Four great things to do with the family in October

Fall is a precious time. There is only so much time when it is still comfortable to get outdoors. Only so long until the wildflowers fade. Not much longer until our spare time will be spent with the extended family for the holidays.

Before the last decent day passes, get outside and enjoy Nature! Here are some ideas to get you started.

Visit a park with an view

Find a favorite park that has a scenic overlook. A new favorite of mine is Mt. Jeez at Malabar Farm State Park near Mansfield Ohio. Take a picnic and make a day of it. While you are enjoying the views, maybe you could:

Take a fall hike

A crisp fall day is the perfect time to get out and walk in the woods. Check out these great fall hiking trails in Ohio. (If you aren’t from Ohio, or even if you are, find some close to home trails that are nice in the fall, and leave a comment on this post for others to see your favorites!)

Brush up on Winter Tree ID

Take some time to practice leaf identification with the kids. If you are ambitious, you could collect a variety, glue them down on card stock with white glue, and label them as a learning aid for the family. If you are a glutton for punishment, you could wait until the leaves are gone, and then try your hand at Winter Tree ID!

Orienteering: Find your way with a map and compass

Once the leaves are gone, it is easier to see the lay of the land, and places that were dense with foliage earlier in the year will be wide open for you to explore. It is a great time to learn orienteering, or brush up on it and share it with your kids or friends if you are an old pro. See what it is all about here: Orienteering.

What ever you choose to do with the rest of your fall, please make sure to get outdoors. Then come back and post your adventures, insights, or thoughts as comments here.


Top fall foliage trails in northeast Ohio

Well, the asters of September are starting to fade, and the leaves are yellowing on the swaying branches overhead.

The nights are crisp and cool, the days growing shorter. Soon, fall color will be everywhere. Check out the top 6 northeast Ohio trails for fall color. Get out and enjoy the fall air, the smell of winter setting in. Take your kids out to check out changing sights, and enjoy the cool, less buggy nights.

If you have other favorite fall foliage spots, whether in northeast Ohio or not, let’s hear about them in the comments.


Hiking the Buckeye Trail in Bedford Reservation

This 9.7 mile segment of the Buckeye Trail takes you along the top of the Tinker’s Creek Gorge, a National Natural Landmark. The hiker can also get a great look at Bridal Veil Falls, a 30-foot tall waterfall shaded by towering hemlock trees.

read more | digg story


Time for steelhead fishing to begin for the fall.

Soon, cooler temperatures and perfect water levels will signal the ideal time for steelhead fishing around northeast Ohio. Steelhead fishing is great on Conneaut Creek, the Ashtabula River, the Grand River, the Chagrin River, Rocky River, Vermilion River, and even spots on the Cuyahoga. This challenging outdoor pursuit is not for the faint-hearted. Cold rushing water, cold air, and feisty fish make steelhead fishing strenuous, so be careful.

To learn more check out the Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders web site. If you are so inclined, join the group. Their President, Joe Moravec and the rest of the Central Basin Steelheaders care about nature and conservation and our northeast Ohio environment. Their club shows it by participating in and leading a number of efforts at education throughout the year, as well as supporting conservation groups in the area.

Check out this article in the Plain Dealer for yet more information: Cooler weather brings steelhead –


Portage Park District Video

Support Issue 32- Portage Park District, the Natural Choice for You! The Portage County, Ohio park district is seeking its first ever dedicated funding, a 1/2 mill property tax that will cost property owners $1.50 per month per $100,000 of property value. This small investment will allow the park district to bring millions of dollars of state and federal matching grants back to Portage County, and will allow the park district to operate clean, safe parks close to home. Check out this video and support the Portage Parks! Check out the levy campaign’s web site at

read more | digg story


Division of Wildlife engaging Birders in Conservation

Hunters have bought Duck Stamps for almost a hundred years to help conserve waterfowl habitat. Will Ohio birders soon be able to purchase a “Bird Stamp” to support conservation or other bird habitat? Read about this at the Plain Dealer’s web site: Should birders have to pay to play? | Ohio Birding –

Seems to me to be a no-brainer. There should be Bird Stamps, Fish Stamps (maybe even Steelhead, Bass, Walleye and other gamefish separately), and private land conservation stamps. Anything that we all can do to help the state and private entities out there conserving land ought to be done. If birding is our outdoor recreational activity of choice, we should have the opportunity to support our habit by helping to preserve habitat.

If just 2% of the birders who seek out our feathered friends in Ohio each year would buy a Bird Stamp, at $25.00 each, it would raise $1.5 million dollars per year. This could pay for preservation of lots of habitat. Especially when you consider that the money can be used to match federal grant programs that magnify the impact of our local & state money.

If you agree, contact the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife at the address or number listed here.