Fall foliage

A view of the fall colors from the Ohio River.

Scenic overlook at Picnic Point in the Shawnee Forest.

Now is the time to appreciate and take in the many colors that surround us this fall season. According to a press release issued by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) our region is in the peak season to experience fall color and foliage.

“Basically all that means is that this is the time where the majority of the trees in the region have little to no green on them,” said ODNR Representative, Casey Burdick.

Although the region is experiencing peak color, the vibrancy and brilliance has diminished this year due to environmental conditions.

“Prolonged periods of heat and dryness have definitely affected the richness of the color,” said Burdick. “You’re not going to see quite the range and that deep saturation that is typically associated with fall. We had a long hot summer and it’s been hot into September and October as well, I mean it’s the last week of October and the weather has still been in the sixties and the seventies. We see the same thing going on across the state.”

If you want to appreciate the leaves while they last, Shawnee State Naturalist Jenny Richards offered some suggestions on good vantage points.

“Take a drive 125 and stop at the park and visit. There are plenty of scenic overlooks, like Copperhead Fire Tower where you can really get a good view of things. Another alternative is Picnic Point or even Raven Rock, of course you want to get a permit before you hike there. If you wanted to take a longer trip up 125, you can go into West Union and turn right on 41 and take that to Duncansville, and visit the Amish country as well.”

The leaves won’t last long, according to the ODNR, they will start falling more quickly as the temperatures drop.

“Once the leaves change color and they’re susceptible to wind, rain or even frost, they’re more likely to drop,” explained Burdick. “They can stay on for just a short period of time, they’ll likely be gone by mid-November. It’s winding down.”

For more information about hiking trails or places to visit this fall, you can go online to www.ohiodnr.gov or by visiting “Shawnee State Park,” on Facebook. You can also call the Shawnee State Nature Center at 740-858-6652.

Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley- Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.