My Favorite Places: Marty Shull, Clear Creek

MARTY SHULL, Clear Creek Manager

Goldenrod and sumac in the meadow at Clear Creek. (Frank Kozarich)

Fall is my favorite time of year; it calls me to the out-of-doors. There is a magic to the air in its crispness. If you get far enough away from the city, the smell of the fall woods and meadows brings a sense of adventure and a return to childhood when fall was magic with its colors, sounds and memories. Exploring Metro Parks is a great way to see the wonders of fall and get back to that time we all loved as kids.

Long before I thought about a career at Metro Parks, my family and I would venture from Columbus to the hills in southeastern Ohio to take in the fall beauty. It has always been one of my favorite places and Clear Creek Metro Park offers some of the best fall colors, sights, sounds and smells in all of Central Ohio.

Because of the hills and plant diversity, fall at Clear Creek stretches from September into mid-November with touches of color left well past the peak of fall. The hemlocks add to the splendor with their green needles, almost like strokes of a brush in an ever-changing painting. It’s not just the trees that make the pictures; the meadows along the Creekside Meadows and Cemetery Ridge trails offer spectacular sights in mid-September with goldenrod and sumac. Early in the morning, a light dew on the meadows can make them seem like jewel encrusted landscapes.