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See the Sights of Autumn Through ODNR’s Fall Hikes and Family Events

See the Sights of Autumn Through ODNR’s Fall Hikes and Family Events

COLUMBUS, Ohio – As the state explodes with the oranges, yellows, and reds of fall, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is offering guided tours through state parks, nature preserves, and forests.

“The Buckeye State is especially beautiful when the colors of fall are on display,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “I encourage you to gather the family, get outside, and see some of the most scenic views Ohio has to offer this season.”

The hikes vary in terrain and difficulty. Visitors can plan ahead using ODNR’s DETOUR app. The app allows users to search the trails listed for the fall hike series to determine if they are a good fit for their skill level.

“There's no better way to experience the magic of fall than hiking surrounded by vibrant colors,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “There are so many state parks, forests, and nature preserves waiting to be explored, and there's no better time to discover your family's next adventure and make memories that will last a lifetime.”

There are events and hikes for people all across the state:

Central Ohio

Deer Creek State Park

  • Halloween Campout - Come and enjoy costume contest, site decorating, trick or treating and fun. Sponsored by the Friends of Deer Creek.
    • Oct. 29 at 3:00 p.m.
      Oct. 30 at 10:00 p.m.

Northeast Ohio

Beaver Creek State Park

  • Fall Color Hike – Take in the fall foliage on the Dogwood Trail. Meet at the main parking lot.
    • Oct. 23 at 10:00 a.m.

Mohican State Park

  • Guided Fall Hike at Lyons Falls - Grab your cameras for a colorful, fall hike to The Lyons Falls. Meet at the covered bridge.
    • Oct. 2 at 9:00 a.m.
  • Guided Fall Hike at Gorge Overlook Trail - Join Naturalist Kathy for a colorful fall hike on the Gorge Overlook trail. Meet at the Clearfork Gorge overlook.
    • Oct. 16 at 9:00 a.m.
  • Guided Fall Hike at the Hemlock Gorge Trail - Boots and hiking sticks are recommended for this colorful tour. Meet at the Class B Campground at the covered bridge.
    • Oct. 30 at 9:00 a.m.

Pymatuning State Park

  • Music of the Night Hike - Join the park Naturalist to look for and listen to the creatures of the night.
    • Oct. 9 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Twilight Hike – Bring your adventurous spirit to hike just after sunset. Meet at the nature center.
    • Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m.
    • Nov. 5 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Night Hike – Bring your flashlights and a sense of adventure. Meet at the nature center.
    • Oct. 22 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Autumn Extravaganza Hike – Crisp air and fall color will meet you for this one-mile hike. Meet at the Lake Overlook Trail by site 146.
    • Oct. 23 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Thankfulness Hike – Share things your thankful for while hiking a one-mile trail. Meet at the Lake Overlook trail head by site 146.
    • Nov. 21 at 2:00 p.m.

West Branch State Park

  • Night Hike – Bring a flashlight for this moonlit walk through the woods. Meet in front of the campground store.
    • Sept. 24 at 9:00 p.m.
    • Oct. 1 at 9:00 p.m.
    • Oct. 22 at 9:00 p.m.
    • Oct. 29 at 9:00 p.m
  • Nature Walk - Meet in front of the campground store for a relaxing, two-hour hike.
    • Sept. 25 at 5:00 p.m.
    • Oct. 3 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Animal Tracks – Learn to identify tracks on the trails. Meet in front of the campground store.
    • Oct. 30 at 5:00 p.m.

Northwest Ohio

Goll Woods State Nature Preserve

  • Discover the beauty of a northwestern Ohio forest in fall by joining staff for a woodland walk.
    • Oct. 17 at 10:00 a.m.

Maumee Bay State Park

  • Moon Walk - Get to know your park after dark! We will take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk and listen to the sounds of the night. Meet at the nature center.
    • Sept. 24 at 8:00 p.m.
  • Full Moon Walk - Celebrate the Hunter's Moon. Meet at Trautman Nature Center.
    • Oct. 22 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Full Moon Walk- Enjoy the Beavers with a stroll around the park. Meet at the Trautman Nature Center.
    • Nov. 19 at 5:00 p.m.

Southeast Ohio

Burr Oak State Park

  • Wild Edibles: Tasty Teas – Visitors can hike a one-mile trail looking for common edible plants, especially those used to make teas. Hike will include identification and tasting.
    • Sept. 25 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Fall Color and Tree I.D. Hike - Enjoy the seasonal change of color at Burr Oak State Park and use leaves and bark patterns to identify trees on this two-mile hike.
    • Oct. 8 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Halloween Spooktacular – Enjoy fall with this Halloween-themed event. Trick-or-treat, pumpkin carving and more. All activities meet at the lodge shelter house.
    • Oct. 23 at 3:30 p.m.
  • Owls of October - Learn about the amazing adaptations of owls and then take a short hike to call for these nocturnal hunters. Meet at the Burr Oak State Park Nature Center.
    • Oct. 30 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Fall Hike – Take in the fall colors with a two-mile hike around the lake. Meet at the Dock 1 Marina.
    • Nov. 6 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Kids Scavenger Hunt - Join the Naturalist at Burr Oak State Park to search for items along a one-mile trail.
    • Nov. 13 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Thankfulness Hike - With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we’ll take a two-mile hike to enjoy nature’s gifts at Burr Oak State Park. Meet at the Nature Center.
    • Nov. 20 at 2:00 p.m.

Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve

  • Fall Color Weekend- Some of the best sights of the region can be found at the preserves located in the Hocking Hills. Visitors to the event can explore 3.5 miles of trails, and historical lessons.
    • Oct. 23 at 9:00 a.m. (all day)
    • Oct. 24 at 9:00 a.m. (all day)

Hocking State Forest

  • Fall Color Tour – Learn about forest and wildlife management and tree identification. Demonstration areas will showcase a firewood processor, chainsaw skills, wildland fire equipment, and forestry trivia.
    • Oct. 23 at 10:00 a.m.

Hocking Hills State Park

  • Grandma Gatewood’s Fall Color Hike - Meet with the Naturalist at the Old Man’s Cave visitor center for a strenuous six-mile hike, including roughly three miles of the Grandma Gatewood (Buckeye) trail.
    • Oct. 16 at 9:00 a.m.

Lake Hope State Park

  • Tree I.D. Hike - Our naturalist will guide you on half-mile hike to discover hints to help identify trees year-round. Meet at the nature center.
    • Oct. 9 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Fall hike – Follow our naturalist for a 3.2-mile hike along the edge of Lake Hope surrounded by autumns golden hues. The hike starts at the Shelter House and ends at the historic Iron Furnace.
    • Oct. 16 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Scat, Skulls, and Tracks – A free hike to help you identify animals based on what they leave behind. Meet at the nature center.
    • Oct. 31 at 2:00 p.m.
    • Nov 13 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Tunnel Vision - Caravan in your own vehicle from the Hope School House to the Moonville railroad tunnel on a one-mile hike to hear about the history of the rail line, the latest projects, and plans for its future.
    • Nov. 6 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Tunnel Vision - Caravan in your own vehicle from the Hope School House to the Kings Hollow railroad tunnel on a one-mile hike to hear about the history of the rail line, the latest projects, and plans for its future.
    • Nov. 13 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Built by Beaver – Take a mile walk along Racoon Creek on the Moonville Rail Trail to look for signs of beaver activity. Meet at the Hope School House.
    • Nov. 21 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Peninsula Trail Hike - Meet the naturalist at the Hope Furnace to complete this popular three-mile hike along the lake.
    • Nov. 24 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Old’s Hollow Trail Hike - See a pioneer cemetery and a recess cave while burning some calories from Thanksgiving Day. Meet at Hope Furnace.
    • Nov. 26 at 10:00 a.m.

Salt Fork State Park

  • Hosak’s Cave Hike - Meet at the Hosak’s Cave parking lot for a .25-mile hike to this unique geological landmark.
    • Sept. 25 at 11:00 a.m.
    • Oct. 2 at 11:00 a.m.
    • Oct. 16 at 11:00 a.m.
    • Oct. 23 at 11:00 a.m.
    • Nov. 7 at 1:00 p.m.
    • Nov. 14 at 1:00 p.m.
    • Nov. 28 at 1:00 p.m.
  • Fall Foliage Hike – Experience autumn in full swing with this two-mile hike. Meet at the Stonehouse Trail parking lot.
    • Oct. 16 at 1:00 p.m.

Saltpetre Cave State Nature Preserve

  • Scheduled hike – Enjoy the sights while hiking by cliffs, outcroppings, and caves. Naturalists will be out on the trails to interpret nature for trail hikers.
    • Oct. 24 at 10 a.m.
    • Access permit required. Application can be found here.

Shawnee State Park

  • Annual Fall Hike Weekend - Lace up your boots and gather at the nature center around the campfire to visit with park staff. This moderate five-mile hike through the park is sure to please the entire family.
    • Oct. 23 at 9:00 a.m.
  • Fall Hike (Raven Rock) – Hike to view the fall colors 500 feet above the Ohio River. Enjoy the new improved trail with a gradual climb to the top. Meet at the amphitheater to caravan to the preserve.
    • Oct. 23 at 3:00 p.m.
  • Trail Trek - Explore a new trail with a naturalist each week. Length of hike depends on the size and skill level of the group. Meet at the lodge lobby.
    • Nov. 6 at 1:00 p.m.
    • Nov. 13 at 1:00 p.m.
    • Nov. 20 at 1:00 p.m.
    • Nov. 27 at 1:00 p.m.

Sheick Hollow State Nature Preserve

  • Scheduled hike - Naturalists will be out on the trails to interpret nature for trail hikers.
    • Oct. 23 at 10:00 a.m. (registration required)

Southwest Ohio

Caesar Creek State Park

  • Paw Paw Hike - Meet at the Day Lodge for a one mile moderate/difficult hike through a wooded valley. Bring a bag for paw-paws.
    • Sept. 23 at 1:00 p.m.
  • Trees on Thursdays - Join us on a short and slow stroll that's less than half a mile as we explore mysteries of the Magnificent Maple. Meet at the Nature Center.
    • Oct. 7 at 1:00 p.m.
  • Meet Our Trail Troll ‘Bruce the Spruce’- Explore the ever-present evergreens on site. Meet Bruce the Spruce as he evolves along the way. Meet at the Nature Center.
    • Oct. 14 at 1:00 p.m.
  • Guided Fossil Tour – Take part in a talk and fossil hunt in the emergency spillway. Meet at the Caesar Creek Lake Visitor Center.
    • Oct. 17 at 1:00 p.m.
  • Perimeter Hike – Enjoy the annual 12-mile hike around the southern part of the lake. Enjoy scenic views of the lake while it's wrapped in peak colors of fall foliage. Meet in the first parking lot of Fifty Springs.
    • Oct. 17 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Birding Hike - Bring your binoculars, birding books and hiking boots as we take a one-mile hike along the shoreline to look for birds. Meet at the Nature Center.
    • Nov. 20 at 1:00 p.m.

Caesar Creek Gorge State Nature Preserve

  • Fall Hike - Discuss and observe the strategies that a few species employ to survive the coming cold.
    • Nov. 20 at 9:00 a.m.
  • Tree ID - Interested in tree identification? We will hike into the Caesar Creek State Park preserve and work on tree identification in the winter season using buds and bark.
    • Dec. 11 at 10:00 a.m.

East Fork State Park

  • Backpack Trail Hike - Join the naturalist on a five-mile loop section of the Backpack Trail. Meet at trailhead, first left off Park Rd.1, Bantam Rd. entrance on Southside of the park.
    • Oct. 23 at 10:00 a.m.

Halls Creek Woods State Nature Preserve

  • Changes in the Fall - A morning hike with discussion about the changing season’s impact on the woods.
    • Oct. 2 at 9:00 a.m.

Hueston Woods State Park

  • Annual Fall Colors Hike - Meet at the nature center to walk through the changing forest. Bring your vehicle. We will drive to the trail.
    • Oct. 16 at 1:00 p.m.
    • Nov. 7 at 2:00 p.m.
  • History Hike - Journey to our Nature Preserve, the land that helped shape our park. Meet at the nature center.
    • Oct. 24 at 2:00 p.m.
    • Nov. 21 at 2:00 p.m.
  • The Walking Dead Hike - Walk the woods in your best zombie attire. Learn about natures decomposers and scavengers along the way. Meet at the nature center.
    • Oct. 30 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Turkey Trot- Work off that Thanksgiving meal with a three-mile trot! Meet at the Nature Center, to hike along the shores of Acton Lake through the Nature Preserve.
    • Nov. 27 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Pollinator Prance - Learn about what species call the restored prairie grassland home. Meet at the nature center.
    • Nov. 28 at 11:00 a.m.

Stonelick State Park

  • Trees are Terrific – Hike a three-mile loop joining several trails in the park. Bring water, camera, and a cheery disposition.
    • Oct. 2 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Fall Color Hike – A naturalist will lead you through a three-mile loop along the park’s trails.
    • Oct. 16 at 10:00 a.m.

Visitors can find more information all of these events by searching the ODNR events calendar. If you can’t make it to the trails, you can get an update on fall color every Thursday at ohiodnr.gov.

Consider an autumn getaway by visiting reserveohio.com and planning your next outdoor adventure. Our staff is taking all necessary precautions to ensure that your stay is safe and worry-free from check-in to check-out, and every moment in between.

The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft provides exceptional outdoor recreation and boating opportunities by balancing outstanding customer service, education, and conservation of Ohio’s 75 state parks and waterways.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.