Autumn offers a pleasing contradiction.
The dying leaves of the season provide such lively color.
Stands of trees of Stark County are canvases for strong reds, vivid yellows, bold browns and breathtaking oranges—all on a unifying background of fading green. The evolving colors attract the eyes of those who are attentive to the changing hues of October and they hold them captive in an awestruck gaze.
What wonder we see in both nearby woods and the forests of the horizon.
Driven by weather conditions, the exhibition of nature’s ever-changing autumn tapestry is difficult to predict precisely each year. But, suggestions for where to go to look for fall color are abundant and nearly fail-safe in their reliability.
Where To Go
Southwest Stark County is the “Gateway to Amish Country,” so driving to this rural area at this time of the year almost assuredly will provide satisfying displays of fall color. If what you see fails to fulfill your desires, you can just stay on your journey and travel to Holmes County, where hills full of brightening trees likely will be even more abundant.
The Massillon and western Stark County legs of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Corridor—with their woods along the old canal towpath—offer prime viewing areas. Bike the distance or walk a spell and allow yourself to be enveloped by the season.
In Canton, your search for fall color could be as simple as mounting the steps in front of the McKinley National Memorial. The neighborhoods of the city and the colorful trees that are found in them will encircle you. Gaze out over them—an autumn theater in the round—and commit the color to memory.
Stark Parks venues annually are flush with prime viewing areas. In the past, Stark County Park District Director Robert Fonte has enthusiastically suggested a wealth of opportunities, including among them Sippo Lake Park, Deer Creek Reservoir, Walborn Reservoir, Mahoning Valley Trail, Hoover Trail, Middle Branch Trail and Olde Muskingum Trail.
The lake parks are perhaps the most spectacular of the leaf locations, Fonte observed in one previous autumn “because you get the drama of the color and the reflection off the lake.”
Looking for more distant locations of Mother Nature’s leafy artwork? Simply hop into your car and head out on Interstate Route 77. Drive north to discover the beauty of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Or, travel in the opposite direction to find stunning color in the counties of southeast Ohio.
Don’t Lose Sight
Nevertheless, despite the array of possibilities for the enjoyment of the season, our most important advice might be to not worry much about seeking out some special place where the color of autumn leaves is most astounding.
Instead, focus on opening your eyes to all of the season. Be alert to it unfolding. Try to see all of the color that surrounds us instead of just passing through it without stopping to admire it.
That hues of autumn are at once the highlight of all the seasons, as well as what unifies them. Autumn does more than merely follow summer and lead to winter.
“Autumn is a second spring,” French philosopher and author Albert Camus once wrote, “when every leaf is a flower.”