Ten Places in Ohio to Bask in the Beauty of Fall

There’s a seasonal magic that sweeps across the state of Ohio in Autumn. The crisp air returns and straight down the state, leaves, and grasses begin to transform before our eyes. The vibrancy and scale of colors to see in the fall is wonderful enough to leave the other 49 states turning a nice shade of green themselves - with envy that is.

However, it’s important that you, the pumpkin spice season loving, fall frenzy fiend, stay calm as this transition occurs. We can’t have you whipping off the highway, cutting off multiple lanes of traffic because you peeped the perfect tree to take a boomerang under. These moments need to be highly planned, methodical events so that you might soak up the season in all its glory while avoiding killing other drivers on the road.

Lucky for you, Aceable has assembled a list of gorgeous foliage spots to take your couple/ single and thriving/ family/ dog/ baby pics this autumn. Or better yet, leave your phone and camera in the car and take a moment to soak up some mother nature. Enjoy!

Shawnee State Park

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Located in West Portsmouth, Shawnee State Park has 63,000 acres of forest to explore. There are tons of outdoorsy options for you to get your play on in this park (including but not limited to): rent a canoe and paddle down the lake, go fishing for bass and catfish, hit the greens and play a round of golf near the Ohio River or bring a 6-pack of brews and host a picnic/horseshoe tournament. Whatever you get into at Shawnee, you can be sure the landscape that surrounds you will be nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Hocking Hills State Park and Forest

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Hocking Hills State Park is a great place to venture if you’re looking for a colorful campground or place to park your RV. Hocking Hills is located in Logan, just southeast of Columbus. This scenic park features an abundance of flora and fauna, waterfalls, creeks and rock bluffs. Check out this campground guide for an idea of the wonderment to come. This is also a great spot for the hikers and mountain bikers out there!

Lanterman's Mill Near Youngstown

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Lanterman’s Stone Ground Flour and Meal mill were built in 1845 in Youngstown. This place has got it all: foliage, waterfalls, a beautiful creek, a touch of history, a covered bridge and more, oh my! The forest surrounding this area is absolutely gorgeous and making the drive out there means you can hit the mill, the walking trail and see the quaint covered bridge on sight. Check the website because their hours change depending on the month.

The Townships of Geauga County

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Geauga County is full of so many adorable townships, it’s hard to pick just one to recommend. We’ll give you a highlight reel though. The Russell Township is home to the geodesic dome owned by the American Society of Metals and this structure’s industrial metal and glass creates an awesome juxtaposition to the nearby forest. South Russell hosts an awesome farmer’s market that combines the goods of all the local merchants from the whole county. Last but not least, Burton Fall Festival weekends at Sunrise Farms with apple picking, fall treats and goodies and a pick your own pumpkin patch!

Delaware State Park

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This 2,000+ acre stretch of wood and lake awaits you just outside of Columbus. Delaware State Park is a beautiful place to spend a day with the family. Located right on the Delaware Lake, the scenery available is unbelievable. As an added bonus, the park is hosting a fall festival at the end of September which their site says will include “movies, costume judging, site decoration contest, hay rides, and what all kids wait for, Trick-or-Treat.”

South Bass Island State Park

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South Bass Island is a beautiful retreat off the shore of Lake Eerie, accessible only by ferry. However, if you’re lucky enough to own your own boat, you can access the island via one of their many put-ins or launches. With a State Park on the island itself, campgrounds and picnic areas, you can find a lovely spot to get your nature on pretty much anywhere across South Bass’s 33 acres.

Ashtabula County

Wineries, covered bridges, and a barn quilt trial? Can one county really be this perfect for fall frenzy? Yes, you skeptic you, it can. Ashtabula County is pretty much a quaint as it gets, encompassing 26 miles of lush countryside off the coast of Lake Erie. Ashtabula includes all of the aspects of our other selections (camping, lakefronts, foliage, etc) but it’s also got a ton of autumn-based activities to get into. Most notably we have the 55th Annual Geneva Grape Jamboree, Oktoberfest beer tastings, wagons rides, bar crawls and more!

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

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Between the cities of Akron and Cleveland lies Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP). Visiting this park in the fall is like stepping into a fantasy world. The colored leaves scattered on the ground and painting the treelines are so vibrant and beautiful you’ll have to pinch yourself to believe they’re real. Explore the Erie Canal Towpath Trail on the park’s north end or take in the glory of Brandywine Falls, one of the many natural waterfalls in CVNP.

Mary Jane Thurston State Park

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Mary Jane Thurston is located near the Northwest corner of Ohio, about 30 miles outside of Toledo. This is just one of many parks situated on the bank of the Maumee River but what’s especially noteworthy about Mary Jane Thurston is reputation in stream fishing. Boasting a description like “one of the best places to stream fish in Ohio” means the water is clear, shallow, beautiful, and teaming with life. Pair that with the color-changing trees surrounding it and you’ve got quite a special place.

Holmes County

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Also known as the Amish country, Holmes County is an experience so unique to Ohio that it attracts out-of-state tourists to its experience. The artisans of the Amish communities are wonderful craftsmen offering furniture and quilts to clothing and market goods. However, what makes this county especially worth the visit in the fall is its rating by National Geographic as one of the best places in the world to see fall foliage IN THE WORLD. Yeah, you read that right,  the world  . Take a backroads tour on blaze your own trail. No matter where you end up in Holmes, if it’s fall foliage you seek, you won't be disappointed.

Krista Doyle