Fall is coming! While warm-weather campers may be getting ready to pack it up for the season, you’re ready for one of the most beautiful times of year. And when it comes to enjoying the changing foliage, it’s hard to beat the fall colors in Ohio. But where are the best places to witness the gorgeous autumn colors? Learn about some of Ohio’s best places to plan your own Fall Colors Tour – and unique ways to enjoy this annual event.
Planning Your Fall Foliage Trips
To truly enjoy the fall colors in Ohio, you need to know when to plan your trip for peak color! The ideal time of year is dependent on which part of the state you’re in. Here is the forecast for 2017, broken down by region:
North Ohio: End of October’s 2nd Week
Central Ohio: End of October’s 3rd Week
South Ohio: Final Week of October
These timeframes are specifically for Ohio, so if you plan to hike other popular trails in the Midwest, check their local information for the best weeks to leaf peep! Depending on the weather, this can change. However, the changes are typically not dramatic. One way you can keep up-to-date with Ohio’s latest fall foliage forecast is to check Ohio’s Fall Color Report website, which contains the latest news on Ohio’s fall colors.
Best Places to View Fall Colors in Ohio
Maumee Bay State Park
For those that want to get the most out of their fall foliage experience, it’s hard to beat the 60 miles of hiking trails at Maumee Bay State Park. Located in on Lake Erie, in the city of Oregon, this gorgeous 1,336-acre park gives you a great chance to see the fall colors in Ohio during the leaf peeping season.
If you arrive early in the season, you’ll see the sycamore trees turning gold and yellow. Along with the dark reds of Maumee Bay’s burr and pin oak trees, it makes the perfect sight for a fall foliage tour. You don’t have to hike to see these either – for equestrians, the park features eight miles of horseback trails that are perfect for touring the fall colors of Ohio.
Mohican State Park
Located 20 miles southeast of Mansfield, Ohio, Mohican State Park and the adjacent Mohican-Memorial State Forest have over a combined 5,500 acres of natural landscape to explore. Between the hemlock forest, traveling along the Mohican River and Clear Fork Gorge, you’ll have your hands full! The maples, in addition to the eastern hemlock trees, gift visitors with an explosion of brilliant red and orange.
Open all year round, with hundreds of campgrounds, both electric and non-electric, it’s a perfect trip to plan for a weekend retreat.
Zaleski State Forest
As the second largest forest in Ohio, Zaleski is a backpacker’s paradise. Pack your bag and hit the almost 28 miles of backpacking trails to take in the sights and see all the fall colors in Ohio. You can even bring your pets – just make sure to keep them on a leash.
If you’re not interested in the full backpacking hike, there are multiple loops that are a bit shorter, though they’re still strenuous hikes that aren’t recommended for novice hikers:
South Loop: 9.3 Miles
West Loop: 8.7 Miles
North Loop: 7 Miles
Oak and hickory trees line many of these trails, and during their peak time of year, you can expect a very scenic hike! Make sure to bring a map, compass, water and lunch – even if you’re traveling one of the shorter trails.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
With millions of visitors each year, Cuyahoga Valley is Ohio’s only national park and is one of the most visited national parks in the country. It’s a popular destination for bird watchers – estimated to have around 250 unique species, including 28 species that are considered a “concern for conservation.” But it’ll be hard to focus on the birds while you’re captivated by the intense colors of the fall leaves.
Though the park has its fair share of evergreen trees, the tall oak, hickory and beech trees bring about a flurry of color during the autumn season. Whichever of the 13 hiking trails you choose to travel are guaranteed to give you a chance to enjoy the spectacular fall colors of Ohio. If you’re traveling with your family, we recommend the Blue Hen Falls Trail or the Haskell Run Trail – these are short trails easy enough for the youngest of leaf peepers.
Unique Ways to Enjoy Fall Colors in Ohio
Watchtowers at Ohio State Parks
Three of our state parks have fire towers that give you special vantage points for enjoying the fall foliage. These places are:
- Mohican-Memorial State Forest
- Tar Hollow State Forest
- Scioto Trail State Forest
They’re certainly not for the faint of heart! If you brave the climb on any of these fire towers, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking overview of these forest below. During the fall season, it’s an indescribable sight that makes them a must-see for dedicated fall foliage fans.
Fall Colors Driving Tours
The Ohio DNR has maps of some of the best routes for seeing the fall colors this year. With various routes for every corner of the state, it shouldn’t be difficult to find one near you! Not only do they give you a chance to see the foliage, they all offer opportunities to stop at parks, forests or other preserves to stretch your legs and see the colors up close.
Get the Perfect RV for Leaf Peeping – Contact RV Wholesale Superstore
If you’re planning to travel to campgrounds to see the fall colors in Ohio, the professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore can find an RV that’s perfect for you! Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at 844-601-1171