My Favorite Places: four great places in fall

TOM COCHRAN, Prairie Oaks Manager

In my opinion, there is no better place to view fall colors than along Big Darby Creek at Prairie Oaks, especially from the bridge that connects Darby Bend Lakes to the main part of the park. The lakes are also a great spot to view migrating waterfowl. There are also opportunities to see numerous deer in fall, including some very large bucks, best seen along the Darby Creek Greenway Trail from Whispering Oaks, south to its end near I-70. They can also be seen from your vehicle if you drive slowly along the main park road and in the Sycamore Plains area.

SHELLY RICHARDSON, Pickerington Ponds Manager

Pickerington Ponds is the place to be, for me, either at Ellis Pond in the early morning, or Wood Duck picnic area in late afternoon, watching a glorious sunrise or sunset.

JAMIE KIDWELL, Blendon Woods Naturalist

My favorite woodland hike is the Hemlock Trail at Clear Creek. More specifically, the portion from the road to the ridge. The tall hemlocks and narrow valley give it the feeling of a cathedral – quiet, peaceful and awe-inspiring

MINDI MCCONNELL, Walnut Woods Manager

Here at Walnut Woods the fields are full of goldenrod in early autumn. When they bloom, the fields are a beautiful yellow color—picture perfect. Ironweed and New England asters bloom at the same time, creating an absolutely stunning scene.