9/22/2008 1:00 AM
09/22/08 Experience the magic of Ohio's Fall Color season than with a woodland trek
GET OUT AND EXPERIENCE OHIO'S FALL COLOR SEASON WITH A WOODLAND TREK
There's no better way to experience the magic of Ohio's Fall Color season than with a woodland trek through a state park, forest or nature preserve.
ODNR foresters are predicting a color-drenched autumn across most of the state, as cool nights and sunny days turn woodlands vibrant shades of red, orange, gold and yellow.
Hiking provides some of the best and most intimate ways to view this annual natural phenomenon. Ohio's state parks, forests and natures preserves offer hundreds of miles of trails through some of the state's most picturesque terrain. ODNR has compiled a list of the best locations to visit this autumn and view the change of the seasons.
Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park (Portage County) - Three miles of hiking trails featuring unusual rock formations with names like Indian Pass and Old Maid's Kitchen.
Best for experienced hikers and adults.
Beaver Creek State Park (Columbiana County) - Sixteen miles of hiking trails and 23 miles of bridle trails that border on the gorge of Little Beaver Creek, a state wild and scenic river.
Findley State Park (Lorain County) - Ten miles of hiking and mountain biking trails (including part of the Buckeye Trail) that run through portions of a scenic old-growth forest.
Mohican State Park-Mohican Memorial State Forest (Ashland and Richland counties) - Thirty-seven miles of hiking trails, including some multiple-use trails, that slice rolling hills and the Clear Fork River Gorge, designated a National Natural Landmark.
Quail Hollow State Park (Stark County) - Twelve miles of hiking trails, including a one-mile paved path, are a good place for beginning hikers. This is on of the most picturesque urban parks in Ohio.
Fowler Woods State Nature Preserve (Richland County) - Three hiking trails meander through this 148-acre preserve, one of the oldest in the state. Some trees here are 100 to 200 years old.
Lawrence Woods State Nature Preserve (Hardin County) - More than 1,000 acres of natural wooded habitat with a one-mile trail that abounds with plant and animal life.
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve (Licking County) - Six trails of varying lengths cut this 970-acre preserve which lies on the Licking River Gorge.
Barkcamp State Park (Belmont County) - Four miles of hiking trails and 24 miles of bridle trails through one of the most biologically diverse forests in Ohio. Less-frequented trails, great for beginners.
Salt Fork State Park (Guernsey County) - Fourteen miles of hiking trails and 20 miles of bridle trails that circle a 2,952-acre lake.
Burr Oak State Park (Morgan County) - Extensive hiking on back woodland trails and across beautiful rolling hills.
Lake Hope State Park and Zaleski State Forest (Vinton County) - Seventeen miles of hiking trails and four miles of mountain biking trails in the park alone. A 23-mile backpack trail meanders through the forest in one of the most picturesque parts of Ohio. Along the way, hikers can visit Native American sites, the legendary Moonville tunnel and some of the best wild turkey and white-tailed deer habitat in the state.
Great Seal State Park (Ross County) - Five miles of hiking trails and 17 miles of bridle and mountain bike trails that run along the Appalachian escarpment.
Scioto Trail State Park and State Forest (Ross County) - Twelve miles of hiking trails along the Scioto River lie completely within the park; 26 miles of bridle and hiking trails lie within the forest. This very remote area is abundant with wildlife.
Tar Hollow State Park and State Forest (Ross County) - Forty-six miles of hiking trails and 25 miles of bridle trails, as well as 2.5 miles of mountain bike trails pass through deep ravines and dense woodlands of the park and forest. Portions of the Logan and Buckeye trails pass through the forest.
Hocking Hills State Park and State Forest (Hocking County) - Twenty-four miles of hiking trails lie within the park and nine miles of hiking and bridle trails lie within the forest in an area famous for its rock formations, waterfalls, caves and beautiful natural scenery. Portions of the Buckeye Trail pass through the state forest that also has designated repelling and rock-climbing areas.
Shawnee State Park and Shawnee State Forest (Scioto County) - A 60-mile backpacking trail winds through the 65,000-acre state forest - the largest in Ohio. A hike provides spectacular vistas of the Ohio River Valley. An 8,000-acre portion is the only true back country wilderness area in the state.
East Fork State Park (Clermont County) - Eighty-five miles of hiking trails, 55 miles of bridle trails and 46 miles of backpack trails, as well as five miles of mountain bike trails make this one of the most popular parks in southwest Ohio. Portions of the Buckeye, North Country and National Scenic trails cut through this park, which lies on the east fork of the Little Miami River.
Caesar Creek State Park (Warren County) - Forty-three miles of hiking trails and 31 miles of bridle trails, as well as five miles of mountain bike trails through forests and around a 2,800-acre lake. The park is one of the best fossil-hunting areas in the state.
Hueston Woods State Park (Preble County) - Ten miles of hiking trails, 15 miles of bridle trails and 12 miles of mountain bike trails run through an old-growth maple forest. The park also features a resort lodge.
John Bryan State Park and Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve (Greene County) - Hikers can travel between the villages of Clifton and Yellow Springs along the scenic Little Miami River Gorge and visit historic overlooks along the way.
Kiser Lake State Park (Champaign County) - Five miles of easy trails make this out-of-the-way park a mecca for beginning hikers. Trails lead through rolling woodlands and diverse wetlands.
Indian Lake State Park (Logan County) - Seven miles of hiking trails along a 5,800-acre lake. Three miles of trailway are paved for cyclists and rollerbladers.
For more information on trailways in Ohio's state parks, state forests and state nature preserves, visit ohiodnr.com.
For Further Information, Contact:
Jean Backs, Ohio State Parks
Jason Fallon, ODNR Communications