9 spots in Lake County that are a must see when the leaves finally change

Lake County Parks, like much of the Midwest, is going to turn later than usual

9 spots in Lake County that are a must see when the leaves finally change
Lake County Parks

LAKE COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - Where is the nuclear explosion of colors that is fall in Northeast Ohio?

While the third week in Northeast Ohio is usually a smorgasbord of color, this year the buffet seems less than exciting. Warmer temperatures may be the culprit, or may not be. No one seems quite sure why the leaves are changing later this year.

Patience does seem to be on the menu though, they will change - we’ve been guaranteed.

Lake Metroparks has offered a list of nine locations where to head when the leaves do change.

Chapin Forest Reservation With a panoramic view of everything from Lake Erie to the Cleveland skyline, the view of fall colors is one of the best overlooks anywhere. Enter from State Route 306 (Chillicothe Road) and drive to the end of the parkway. Lucky Stone Loop Trail (1.5 miles) begins at the cul de sac/Ledges picnic area and takes you to the highest elevations in the park. Enter from Hobart Road and access Arbor Lane Loop Trail from the parking lot. Hike this gravel trail until it intersects with Lucky Stone Loop; hike to the overlook and enjoy the panoramic view described above.

Lake Erie Bluffs Enter through Lane Road or Clark Road. Lake Erie Bluffs features the natural wonder of Lake Erie in Lake County’s front yard. In addition to the more than three miles of trails, a 50-foot coastal observation tower overlooks the lakeshore with multiple viewing platforms along a staircase that culminates in a deck featuring 360-degree views. The height and location of the tower provide visitors with a unique view of the lake and the surrounding woods ablaze in fall colors, fields and wetlands, along with a variety of wildlife.

Lake Metroparks Farmpark Enter from Euclid Chardon Rd. (Rt. 6) Walk or take a horse- or tractor-drawn wagon ride up to Planter’s Overlook to witness a brilliant view of fall colors that stretch across your entire viewing area. Farmpark admission or membership applies for entrance to this park. On the first Sunday and third Tuesday (October 16), LakeCounty residents get in free with valid ID.

Girdled Road Reservation (Skok Meadow) Enter from State Route 608/Concord Hambden Road Stroll Skok Meadow Loop Trail (1.09 miles) to the scenic overlook and deck. A meadow of 30 acres of native wildflowers unfolds before you with many flowers blooming through late summer and into the fall. Enjoy this peaceful view with the backdrop of trees lining the Big Creek valley.

Hidden Valley Park Enter from Klasen Road Take the River Breeze Trail; this riverside trail has excellent views of the forested hillside on the opposite bank. The display of colors never ends along the entire half-mile trail.

Hogback Ridge Park Enter from Emerson Road Few areas of this park offer the viewing vistas of some of the other parks, but here you walk through the colors. From the start of the Hemlock Ridge Loop Trail to the finish, fall colors will surround and envelope you. Come on a sunny day when the yellow leaves are at peak color and everything in the forest takes on a yellow glow.

Indian Point Park Enter from the upper parking lot on Seeley Road Hike one mile along Point Overlook Loop Trail to Lookout Ridge Scenic Trail, which will provide a spectacular view over the Grand River valley and the hillsides will be alive with colorful leaves.

Pete’s Pond Preserve Enter from Rockefeller Road. Follow Carriage Lane Trail (0.56 mile) to reach beautiful vistas seen from two observation decks. The 1.15-mile trail provides exercise and exploration in a 70-acre oasis for suburban wildlife.

Veterans Park Enter from Hopkins Road Walk a short distance from the parking lot for an extraordinary view of the backdrop of fall colors behind Granger Pond. Piers provide an unobstructed view of this area.

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