The changing of the leaves to their vibrant fall colors is certainly one of the best aspects of this season. The reds, yellows, oranges and purples of fall foliage make a hike in the woods a special treat. While thinking of making a special trip to see this foliage, there are many great locations in and around Columbus, Ohio to view these fall colors.
The Columbus Metro Parks offer a number of great places to view fall colors. Both Battelle Darby Creek and Prairie Oaks Metro Parks feature a good mix of trees and prairies with fall flowers. This combination provides a great panorama view of colors.
In addition to exploring the woods on your own, many of the Columbus Metro Parks offer fall color hikes and other programs throughout October. Check the listings in ParkScope magazine or on the Metro Parks website for times and details of programs at your favorite park.
The Hocking Hills region is a regular destination for those in Columbus looking for a good hike. In fall, it is a great destination for those looking to see spectacular fall foliage. Any of the parks within the Hocking Hills region will be alive with color during the fall season, but two areas stand out from the others for their breath-taking vistas: Cantwell Cliffs and Conkle’s Hollow.
Hocking Hills also offers guided hikes and other ways to view the fall colors. One of the favorite guided hikes offered in the Hocking Hills region is the annual Grandma Gatewood Fall Color Hike. This 6-mile hike leads from Old Man’s Cave to Cedar Falls and back. It is not an easy hike, not recommended for those who are not up to a long, rugged trek, but the vistas and the colors make it worth the effort. For those looking for an easier way to see the fall colors in this region, the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway offers special trips through the fall foliage season.
Dawes Arboretum is another great location to view the colors of fall. With its great variety of trees and a seasonal garden, Dawes Arboretum is never the same walk twice. During the fall color season, that great variety also means that their will be a wide variety of shades in the leaves.
Planning your fall color viewing in Columbus has never been easier. While the peak color conditions typically hit in mid-October in central Ohio, this has been delayed in recent years due to the long, warm summers. Expect peak colors around Columbus to hit around the third week of October, and about a week later to the south, including in the Hocking Hills region. To help you make even more specific plans, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has a Fall Foliage Homepage. This website has predictions for peak color, reports from individual parks around Ohio, and a podcast series that begins in late September and continues throughout October.