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Published: October 11, 2023

fall leaves in the hills of Hocking Hills, OH

We know that “holiday happenings” are ubiquitous once we flip the calendar to November, but “fall festivities” are a force to deal with too.

Pick Your Own

Take pumpkin patches and apple picking. Northern Ohio is to home to many orchards that offer family fun and tasty local produce.

Here are 4 of them:

  1. Hillcrest Orchards, 50336 Telegraph Hill, Amherst. The pickin’s are plentiful at Hillcrest, and we’re not just talking about apples and pumpkins. You can take a hayride, explore a corn maze and enjoy a cold beer and small bites while listening to live music. There is an admission fee, but free for people 73 and older.
  2. Miller’s Apple Hill, 50549 Telegraph Hill, Amherst. The orchard’s last fall festival is Oct. 14 , 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes food trucks, craft vendors and more. Apple fritters are available every Saturday in October. Miller’s also has a store offering locally products like eggs, honey and maple syrup, along with an extensive selection of spices and of course apples.
  3. Burnham Orchards, 8019 SR 113, Berlin Heights. There’s a fall festival (admission fee) every weekend packed full of activities – hay rides, tractor pull, horse tail braiding, pumpkin cannon and much more. The orchard also has a bakery and a hard cider (apple and pickle) brewery.
  4. Quarry Hill Orchards, 8403 Mason Road, Berlin Heights. If antique tractors are your thing, head to Quarry Hill Oct. 14-15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. The Early Days Gas Engine and Tractor Association is hosting its annual show. The following weekend, Oct. 21-22 is the Apple Peak Harvest Gathering, with wagon rides, food, trucks, live music and honey and apple butter demos.

Take a train

Close to home is L&WV (Lorain & West Virginia) Railway in Wellington, which offers Fall Foliage Tours on Oct.14-15 and Oct. 21-22 The train leaves the Wellington station, 46485 State Route 18, at 1:30 P.M.  Train ride goes approximately 4.5 miles north then returns to Wellington and lasts between 1 and 1 1/2 hours.  Tickets are available online or at the station.  Adults $20, Children and Older Adults (60+) $15.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is a great way to explore Ohio’s only national park in the fall. The train offers 2-hour roundtrip tours of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on Wednesdays to Sundays, through Nov. 5. Tickets can be purchased online or by visiting the station prior to boarding. Prices vary depending on age and seating.

Further afield, but an Ohio area worth a visit in autumn is the Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad in Nelsonville. Due to the incredible popularity of the fall colors of scenic southern Ohio, we operate extra trains on Thursdays and Fridays in October only. These 1 p.m. trains are no different than the noon and 2:30 trains on Saturdays and Sundays. Advance tickets are recommended for the 2-hour train ride.

While in the area be sure to visit Hocking Hills State Park, rated one of the country’s best locations for colorful fall foliage by the USA Today 2023 10 Best Readers' Choice travel awards.

Tis the (spooky) season

We all know about Cedar Point’s annual HalloWeekends, but Ohio has other spooky sites.

Two popular destinations are the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, which closed in 1990 but is open to the public in part because off its allegedly paranormal qualities, and Franklin Castle in Cleveland, which is rumored to be haunted but not open for tours.

A family-friendly destination is Lorain County Metro Park’s Halloween Fair, open Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 28 at the Carlisle Visitors Center. The event includes a haunted walking trail, train rides, food booths, games, and more! Tickets are $5 and available by pre-sale only.


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Author Molly Kavanaugh 2020In the past, Molly Kavanaugh frequently wrote about Kendal at Oberlin for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where she was a reporter for 16 years. Now we are happy to have her writing for the Kendal at Oberlin Community.

About Kendal at Oberlin: Kendal is a nonprofit life plan community serving older adults in northeast Ohio. Located about one mile from Oberlin College and Conservatory, and about a 40 minute drive from downtown Cleveland, Kendal offers a vibrant resident-led lifestyle with access to music, art and lifelong learning.