Fall Color Report No. 1 - Explore Ohio Launched with Fall Color Hike

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Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director James Zehringer and TourismOhio Director Mary Cusick launched the Explore Ohio initiative by encouraging hikers eager to take in the fall colors at Hocking Hills State Park.

The Explore Ohio initiative encourages Ohioans to spend time in the state’s beautiful natural spaces. By visiting exploreoh.com, Ohioans have the opportunity, through various hashtags, to share their outdoor experiences with other outdoor enthusiasts and earn incentives when milestones are achieved.

The initiative is aimed at encouraging people to exercise outdoors and become healthier in the process. Participants can track their miles, share their photos and create friends groups on the website. Whether you run, hike, bike, climb, walk or paddle, the ways to track your miles are endless.

During the event, the first participants in Explore Ohio were able to see some changing foliage, although Ohio’s forests are still predominantly green. But with the continued good weather, the fall color season should be great, according to ODNR experts.

“The weather in September has stayed very warm but sunny,” said ODNR Fall Color Forester Casey Burdick. “This week, it looks like temperatures will begin to cool, becoming more appropriate for the season, which will allow us to see blushes of red in many tree species, including dogwood, blackgum, poison ivy, Virginia creeper and sumac as we kick off this year’s fall color season.”

Fall landscapes always offer a special invitation to head outdoors. Popular outdoor pursuits include hunting, as well as seasonal campouts and events at Ohio State Parks and state nature preserves.

People interested in staying up to date on where the most brilliant fall foliage will appear in the state should check out fallcolor.ohiodnr.gov, Ohio’s official guide to the changing colors. This website includes:

Looking for some great fall getaway ideas? Get inspired by fall color tours, the aroma of apple butter simmering, the tastes of the fall harvest, the crunch of leaves underfoot and more at ohio.org/fall.

ODNR and TourismOhio encourage people to take fall color photos and upload them to social media using the hashtag #OhioFall16. Follow @OhioDNR and @DiscoverOhio on Twitter, Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Discover Ohio on Facebook and @OhioDNR, @OHStateParks and @Ohiogram on Instagram to see more fall color photos.

Ohio State Parks is also having a photo contest this fall. Highlight the best of the great outdoors in a variety of categories for a chance to win great prizes, including free camping and gift cards! Enter today at ohiostateparksphotocontest.reserveamerica.com.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

TourismOhio, operating within the state of Ohio's Development Services Agency, works to ensure Ohio is positioned as a destination of choice, enriching lives through authentic travel experiences. The branding “Ohio. Find It Here.” supports Ohio's $42 billion tourism industry. For more, visit Ohio.org

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