The leaves are changing! Fabulous fall is here and Mansfield and Richland County Ohio fill the sunny crisp days and cool nights with all your favorites. Click here to plan ahead for peak color with the fall color map. Traditional fall festivals, outdoor exploration, and of course the haunted and scary are all here. Get them on your calendar before fall slips away. Here’s our Fall Tourism Top Ten.
MT. JEEZ – the view from the top.
No visit to Malabar Farm is complete without a trip up the dirt road to Mt. Jeez Scenic Overlook, the highest point on the farm and on a clear day you can see 3 counties. The view is quite expansive and breathtaking. Take a picnic lunch and your camera. Stop by the Malabar Farm Visitor Center for a map of the farm and Mt. Jeez location.
APPLE DONUTS – Worth every calorie.
Fresh apples and cider are favorites at every fall gathering, but whatever you do get the apple donuts at Apple Hill Orchards! The donuts are a highly sought after culinary treat in the area and sell out early. Baked fresh every morning with fresh apples and a sugary sweet glaze, dazzle your guests with this local treat.
HAUNTED HAPPENINGS – All the way from slightly spooky to the seriously haunted.
Mansfield is the Haunted Capital of Ohio and covers the span of all things haunted from traditional Halloween scares like the Trail of Nightmares outdoor attraction to the more extreme like Robert Kurtzman’s Mad FX Lab. The granddaddy of them all is the Haunted Prison Experience at the Ohio State Reformatory. With the eerie backdrop of this old prison, along with its Shawshank Redemption claim to fame, crowds come back year after year. For the serious ghost hunter, visit www.HauntedMansfield.com for a list of paranormal investigations, Ghost Hunts, and Ghost Walks at places like the Ohio State Reformatory and Haunted Bissman Building. See the full list for your own Night of Fright at MansfieldTourism.com.
CAMPING – Grab another log for the campfire.
Local parks showcase the best of fall colors with outdoor activities. Both Charles Mill Lake Park and Pleasant Hill Lake Park host their annual Halloween Weekend Campouts (Oct. 2-4 & 9-11 respectfully), a great way to camp and feel fall around you. Fall is still a great time to canoe and kayak and Pleasant Hill is a great place to spend the perfect day on the lake. The Shelby/Mansfield KOA offers up Spooks & Spirits Weekend (Oct. 9) for a scary (and not so scary) fun time. View a full list of area camping at MansfieldTourism.com.
MARKETS & MAZES – Rich in fall tradition.
Who can think of fall without thinking of apples and pumpkins? Apple Hill Orchards offers “pick-your-own” apples and pumpkins throughout the season. They also do a kid’s day the first Sunday of October. Take home some fresh apple cider in addition to all of your apples. Wayne’s Country Market also attracts the crowds, especially families, in October. Watch kids swing from the indoor rope and navigate the straw maze. Tractor rides and games keep the kids engaged while you shop for your tailgating treats and mums.
FALL BIKING & HIKING – Explore fall on paths & trails.
Ride the B&O Bike Trail and celebrate the trail’s 20th Anniversary! Stop by Why Not Cycling along the trail for a commemorative sticker. Those who enjoy walking over peddling can also walk the B&O Bike trail, 18.4 paved miles that meander from one quaint town to the next. Walkers will also enjoy the Shelby Reservoir & Trails, a 3-mile wooded nature trail. And grab the whole family for the Hike for Health Walk at Malabar Farm State Park (Oct. 17). Malabar Farm offers miles and miles of hiking and horse trails.
ZIPLINING – Feel the exhilaration as you fly through the trees of color.
What better way to view the color of the trees by being ABOVE the trees! Take a 2 ½ hour canopy tour as you travel ziplines, sky bridges, and rappels from platform to platform at Tree Frog Canopy Tours. Face your fears this fall.
FESTIVALS & EVENTS – Shop, eat, and experience fall.
Prairie Peddler Festival showcases hundreds of artisans, home cooking, bands galore and children’s activities nestled among paths throughout the wooded setting. Snow Trails will host Octoberfest with an outdoor biergartens and German dancers (Oct. 3). Malabar Farm hosts the Fall Fiber Art Show, the live performance “The Ghost of Ceely Rose” in the barn at the farm, programs like hearthside cooking and even a barn dance! The Great Pumpkin Glow at Kingwood Center Gardens offers a magical pumpkin-lit experience. Participate in the pre-event carving or admire the artistic handiwork as you and your family stroll the grounds full of hundreds of pumpkins. Ohio Bird Sanctuary hosts the Fall Family Festival, with Columbus Zoo animals, hikes, and all kinds of fun for the kids (Oct. 17). See all of these events on the CVB Calendar of Events.
FALL GOLF – Tee it up one last time.
Don’t put the clubs away just yet. A crisp fall day with the sun shining and the vibrant colors can even keep you smiling no matter what your golf game says. Visit area courses for fall deals too.
WINE & ALE TRAIL – Cozy spots to sample the season.
Sip and sample at the area’s wineries, wine bars, and brewery, including some seasonal offerings like pumpkin beer. A cozy way to spend a late Saturday afternoon after outdoor adventures. Get a new Wine & Ale Trail brochure so you don’t miss a spot.
Get busy enjoying our Fall Tourism Ten. Mansfield & Richland County Ohio packs so much into fall for families, hikers, and ghosts! A free area Visitor Guide is available here or at www.MansfieldTourism.com.