Fall colors are finally popping this season with near peak conditions reported statewide.
“Across the Buckeye State, the colors of the season are finally making themselves known,” said Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Fall Color Forester Greg Smith. “Expect to spot the bright reds of the black gum and some maple trees first, followed by the russet shades of the oaks and the bright yellow of the ginkgo trees a bit later.”
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 to enjoy the fall foliage 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 State Park.
Also, try biking or walking one of the many local bike paths that go through heavily wooded areas, such as the Simon Kenton Trail.
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 another cool way to witness nature’s woodland fireworks. In Ohio’s state forest five fire towers 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. Go to http://www.fallcolorohionr.gov to find the best scenic fall rides and maps.
Ron Brohm is a regular contributor to this newspaper.