10/1/2008 1:00 AM
10/01/08 This is the first in a series of updates, highlighting some of the best locations to enjoy Ohio's Fall Color season
OHIO FALL COLOR UPDATE #1 - OCTOBER 1
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first in a series of updates, highlighting some of the best locations to enjoy Ohio's Fall Color season. Updated reports are available from ODNR each Tuesday through early November. Also, featured each week will be a getaway destination in a region of Ohio showing peak color.
COLUMBUS, OH - Ohio's forests and fields continue to change color this week, with greens turning to yellow, and with rusts and golds appearing in most areas. Peak color is still one week away for most of the state.
"Most parts of the state are starting to notice the first hints of fall color with yellows and oranges being reported and spots of red in the landscape showing," said Casey Munchel, of the ODNR Division of Forestry. "Buckeye trees are turning yellow and blackgum trees and sumac are starting to show bright red in the north along with poison ivy and Virginia creeper vines."
Most ODNR facilities are reporting 10 to 20 percent color in the woods this week. However, Munchel noted that most of the spotty color is on stressed out trees from the wind storm this past week. Cooler nights should speed the onset of good fall color and add more variety to the landscape in coming days.
Special seasonal campouts and events are slated for this weekend at Mt. Gilead State Park in Morrow County, Caesar Creek State Park in Warren County, Hueston Woods State Park in Preble County, Blue Rock State Park in Muskingum County, Malabar Farm State Park in Richland County, Beaver Creek State Park in Columbiana County, Van Buren State Park in Hancock County and Buck Creek in Clark County.
Residents and visitors are urged to take care with campfires and debris fires and observe the state's outdoor burning rules. Shawnee State Park in Scioto County will observe Smokey Bear Fire Awareness & Prevention Weekend with a round of activities to educate the public about wildfire prevention on Saturday, October 4.
To enjoy the beautiful peak colors in northwest Ohio, plan a weekend getaway to East Harbor State Park in Ottawa County and stay in an affordable Camper Cabin or camp with your own equipment while visiting nearby nature preserves, scenic rivers, wildlife areas and forests.
Just down the road from East Harbor is Marblehead Lighthouse State Park featuring one of Lake Erie's best known, most-photographed landmarks and the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the Great Lakes. Take a peak into the lighthouse and visit the museum in the Keeper's House.
East of Marblehead Lighthouse is Old Woman Creek State Nature Preserve. Take a stroll on the boardwalk and you may see a bald eagle. Old Woman Creek is one of the few remaining freshwater type estuaries in the Lake Erie region and is excellent for viewing American water lotus beds and bald eagles.
Continue bird watching at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area and see mallards, black ducks, blue-winged teal, ring-necked ducks, red-breasted mergansers and many more. Catch a glimpse of muskrats, mink, cottontail rabbits and white-tailed deer while hunting rails, moorhen, snipe and mourning dove. Kids can hunt too, during the Youth Waterfowl Hunt on October 4 and 5 held statewide. Children fifteen years of age and younger can participate and must be accompanied by an adult.
Not far away is Meztger Marsh Wildlife Area, which is also excellent for viewing waterfowl and fishing. Crappies are plentiful in October and can be caught near fallen trees, or other well-covered areas. Parking areas along the road allow easy access to this productive fishing channel.
Travel further west to Maumee State Scenic River and paddle down this stunning waterway. With such a healthy forested corridor, you are sure to see spectacular fall color.
To see even better fall color, hike through Maumee State Forest on its 66 miles of trails. Hunting is also permitted in the forest in accordance with Division of Wildlife regulations.
Other activities near East Harbor State Park include boat and ferry rides to Kelleys Island and South Bass Island offering a unique perspective of fall color. History buffs will want to visit Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial to learn about the Battle of Lake Erie, during the war of 1812.
To help Ohioans and out-of-state visitors make the most of this popular outdoor season, weekly updates are available from the best Fall Color viewing locations across the state by calling 1-800-BUCKEYE. Users can also find Fall Color information on the Internet at ohiodnr.com and at www.discoverohio.com/autumnadventures.
Ohio's 74 state parks, 20 state forests and 131 state nature preserves provide excellent locations to sample the fall foliage. Here are the most current reports from selected locations:
Alum Creek State Park (Delaware County) Changing
Mount Gilead State Park (Morrow County) Changing
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve (Licking County) Changing
Deer Creek State Park (Pickaway County) Changing
Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Cuyahoga, Summit counties) Changing
Punderson State Park (Geauga County) Changing
Mohican State Park and State Forest (Ashland County) Changing
Malabar Farm State Park (Richland County) Changing
Eagle Creek State Park (Portage County) Changing
Quail Hollow State Park (Stark County) Changing
Guilford Lake State Park (Columbiana County) Changing
Salt Fork State Park (Guernsey County) Changing
Blue Rock State Park (Muskingum County) Changing
Beaver Creek State Park (Columbiana County) Changing
Dillon State Park (Muskingum County) Changing
Lake Hope State Park (Vinton County) Changing
Hocking Hills State Park and State Forest (Hocking County) Changing
Burr Oak State Park (Morgan County) Changing
Tar Hollow State Forest (Ross County) Changing
Lake Alma State Park (Vinton, Jackson counties) Changing
Zaleski State Forest (Vinton County) Changing
Shawnee State Park and State Forest (Scioto County) Changing
Hueston Woods State Park and State Nature Preserve (Preble County) Changing
Paint Creek State Park (Ross County) Changing
Caesar Creek State Park and State Nature Preserve (Warren County) Changing
Kiser Lake State Park (Champaign County) Changing
Sycamore State Park (Montgomery County) Changing
J. Bryan State Park/Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve (Greene County) Changing
Indian Lake State Park (Logan County) Changing
Buck Creek State Park (Clark County) Changing
Van Buren State Park (Hancock County) Changing
Maumee State Forest (Fulton County) Changing
Harrison Lake State Park (Fulton County) 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.
For Further Information, Contact:
Jason Fallon, ODNR Communications