The Top 3 Fall Hikes in Central Ohio
Central Ohio is one of the best places in the US to see gorgeous fall foliage. We sit at the crossroads of the north and south, and we boast tree species from both climate zones, meaning there is a veritable rainbow of fall color throughout October! With comfortable, normally dry weather, this is the perfect time to get out and explore the outdoors. Here are our picks for the three best fall hikes in Central Ohio.
The Scioto River and Hayden Run Falls – On the north end of the city, you’ll find a hidden gem. Hayden Run Falls is a spectacular 35-foot waterfall that cascades into a stream before spilling into the mighty Scioto River. Though the park surrounding the falls in a petite two acres, this is a trip worth taking in the falltime. After you scope out the falls, cross the river and walk north along its eastern bank – there is parkland stretching miles, and fall color is usually most intense near rivers and other water sources.
The Scioto Mile and Scioto Audubon Metropark – Beautiful fall color right downtown? Definitely in Columbus. Park at COSI, and cross the river along the Broad Street Bridge. Enjoy the more formal plantings along the Scioto Mile, and stroll through Bicentennial Park. Maybe even stop for a snack and drink at Milestone 229. From here, follow the trail south along the river and into the wilderness. When you see signs for the Scioto Audubon Metropark, take a slight left and your vista will soon open onto a stunning view of wetlands, colorful trees and the skyline of downtown Columbus. Enjoy the park, and don’t miss the Grange Insurance Audubon Center, where you can learn more about the wildlife of the area. If you’re a birder, October is a great time to see the fall migration through Columbus, and this is a great spot to watch from.
Battelle Darby Creek Metropark, on the far west side of Columbus, is an oasis of nature. With more than 20 miles of hiking trails winding through 7,000 acres of parkland, you’ll feel like you’re in the heart of the wilderness, but you’re only 20 minutes from downtown Columbus. Hike among restored prairies and colorful woodlands, and make sure you you don’t miss the bison – a herd of seven roams within a huge paddock.
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