Fall color is almost upon us, where some of the most amazing hikes come alive with color. The brilliant reds, orange, and yellows seem to daily call one into the woods for an imbibing in their dazzling colors. Walking a trail with leaves of rainbow colors gently falling about you and the crunch of them underfoot can take you to a place of serene contentment.
Deer Haven Park, Preservation Parks of Delaware County
This little preserve is alive with bird, deer and amazing habitats that make this location a great central Ohio place to hike. There are 1.5 miles of trails but within this small park is the diversity you look for in larger parks. Our favorite hike is taking the Bent Tree Trail to the Grass Trail onto the Tree Swallow Trail where we connect up to the trail in Havener Park and then onto the Gravel Connector Trail back to Deer Haven Preserve. They have a visitor center there where you can view birds, find clean bath rooms and speak to the on staff ranger. Small park with big park amenities!
Conkles Hollow Rim Trail, Hocking Hills State Park area
1.9 mile hike around the rim
Hiking in and around Conkles Hollow Rim Trail is otherworldly. The path is intense for Ohio and the views are top notch from the rim. This is a hike you can come back for over and over and never get tired of what you see or find. The gorge that you view is one of the deepest in Ohio making this an outstanding place to come for a range of hiking in the fall or any season. The views from the rim over the Hocking Valley area are breathtaking!
Dripping Rock Trail, Highbanks in the Columbus Metro Parks system
2.5 mile hike loop trail
Columbus Metro Parks have some of my favorite trails, but the Dripping Rock trail holds my heart. This trail re-ignited my love for the outdoors and catapulted our family into our first back country hike. This trail offers beautiful views, changing terrain and large concretions along the way. The fall colors here are fantastic with many different kinds of leaves to view. You can spend your whole day at Highbanks, if you would choose to do so, hiking all the trails, touring the visitor center and having a picnic at one of the many picnic areas.
Pitt-Cinci Stage Coach Trail, John Bryan State Park
1.3 mile hike out and back
Serene views, changing terrain, and wildlife are some of the highlights of this fall hike. Entering into John Bryan State Park is fantastic, with colors popping out everywhere! This hike will leave you with fond memories and a strong pull to return again. The trail is out and back, but it doesn’t seem like you are on the same trail as you return to the trailhead. The views seem to change with every new step you take.
Brandywine Falls Gorge Trail, Cuyahoga Valley National Park
1.5 mile loop trail
Ohio’s one and only National Park offers amazing hikes but I had to pick one to share. The Brandywine Falls is phenomenal, offering an amazing waterfall and colors galore. Standing at the viewing platform watching the falls and enjoying the leaves is one of my top things to do in the Fall! The loop trail is great for kids because they can explore the creek and see mother nature on full display. After your hike you can go to the visitors center and fill out a Jr. Ranger book to get your badge!
Ohio is full of color, diversity and changing terrain and now is the time to get outside and view some of it. Fall is the time to lace up your hiking shoes and get outside for a hiking adventure. Whether your an avid hiker or tentative hiking newbie, these hikes are ready and waiting for you to come and explore.