It looks like another spectacular year for fall colors in Ohio.
The leaves are starting to change now with fall foliage in Ohio beginning to peak in many areas.
Shorter days and cooler nights are a sign that autumn is underway, and what a great time of the year it is too, offering such activities as Oktoberfest, hayrides, football games, fall hiking, the smell of fallen leaves, fall festivals, picking pumpkins and Halloween.
It’s a fantastic time of the year, and for many their favorite time of the year.
Some great ways to view the blazing red, orange and yellow leaves this year are by walking, hiking or driving through your local area parks, forest, nature preserves or state parks. Some the best areas to visit are Kiser Lake, Indian Lake, Buck Creek, Clifton Gorge, John Bryan, Lake Loramie, Alum Creek, Grand Lake State Marys, Caesars Creek, Deer Creek, Delaware, Hueston Woods and Hocking Hills.
Also, try biking or walking one of the many bike paths that go through heavily wooded areas.
If you are willing to travel a little, one of the most unique, memorable and panoramic ways to view the spectacular colors of the changing leaves this year is from the top of a fire tower. Ohio had 45 fire towers at one point in the past, but only seven of these historic structures still remain in the 21 forests throughout Ohio. Only five are currently open for public access: Blue Rock, Hocking, Mohican, Zaleski and Shawnee.
Climb to the top of one of these mammoth structures and witness a unique vantage point and unforgettable views of the fall colors.
Scenic train rides offered in some parts of the state are yet another 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.
Or, simply just get in your car and take a scenic drive through the rural countryside to enjoy all the dazzling fall colors this season. And if you just venture off the beaten path a little, you might be surprised with how many other hidden roadside gems you may encounter.
In fact, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources provides scenic fall foliage maps of the best scenic drives and activities in our area and throughout the state. Many include covered bridges and unique roadside attractions. Go to http://www.fallcolorohionr.gov to find the best scenic fall rides and maps, and go to http://www.ohio.org/fallidays to find the best fall activities.
So, get out this fall and enjoy the annual “woodland fireworks” and have some fun while you’re at it.
Ron Brohm is a regular contributor to this newspaper.