Ohioans and out-of-state visitors are encouraged to explore a state park, nature preserve or forest this October to enjoy the many free amenities that they offer, as well as the fall color Ohio provides. Near peak and peak conditions are expected across most of the state this coming weekend, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). While the weather patterns and wind conditions we experienced across much of the state last weekend may leave some of the colors spotty, there are still many locations that will have fall color on full display.

“This fall color season has been a little different due to the warmer weather we have been enjoying this year,” ODNR Fall Color Forester Casey Burdick said. “Don’t wait for the perfect fall color to show up outside your door—there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the season all over the state.”

Many trees are showing yellow hues this year because it has remained warm throughout September and October so far. The yellow pigments, or carotenoids, are always present in the leaves but are masked by the green chlorophyll most of the year. Since the temperature hasn’t cooled, especially at night where it should be in the 40s or upper 30s right now, the sap in the tree has not thickened enough to really clog the veins in the leaf stem. This leads to less sugar being trapped in the leaf tissue, which causes the chemical reaction that produces the deep red and purples we have seen in past years. People should also be looking out for hickory and yellow-poplar trees, which are showing off their gold colors.

Autumn is also the perfect time to enjoy numerous activities to do in Ohio State Parks, such as disc golf. Nearly 30 Ohio State Parks have disc golf, and there is no fee to play. Some parks even have rental equipment available. For more information on disc golf, go to parks.ohiodnr.gov/things-to-do/disc-golf.

People interested in finding out where to find most eye-catching leaves throughout the upcoming fall color season should check out fallcolor.ohiodnr.gov, Ohio’s official guide to the changing colors. This website includes:

  • Weekly color updates and information to help plan a fall color adventure.
  • Weekly videos from Burdick highlighting fall color hot spots around the state.
  • Links to fall activities, scenic road trips, unique overnight accommodations at Ohio State Parks and more.

Fall is a distinctive season in Ohio with an identifiable color palette of reds, oranges and yellows; cooler temperatures; and aromas and tastes of autumn’s harvest from apples to pumpkins. It’s such a fun, vibrant few months to enjoy time with those closest to you that it feels like a holiday — or perhaps a Falliday! To help visitors find those special autumn activities in Ohio, the Office of TourismOhio has created a new landing page, Ohio.org/Fallidays.

ODNR and TourismOhio encourage people to take fall color photos and upload them to social media using the hashtag #OhioFall17. Follow @ohiodnr and @OhioFindItHere on Twitter, Ohio Department of Natural Resourcesand Ohio. Find it Here. on Facebook and @OhioDNR, @OHStateParks and @Ohiogram on Instagram to see more fall color photos.

Ohio State Parks is also having a photo contest this fall. Help us highlight the best of the great outdoors in a variety of categories for a chance to win great prizes, including free camping and gift cards! Enter today at ohiostateparksphotocontest.reserveamerica.com.

Source: Ohio Department of Nature Resources

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