Guest Blogger Louis Andres, Park Specialist, Pleasant Hill Lake Park
The changing of the leaves in fall in preparation for winter, brings a flood of memories of the seasonal changes and why I love Ohio in fall. Something about sitting around a warm campfire, eating fall food favorites and walking in the woods hearing the leaves crunch beneath your shoes, invigorates the body and soul.
We are so fortunate to live in an area rich with history, agriculture and natural places to see and learn. Mohican State Park, Malabar Farm, Pleasant Hill and Charles Mill Lake Parks are great public places that are in our Richland county backyard. Louis Bromfield called this area “the edge of paradise”, aptly named I do believe. There are so many things to see and do to list so I’ll hit a few of the highlights from the area. (127)
Enjoy Camping, there are hundreds of campsites to choose from beginning with the very primitive to the full hook sites (electric, water, sewer) at Pleasant Hill and Charles Mill Lake Parks. You can spend as little as $20.00 per night. You can bring your pet to both campgrounds and even your horse to camp with you at Pleasant Hill Lake Park.
Hit the trails, whatever mode of transportation you have there is a place to travel by foot, bike, horse, car or boat. hiking, with over 50 miles of hiking trails in public parks, Biking with over 25 miles of mountain bike trails, and well over 35 miles of paved bike paths and trails. Horseback riding trails, with more than 88 miles of bridle trails connecting Mohican, Pleasant Hill and Malabar Farm Parks. Miles and miles of Scenic Highways along State Routes 97, 95 and 3.
Try Lake Fishing and Kayaking/Canoeing with over 50 miles of rivers /streams and 2200 acres of lakes and over 20 species of fish.
See the Sites- A tour doesn’t have to be guided; take a drive, a bicycle trip or even a hike in the best spots to watch the leaves change color. Take a drive up to Malabar Farm’s Mt Jeez Scenic Overlook, or look out over Clear Fork Gorge & Pleasant Hill Dam. Drive over Mohican’s Covered Bridge and climb the Fire tower. Sit back enjoy sunrise and sunsets over the lake and hills and take a drive along a scenic byway and take in the best fall colors.
Festivals are great favorites. Attend Malabar Farm’s Annual Ohio Heritage Days Festival on Sept 26 & 27, then Prairie Peddler Festival on Oct. 3 &4. Visit Ohio State Reformatory for Haunted and Ghost themed events or camp during our Halloween/ Fall Campouts at Charles Mill Park on Oct.2-4, at Pleasant Hill Lake Park on Oct 9-10, 2015 and Mohican State Park Oct.17-18 and Oct.24-26, 2015.
Fall Foods- take a trip to a local farm, an apple orchard like Apple Hill Orchard, pick berries at The Blueberry Patch or find a pumpkin patch at Pumpkin Head Farm pick out your own sweet treats and learn about our local foods. When you get home, make a pie, a cake, or jam and share with friends and family for the holidays. It’s time to enjoy that pumpkin pie, caramel apples, & fresh apple cider.
Enter a cook off contest, No matter where you live, there’s a food contest waiting to be won, and everyone has a secret recipe they want to share. These contests draw people out of their homes and into a uniquely American tradition. Join us for the Chili /Apple Cook Off on Oct 10th at Pleasant Hill and Oct. 3rd at Charles Mill Parks.