Across the Buckeye State, the colors of the season are making themselves known in a big way. Fall colors are peaking, but it’s not too late to enjoy the show.
It’s that time of the year where nature dazzles us with its free display of fall colors. Some call it a “Woodlands Fireworks Show.” And why not? In autumn, the bright reds of the black gum trees appear first along with the bright reds of various maple trees. Next, the russet shades of oak trees follow with the bright yellow of the ginkgo trees begin to burst. It’s like nature is putting on a month long fireworks show of colors.
Champaign County is a great area for leaf peepers to take short road trips to view, admire and photograph fantastic local fall foliage.
Are you a leaf peeper? If not, your chance to become one is here. A leaf peeper is simply a person who travels to view and photograph the fall foliage in areas where leaves change colors in autumn. Leaf peeping is officially defined as a breed of tourism exclusively about finding fall foliage, admiring it and photographing it.
Some great ways to view nature’s “color show” are by hiking, walking, biking or driving through your local area parks, forest, nature preserves or state parks.
Some of the best nearby places to visit and enjoy the fall foliage are: Davey Woods, Kiser Lake, Indian Lake, Buck Creek State Park, Clifton Gorge, John Bryan, Cedar Bog, Gallagher Fen State Nature Preserve, Bruckner Nature Center, Siegenthaler-Kaestner Esker State Nature Preserve, Mad River Gorge, Garbry Big Woods Reserve, Lake Loramie, Alum Creek, Grand Lake State Marys and Deer Creek State Park.
Also, try biking or walking one of the many local bike paths that go through heavily wooded areas.
If you want to make your leaf peeping a nice weekend trip or getaway, 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 also another cool way to witness nature’s woodland fireworks. Ohio’s state forest have five fire towers that 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. To find the best scenic fall rides and maps simply Google “fall colors odnr” or go to https://ohiodnr.gov/wps/portal/gov/odnr/go-and-do/see-the-sights/fall-color/
Ron Brohm is a regular contributor to this newspaper.