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Foliage, Frights & Fun: Fall Travel in Ohio

Susan Post Susan Post Foliage, Frights & Fun: Fall Travel in OhioLeaves are changing! Where will you explore this fall?
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It’s finally feeling like fall. Bring on the apple cider, all things pumpkin and changing leaves. Experiencing all four seasons is one of the perks of living in Ohio, and fall provides the ideal backdrop to see, taste and explore all the state has to offer. Grab your scarf and decide which fall adventure fits your speed.

For the Weekender

Looking for a weekend getaway(s)? Yes, it’s football season, but there are plenty of other ways to spend a fall Ohio weekend. Ohio. Find it Here. and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) have teamed up on your fall travel guide. The new Fall in Ohio site provides a plethora of exploration ideas, from foodie-themed adventures, to a list of camping spots and 100 things to do this fall.

This week brings the ultimate fall festival, the Circleville Pumpkin Show running Wednesday, October 16 to Saturday, October 19, providing, pumpkins, more pumpkins, and eats that you didn’t know could be pumpkin flavored. The Fall Wine Express also leaves the station this weekend on Friday, October 18. Presented by Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville, the Fall Wine Express on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway is a strolling, hour-and-a-half train ride through the region. Plus, there’s wine and snacks.

The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway also offers a number of other weekday and weekend excursions to take in the area’s fall foliage. Explore the options at hvsry.org.

Circleville Pumpkin Show
The Circleville Pumpkin Show

For the Phantom Chaser

For those looking to explore a spookier side of Hocking Hills, read up on the cave ghosts that haunt the area. Take a hike and see if you have any hair-raising experiences.

For some Columbus-based scares, check out Columbus Ghost Tours. Historic haunts pair with spirits (in the form of alcohol) for the Booze & Boos Bus tour. There are a few spots left for this season’s scares. Or, opt for a Spirit Stroll to learn about all the things you should be a afraid of Downtown.

Take the haunt on the road with Fall in Ohio’s list of frightening finds, from the Peoples Mortuary Museum in Marietta to the Merry-Go-Round Museum in Sandusky (think ghostly giggles).

Ash Cave in Hocking Hills – Photo by Bucky Cutright

For the Foliage Enthusiast

Alas the pinnacle of fall: the foliage. Green gives way to reds, oranges and yellows as summer turns to fall. A summer-like start to the season means peak leaf-viewing is still ahead.

ODNR’s Fall Foliage Reports provide a handy guide to the state’s landscape. According to the 2019 Ohio Fall Color Forecast, northern Ohio will get its colors first in the fourth week of October. Central Ohio should sit tight for peak change the fifth week of October, and southern Ohio’s show will be in early November. Weekly color updates also give the scoop on 31 locations throughout the state.

The foliage enthusiast can stay up to date here.

Where will you find some fall fun? Let us know in the comments!

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