What Are the Sights, Sounds, and Smells of an Ohio Fall?


It isn’t New England, but there are beautiful autumn leaf displays, a rich apple harvest, and lots of fun to be found during the Autumn season. It may be arguable, but I would submit that this is the very best season to have a visit to this area, especially if you want the best of weather.

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. ~Stanley Horowitz

  There are warm days, cool crisp nights, intense blue skies and pleasant temperatures during late September, October, and even into early November.

September, October, November

…each with its own mood

Leaves turn beautiful colors starting in early October

Leaves turn beautiful colors starting in early October

Give Your Yard Beautiful Color

With ‘Golden Spirit’ Smokebush, Cotinus coggygrya

September is still green, but burst of autumn purples and gold from asters and goldenrod as well as other wildflowers begin the autumn season. The colors of late summer but with an overlay of the fog created by the dichotomy of warm,even hot days followed by rapidly cooling temperatures in the evenings. The mood of September is rich and full of the final harvests of vegetables, the last hurrah of the annual flowering plants, the hints of autumn in the changing atmosphere.

October‘s mood is bright, gaudy, and full of the best of days in Ohio. The frosts come, but the skies are often the most intense shade of blue, which contrast boldly with oranges, yellows, and crimsons of the October trees. The mood of October is inviting and urgent in turns. The warmth of the midday invites walks in the woods, baked apple goods, trips into the country, but the urgency of winter’s approach ignites bonfires of activity in ending garden seasons, beginning winter preparations, and trying to fit in the many activities the month provides.

November is more subdued in tone, both in color and because there is more likelihood of storms and cold, but it is also the time of our Indian Summer. Indian summer is that period after the onset of freezes and cold, when a window of warm weather opens up and you could almost think of summertime warmth and nice days outdoors. It is variable in time that it appears and amount of days that it lasts.

This Is What We Like on an Ohio Autumn Evening

landscaping for people Of all the things that we love about autumn, the hikes in the woods, picking apples, or taking a daytrip to nearby attractions such as the Renaissance Festival or Amish Country, there is something closer to home that we love. Firepit time!

We discovered how much fun a firepit was to gather around in the evening with a hot drink and treats, like S’mores or homemade Peanut Butter Fudge (what can I say? we all have a sweet tooth).

Then we share our thoughts, discuss family related plans, or play a conversation game. Just the sound of the crackling fire on a crisp night is one of the most relaxing ways to end a day. Although at first it was a summer activity, it is in the fall that this really comes into its own as a really wonderful pastime.

It is the whole ritual of gathering the wood, building the fire, and arraying ourselves in seats around the firepit that creates something of the enjoyment we all feel.

There is something tribal and elemental about it. It is an endpoint, unlike grilling a meal which is a process that often moves indoors, and then on to other parts of the evening. Our fall, fire centered times together draw us inward as though around the proverbial home hearths of ancient times.

Highlights of The State

Pumpkins in October

Harking back to its agricultural roots, Ohio makes a big deal out of pumpkins. You can find pumpkin farms all over the state which have mini-festivals on the weekends with fun things for kids and lots of fall related items for sale.

If you can’t get enough of pumpkin anything then the Circleville Pumpkin Festival is for you. Always on the 3rd Wednesday through Saturday in October this lollapalooza of a pumpkin show has grown as big as your biggest dream of a giant pumpkin- and then some!

Visit the website for pictures of all the past fun and an idea of the activities and taste treats that await visitors to the Circleville festivities.

Circleville Pumpkin Show Pumpkin fudge, Pumpkin hamburgers, Pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin milkshakes, pumpkin cheesecake, and the largest pumpkin pie in the nation and maybe the world.

And yes, there is a pumpkin water tower in town.

Photo credit: Pizzazz

Find out more about the things to do in Amish Country

Holmes County In the Northeast part of the state is the largest Amish community in the world. That means this picturesque part of Ohio with rolling hills, pastoral farms, and gorgeous woodland is one of the best autumn destinations.

Busloads of tourists can’t be wrong, can they? If you love little towns with quaint shops, serene rural views, glimpses of horse drawn buggies, and delicious baked goods, then this is one of the day trips to plan for this time of year.

Amish cheeses and pies are to be had in restaurants and shops, quilts and crafts are for sale, and the ride from one little town to another is scenic.

Hocking County

This is my favorite place to go, and every fall we travel down the road from the Columbus area to the hills and hollers of Hocking County to hike the trails, pick up fresh apple cider, and enjoy the seasonal show of autumn colors.

Old Man’s Cave is a very popular destination, but there are other caves and hiking areas, too.


Hocking Hills Official Visitors Site


My photos and posts about Hocking Hills:

Who knows the byways better? Get the National Geographic bounty of pictures and longtime history of expert travelers and explorers to guide you on your next trip

Other areas of natural beauty:

Lake Erie and the coastal counties. Cranberry Bog


Have you ever been to a Renaissance Festival? We have one during early autumn that is loads of fun, if you want to know more about it, check out all the details on a page I made about it, for Renaissance lovers. Held yearly in Harveysburg, OH, which is midway between Columbus and Cincinnati, off Route 71.

October Morning
photo by Ilona1

Apples Are A Taste Of Autumn

The State Has an Abundant Harvest

If you love fresh apples and apple cider, long walks in colorful woods, with the crunch and aroma of fallen leaves underfoot, if your idea of fun is roasting marshmallows over an open campfire or birdwatching -the Buckeye State might be a great destination discovery.

They are also very versatile to cook with, eat fresh, and juice.

Does Cider-Brined Turkey or Apple Stuffed Biscuits sound good to you?

Did you ever wonder which apples are best for baking and which for applesauce?

A book you need if you love apples and want to use them to their best effect in cooking, baking, and fresh.



Virtual Tour




Other Links

Marblehead lighthouse post card
Marblehead lighthouse post card by rfhoffer

Autumn Abundance Recipes Autumn provides an abundance of certain foods … and besides, the change of season


Ohio October Festivals Events Guide October Ohio events and autumn Ohio festivals in October, harvests, haunted houses and halloween events in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo, northeast Ohio, Southwest Ohio, Northwest Ohio, Southeast Ohio and Central Ohio


Ohio Autumn Of all things beautiful, these I hope to share. Whitney is using Pinterest, an online pinboard to collect and share what inspires you.


Ohio Fall Color Great opportunities to enjoy outdoor fun at Ohio State Parks, wildlife areas, forests and nature preserves


Discover Ohio Ohio is the perfect place for a Fall road trip and we’ve put together some great ideas for you. Start planning your Ohio Autumn getaway today!


Daytrips Around Columbus Ohio Here is the quick tour over some of the highlights that make Columbus Ohio a fun place for families to visit and explore


Renaissance Festival Every year since 1999 on weekends from late August through October, people have traveled to this little festival to be regaled by performers and to don their finest Renaissance garb.

Buckeye Impressions

donationDonate the cost of a coffee through Paypal for the work of publishing these pages. Please support my writing and webmaster efforts.
Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Please consider supporting this site.

Shop shrubs at Nature Hills

Related Posts

Using Autumn Flowers in Containers

Using Autumn Flowers in Containers

Fall for Creative Containers Bring beautiful container creations to the end of the season, don't give up after summer! Autumn blooming flowers are...

Flowers for Fall, Late Blooming Perennials and Shrubs

Perennials in the garden may play a second fiddle to the foliage of the turning trees, but they make a beautiful harmony. Remember to add them to the garden pictures, perhaps even giving a featured area to pull out all the stops.

Ilona Erwin, author

Meet the Author


I started working on this website beginning in 1998, when it was part of "Ilona's Reflecting Pool". Since then I've branched out into a number of online endeavors and work at writing lots of content for my sites. The work on "Ilona's Garden" remains my primary site and is dedicated to home gardener's success.