Finally, Ohio’s nights have a touch of cool. This means fall foliage season and time to book a room with a view. Happily, state parks offer leaf peeping at its finest. Here are two where fall foliage is a major draw.
With its 6,000 acres of state forest, Mohican State Park is a fine destination for catching autumn’s hues. This park’s lodge of 96 recently renovated guest rooms is situated next to Pleasant Hill Lake and surrounded by native hardwoods. Beech, maple, hickory, oak and ash are a few species that create a color palate of brilliant orange, yellows and reds. At the lake, boat rentals are available, and anglers can rent fishing equipment.
Although the miles of hiking trails means leaf viewing up close, Mohican’s Bromfield’s Dining Room pairs beauty with farm to fork dining. The restaurant’s expanse of picture windows provide views of the lake and surrounding hills.
In the midst of the Shawnee State Forest and the Applachain foothills, Shawnee State Park, the once hunting ground of Shawnee Indians, is in the section of Ohio known as “The Little Smokies.” Smaller than Mohican Lodge, Shawnee Lodge and Conference Center, with its 50 guest rooms, is celebrating the season with a fall color package.
Offered through November 30, the package, starting at $115, includes: a one night stay and breakfast for two, a publication “Plants and Animals of the Shawnee Forest” and a DVD rental of two movies.
Like Mohican, hiking in Shawnee is a draw, and because the park is edged by the Ohio River, the views are splendid. Another place to enjoy fall leaves is from the vantage point of Shawnee’s indoor swimming pool. The park’s Turkey Creek Lake has rowboat and canoe rentals. For those who prefer dry land activities, golf is another offering.
While planning a stay, check out the park’s activities calendar. Fall is filled with guided walks with a park naturalist, hayrides, craft-making, marshmallow roasts and area festivals.
Mohican Lodge and Conference Center
1098 Ashland County Road 3006
Perrysville, Ohio 44864
Shawnee Lodge & Conference Center
4404B State Route 125
West Portsmouth, Ohio 45663
Photos courtesy of Mohican and Shawnee Lodges