Autumn in Ohio is a special time. The air is crisp and the skies are clear. There’s a feel in the air that harkens back to high school football games and harvest festivals. It feels though like something more. It feels like a last chance, as Ohioans, to get outside before we cocoon inside for the winter.
My memories of Autumn in Ohio run deep, playing in the piles of leaves that Mom would rake up in the front yard. It brings to mind trips to the Pumpkin Show and high school football games. We hiked in the Hocking Hills and had backyard bonfires.
Once again, we are facing the end of Autumn, our golden season here in the Buckeye State. Though there’s a sadness as the season wains, there are a few more days to get out there and enjoy the last of our Autumn weather.
With winter rapidly approaching, it’s time to make plans as the golden days of Autumn slip away. There’s so much to do and there’s still time to get out there.
Have you been to a pumpkin patch yet? There are so many to choose from! Some of our pumpkin patches are just that, pick your own patches with no frills. At other patches you’ll find fall fun for the kids like wagon rides, slides and more. Pick your experience and get out to the patch.
If you’re a sports lover, the Buckeye State is the place to be. If you’ve got a hookup for tickets (or plenty of money), get yourself to an Ohio State Game. The Buckeyes, coming off a win at Wisconsin, are 8-0 and a top five team on anyone’s list. And of course, we’ve got both the Browns and the Bengals.
If your pockets aren’t quite so deep, you can still get out to a football game. This Friday marks the second week of high school playoff season, so we’ll have a few more weeks of football there. If it’s college football you want, Ohio has plenty of colleges still playing from DI through DIII and NAIA. You’ll find the tickets a little easier to get and a little easier on your wallet.
I spend much of my fall watching volleyball. If you haven’t, or it’s been a while, you’ll definitely want to check out a game. The Ohio State women are always competitive and they play some stiff competition. Can’t make it to Columbus? There are plenty of big and small colleges in Ohio and plenty of volleyball action. I find myself following a particular NAIA team around the state and beyond this time of year.
Ohio is home to some magical hikes, especially in the fall. I favor the Hocking Hills, partly because it’s just beautiful and partly because these trails come with a healthy dose of childhood memories. My favorite is Cedar Falls. It checks all the boxes: waterfalls, bridges, creeks, stunning leaves.
Looking for a short hike, however, Pumpkin and I made a trip to Ash Cave this past week. The leaves were beautiful and it’s a nice walk that isn’t too challenging. The trail is handicapped accessible and we saw at least two visitors using wheelchairs to explore.
The paved path leaves to an enormous recess cave. Past that the trail, no longer paved, continues. For those looking for a short walk or unable to handle the terrain, it’s very easy to turn around and head back to the parking lot. I choose it because, on this sunny weekday afternoon, it was just Pumpkin and I. While he walks fairly well on leash, I didn’t want to try my luck and chance him pulling on the leash while we were on stairs or near a cliff edge.
Old Man’s Cave is the popular choice. I always find the trails there a bit more crowded, but there are some unbelievable sites including waterfalls, tunnels and of course the cave itself. Rock House is a different type of hike and definitely something to be seen. You can visit the Rock House itself, which is unbelievable.
Beyond the Hocking Hills, Ohio has many trails to discover. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, in the Cleveland area, immediately comes to mind and would be perfect for a fall hike. Yellow Springs, in the western part of the state, features a number of beautiful trails and one of the most interesting towns in the state.
Ohio’s big cities, including Columbus, have metro parks systems with wonderful trails. In Columbus, you might try Highbanks Metro Park or my favorite, Slate Run Metro Park. It not only has trails, but also a working farm from the late 1800s.
Your Own Backyard
Some of my most amazing experiences in Ohio happen in my own backyard. Have kids or dogs? Rake a big pile of leaves and take pictures and videos of them jumping.
It’s a great time for a backyard bonfire. Have a dinner of hot dogs over the fire, followed by everyone’s favorite, s’mores.
The skies are clear and it’s wonderful time to sit out under the stars. Get yourself a cup of hot cocoa and bundle up in the backyard under some blankets.
FindingOhio: Autumn in Ohio
The take home message here is that, while the time is fleeting, there’s still time to get out there and experience Autumn in Ohio. All too soon, we’ll be cozied around a fire inside just waiting for spring.
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Check back often as we publish new content every week. In the meantime, get out there and enjoy Ohio!