As the leaves change and the colors become vibrant, travel throughout the city to capture all the beauty.
- Cincinnati’s best leaf color is typically around the 3rd & 4th week of October. Color has usually begun by Oct. 10 (but isn’t at peak yet), and some years it lingers into early November. On average, the best chance at peak color in Cincinnati is between October 20th through the 27th. Most years, peak color is more likely to linger past the end of that range than it is to start early.
- Leaves change color each fall in several different ways. The yellow and orange we observe is generally due to the presence of carotene in the leaves cells. Carotene is the same substance that gives carrots and pumpkins their vibrant colors. It is present during the growing season but not visible to the naked eye due to the overwhelming presence of chlorophyll, the green pigment that is responsible for photosynthesis. When the chlorophyll breaks down in the fall, the hidden colors of the carotene are revealed.
- Some of the park overlooks provide beautiful views across the Ohio River of the Kentucky hillsides. The views from Mt. Echo, Ault and Eden Park are particularly nice. The best drive-around leaf peeping is in Mt. Airy Forest. While all the roads in the park give good tree color, back on area Ponderosa Ridge (areas 22 & 23) there are some Sour Gum trees that can get spectacular with leaves in crimson and purple shades.
- Mt. Airy is also the best place to hike for fall color. Other places I’d recommend for autumn hiking are Caldwell Nature Center and the California Woods Nature Preserve. Ault Park has a woodland trail with good tree diversity, as well as a formal garden and an overlook of Lunken Airport and the Little Miami River valley.
Go out and explore and send us your favorite photos #cincyparks