Ever go for a hike on a crisp fall day with your camera, hoping to capture the beauty of the season but falling woefully short?
Fear not, amateur photographer: No matter where you live in Ohio, chances are a gorgeous display of fall foliage is closer than you think — and with a little planning, you can save it for posterity…or at least pretty iPhone wallpaper.
Casey Burdick, fall color forester with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, offers a few tips about when and where to capture the best shots of autumn in Ohio:
Pick the right time: Burdick expects this will be “a great fall color season,” likely in two acts: The first trees will change in late September, especially in urban or low-lying areas where they may be stressed from the hot, dry summer; the rest will wait until October.
In northern Ohio, expect the best leaf color in the middle of October; in central Ohio, at the end of the third week; and in late October for the southern part of the state.
Pick the right place: Ohio’s state parks, forests, natural and wildlife areas are all great places to see fall color, Burdick says — whether that’s on a hiking trail, by a lake or at a roadside scenic outlook.
Burdick recommends taking fall color photos around the state’s lakes, rivers and streams because “you get to enjoy ‘double’ the color in the trees and their reflection off the water.”
If you prefer to drive to multiple destinations, many of the state forest roads have vistas cleared so you can see large areas of woodland.
Have a handy resource: For the most up-to-date info on fall color in your area, check out the ODNR’s fall color website, where you can view weekly updates of the best places to see fall color and even listen to a weekly podcast.
Header and Lake Hope State Park images provided by ODNR.