September 26, 2002 at 6:25 PM EST - Updated July 1 at 8:20 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The state's peak fall foliage viewing season is still more than two weeks away for most of Ohio. However, the first fall color reports from across the state indicate trees are already beginning to don their autumn "finery" in some northeastern areas, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
"Woodlots and fields across Ohio remain mostly green this week -- the start of what we expect to be a very good fall foliage season -- despite the recent hot and dry summer," said Bill Schultz, fall color spokesman with the ODNR Division of Forestry. "Some state parks in the eastern portion of Ohio are already reporting the first patches of seasonal color changes."
To help Ohioans and out-of-state visitors make the most of this popular touring season, weekly updates are available from the best fall color viewing locations across the state through (800) BUCKEYE. Internet users can also find this fall color information at www.ohiodnr.com.
COLOR CONDITION KEY: GREEN = Still mostly green. FAIR = Beginning to turn colors. NEAR PEAK = Mostly colored. PEAK = Peak colors. FADING = Mostly colored, but fading from peak conditions. LEAF DROP = Few leaves on trees.
NORTHEAST Punderson State Park (Geauga County) Green; Findley State Park (Lorain County) Fair; Mohican State Park and State Forest (Ashland County) Green; Malabar Farm State Park (Richland County) Green; Hach-Otis State Nature Preserve (Lake County) Fair.
EAST Guilford Lake State Park (Columbiana County) Green; Salt Fork State Park (Guernsey County) Green; Blue Rock State Park and State Forest (Muskingum County); Green Fernwood State Forest (Jefferson County) Green; Beaver Creek State Park (Columbiana County) Fair.
NORTHWEST Van Buren State Park (Hancock County) Green; Maumee State Forest (Fulton County) Green; Harrison Lake State Park (Fulton County) Green.
CENTRAL Alum Creek State Park (Delaware County) Green; Mount Gilead State Park (Morrow County) Green; Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve (Licking County) Green.
SOUTHEAST Lake Hope State Park (Vinton County) Green; Hocking Hills State Park and State Forest (Hocking County) Green; Jackson Lake State Park (Jackson County) Fair; Burr Oak State Park (Morgan County); Green Tar Hollow State Forest (Ross County); Green Zaleski State Forest (Vinton County) Green.
SOUTHWEST Shawnee State Park and State Forest (Scioto County) Green; Hueston Woods State Park and State Nature Preserve (Preble County) Green; Paint Creek State Park (Ross County) Green; Caesar Creek State Park and State Nature Preserve (Warren County) Green; Little Miami State Park (Warren County) Green.
WEST Kiser Lake State Park (Champaign County) Green; J. Bryan State Park/Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve (Greene County) Green; Indian Lake State Park (Logan County) Green.
*Note that reported conditions are subject to rapid change with wind or rain.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)