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Ohio state parks open to enjoy fall color
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Wednesday, October 02, 2013 7:27 PM

COLUMBUS – October is the best month to see vibrant fall color in Ohio, and the state is on track to produce an excellent fall color season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

“The bright sunny days and cool, but not freezing nights we enjoyed throughout September were ideal for bringing out the most vibrant reds, yellows, oranges and purples this fall,” said ODNR fall color forester Casey Burdick. “The beauty of the fall is here for just a short time, and I would encourage people to start planning their fall color getaways so they do not miss this beautiful fall color season.”

Ohio State Parks and the state nature preserves are open and offering a variety of seasonal activities statewide. The burst of color at the onset of the season provides a perfect backdrop for hikers, bikers and horseback riders to make their way across the hundreds of miles of publicly accessible trails. Anglers and boaters can also get priceless perspectives of amazing fall foliage reflecting in the rippling water along miles of shoreline and waterways. To look up more details about the best places for scenic drives or the best views in Ohio, go to fallcolor.ohiodnr.gov.

Ash trees are starting to turn their bright orange or dark purple colors while a few of the maples are starting to show bright red branches, especially along the roadways. Burdick expects northern Ohio leaves to reach their peak color the second week of October, central Ohio the third week and southern Ohio the fourth week.

Ohio’s deer archery season for white-tailed deer started at the end of September, and the season will run through Feb. 2, 2014. For more information, go to wildohio.com.

Check out fun events happening this weekend at Ohio State Parks:

Apple Butter Festival, Mt. Gilead State Park (C) - Oct. 4-6. Apple butter making, campsite decorating, costume contest, pumpkin carving, fall hikes, entertainment, ham and bean soup and much more. For more information, call 419-946-1961.

Smokey Bear Fire Awareness Weekend, Shawnee State Park (SW) – Oct. 5 at the campground. Fire safety tips and equipment demonstrations by real firefighters, along with crafts and activities for kids with Smokey Bear. For further details, call 740-858-6652.

Apple Butter Festival, Hueston Woods State Park (SW) – Oct. 5-6 at the pioneer farm. Arts, crafts and traditional apple butter making. To learn more, call 513-524-4250.

Pioneer Craft Days, Beaver Creek State Park (NE) – Oct. 5-6. Craft displays and demonstrations of pioneer life at the pioneer village and Gaston’s Mill. For more details, call 330-385-3091.

People interested in finding out where the most captivating leaves will be throughout the upcoming fall color season should check out fallcolor.ohiodnr.gov, ODNR’s premier guide to Ohio’s fall color season.