Fall colors update: Ohio

As we welcomed the first week of autumn, highlights of color are beginning to speckle the canopies of Ohio's woodlands as the weather begins to cool.

“Many maple and ash trees are welcoming us into this year’s fall color season,” said Casey Burdick, from the ODNR Division of Forestry. “The maples are splashing yellows and reds near the edges of Ohio’s woodlands and in many other areas white ash trees are showing their deep red and purple while green ash trees are showing their vibrant golden yellow color.”

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 many family-friendly 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 of games of 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 one of the following events at one of your Ohio State Parks…

Fall Campout, Buck Creek (SW) - Oct. 1-3. Crafts, nature programs, games, contests, trick or treat & hayrides. (937) 322-5284

Harvest Days, Beaver Creek (NE) - Oct. 2-3 at the pioneer village & Gaston’s Mill. Craft displays & demonstrations of pioneer life, including the working grist mill. (330) 382-9227. Beaver Creek Wildlife Education Center open 10 AM-5 PM, duck race at 3 PM Sun. (330) 385-3091 or www.beavercreekwildlife.org.

Halloween Campout, Grand Lake St. Marys (NW) - Oct. 1-3. Apple bobbing, pumpkin carving, hayrides, costume & campsite decorating. (419) 394-3611.

Apple Butter Festival, Hueston Woods (SW) - Oct. 2-3 at the pioneer farm. Arts, crafts & traditional apple butter making. (513) 524-4250.

Halloween Campout #1, East Harbor (NW) - Oct. 1-2. Scarecrow & decorated campsite contests, kids’ crafts and games, hayrides, haunted house, dance & bonfire. (419) 734-4424 ext. 2.

To find out more about these and other events, visit www.ohiodnr.com. The website will serve as a 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:

Location (Region) Color Condition
Alum/Delaware Creek State Parks (Central) Near Peak
Beaver Creek/Guilford Lake State Parks (East) Changing
Blackhand Gorge Nature Preserve (Central) Changing
Dillon/Blue Rock State Parks (East) Changing
Buck Creek State Park (West) Changing
Burr Oak State Park (Southeast) Changing
Caesar Creek State Park (Southwest) Changing
Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve (West) Changing
Deer Creek State Park (Central) Changing
Harrison Lake State Park/Forest (Northwest) Changing
Hocking Hills State Park/Forest (Southeast) Changing
Hueston Woods State Park (Southwest) Near Peak
Indian Lake State Park (West) Changing
John Bryan State Park (West) Changing
Kent Bog Nature Preserve (Northeast) Changing
Kiser Lake State Park (West) Changing
Lake Hope State Park (Southeast) Near Peak
Malabar Farm State Park (Northeast) Changing
Maumee State Park/Forest (Northwest) Changing
Mohican State Park/Forest (Northeast) Changing
Mt. Gilead State Park (Central) Near Peak
Pike Lake/Paint Creek State Parks (Southwest) Changing
Punderson State Park (Northeast) Changing
Quail Hollow/Wingfoot State Parks (Northeast) Changing
Salt Fork State Park (East) Changing
Shawnee State Park (Southwest) Changing
Sycamore State Park (West) Changing
Tar Hollow State Park/Forest (Southeast) Changing
Triangle Lake Bog (Northeast) Changing
Van Buren State Park (Northwest) Changing
Zaleski State Forest (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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My family (wife and three kids, sometimes the dog) and I have been RV campers since 2007. We own a 2000 Trail-Lite B22 Bantam hybrid, our tow vehicle is a 2006 Trailblazer LT EXT (5.3 V8 with 3.73 Rear Axle Ratio), and our setup includes the Equalizer sway controller. Looking to upgrade the camper in the near future, but until then we get out 2-3 times a month in season.