Well, it’s here — fall in all its glory, or at least it will be in the coming weeks. Many of us will head out in search of beautiful fall foliage to places far and wide when there is beauty to be found in our own back yard.
Of course, timing is of the essence. Keep your eyes open, and you will know when the time is right.
Clinton County is blessed not only with two state parks (Cowan Lake State Park and Caesar Creek State Park) in close proximity, but also by a number of nature preserves and country roads that behold their own colors. If you don’t want to set out willy-nilly down the county’s back roads, plan on taking in some of the Barn Quilt Trail. A self-guided map is available to set you on course.
Let’s talk about the county’s nature preserves. For those who don’t know, nature preserves are comprised of protected land that has been set aside for people to enjoy. They are unblemished and exist as a testimony to the beauty of the land for hundreds and even thousands of years.
Unique plant and animal communities thrive in the preserves and are the perfect location for walking a trail, realizing your inner-shutterbug talents or gazing through binoculars. Ever heard of Anliot-Davidson Woods, Collett Woods Nature Preserve, Culbertson (Dean A) State Nature Preserve or Dr. Nathan Hale Woods? All are located in Clinton County and welcome you. Fall foliage is prime in these protected lands.
Our state parks are another excellent venue for enjoying the fall foliage as leaves begin changing around the lakes and reflect off the water creating a palette of colors to enjoy. You may not know that Cowan Lake State Park takes up 7,000 acres with four miles of hiking trails, 1,000 acres of beach and one mile of mountain bike trails. It’s also a rather quiet getaway as only boats with 10 horsepower motors or less are allowed on the lake.
This also makes it the perfect spot for sailing. There’s nothing more beautiful than the gliding sail boats with their colorful sails against the backdrop of fall’s handiwork. Caesar Creek State Park encompasses a 2,830-acre lake, plus 43 miles of hiking trails that traverse 4,700 total acres. There is no limit to the horsepower of the watercraft on the lake. Take your pick.
Of course, you always have the choice of spending time on one of the recreational trails that have been established by the Clinton County Trails Coalition. Often referred to as “bike paths” there are approximately seven miles of trails in Wilmington with more trails planned.
Last, but not least, are the neighborhood parks that can be found over the entire county. Each has its own attributes and programs. Even a trip to one of the playgrounds offers a display of fall beauty.
So as you can see, a staycation in Clinton County may be the way to go when searching for fall foliage. You’ll spend less without sacrificing an experience. For details on any of these attractions, call the Visitors Bureau at 937-382-1965 or visit www.clintoncountyohio.com.
Hope to see you out and about!
Debbie Stamper is Executive Director of the Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau.