users.

Mosquito Lake– 5 miles Mixed use trails.

West Branch– 6 Bike Loops with over 8 miles of trail maintained by CAMBA

Quail Hollow-4 Mile Mountain Bike Trail

Ohio Pyle-13 Miles Of Mountain Bike Trails

Mohican– New 24 Mile Single loop Moraine– 6 Mile Mountain Biking Trail

Raccoon CreekMany Multi-use trails.


Outspokin WheelmenYoungstown‘s Recreation Biking Group

Western PA Wheelmen– And The West Pa Bike Group

CAMBA-Cleveland Area MB Association

Ohio City CyclesCleveland area Advocacy and education group

OMBC– Ohio Mountain bike Championship Series


Blue Collar Mountain Biking

Bike Geek

Dirt Church

Rail to trail Trail List


Essential Gear: Water and Hydration

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