An Autumn Adventure in Fairfield County, Ohio
By Fran Tharp
Autumn is everyone’s favorite season. Fairfield County, only 30 minutes southeast of Columbus, is the perfect place to experience the season. We offer beautiful fall foliage, fresh produce, fall festivals, haunted experiences, outdoor adventures…basically, we have all the sights, tastes, and activities that you can only find in autumn.
Folks love to visit us when the leaves are turning bright gold, red, and orange. Listen to the leaves crunching underfoot as you make your way through thousands of acres along our biking and walking trails and in our beautiful parks and nature preserves. Visitors and locals alike enjoy a birds-eye view of the gorgeous autumn foliage from the top of Mt. Pleasant.
However, many would argue that there is nothing more beautiful than a covered bridge in autumn. Fairfield County is home to 15 of these historic architectural masterpieces. Sitting along country roads or preserved in parks, covered bridges are a marker of the past. When we explore the bridges today, we can imagine what it would have been like to ride a horse-drawn carriage through them on a crisp autumn evening 100 years ago.
The “fair fields” of our county yield an incredible produce harvest. You’ll love all the fresh crops available throughout the region. Stop by one of our fruit farms to pick your own apples or watch apple cider being pressed. Pumpkin patches dot the landscape. You can stroll through the fields and pick out seasonal décor like pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn, and corn stalks.
Many farms provide photo ops and selfie stations, special programming, corn mazes, hayrides, and lots of fun activities for the whole family.
Speaking of fun activities, Fairfield County offers a wide variety of special events that celebrate all things autumn. The Harvest Celebration at Smeck Park (September 24-25) showcases the Fairfield County Antique Tractor Club. Visitors learn about early farm machinery and help harvest potatoes, gourds, pumpkins, maize, popcorn, and sunflowers. You can even take some of the fresh crops home with you. Enjoy music, vendors, food trucks, demonstrations, pumpkin painting, candle dipping, and more at this free family-friendly event.
Fall always brings pumpkins to mind. Bremen’s Pumpkin Walk on October 8 features live music, concessions, a pumpkin arch, bonfires, and pumpkins from the area’s local favorite, Shriner’s Farm. Alley Park presents a Pumpkin Hike on October 22. Come early in the morning and help carve the 500+ pumpkins that will be on display during the hike. At dusk, you can explore spooky scenes, roast a hot dog at the bonfire, drink apple cider, and walk through the half-mile path lit by jack-o-lanterns.
If Halloween is your favorite part of autumn, we’ve got you covered. Check out the Haunted Farm, a long-time attraction in Pleasantville. Take a terrifying tour of the Haunted Barn Maze, try to survive the Harvester Hayride, or simply watch firespinners and other live entertainment by the bonfire.
Want to ramp it up a few notches? The Fairfield County Infirmary is one of the most haunted destinations in Ohio. Built in the 1820s, the Infirmary has served as a poor house, orphanage, morgue, and a facility to house mentally ill patients.
Recorded paranormal activity here is off the charts! Summon your friends – and your courage – to explore 41,000+ square feet of history with supernatural occurrences around every corner.
No matter what you love most about autumn, you’re sure to fall for the Trail of Scarecrows. Recently named the “Scarecrow Capital of Ohio,” Fairfield County holds a scarecrow contest in each of its communities throughout the month of October. Businesses, families, organizations, and individuals join in the fun and demonstrate their creativity with clever or spooky displays. Hundreds of scarecrows line the streets in our cities, villages, and rural areas.
Check out all the scarecrows and vote for your favorite. A prize is given to the People’s Choice Award winner in each community. Look out for live scarecrows who will meet visitors at special events throughout the county this season.
You’re sure to find a scarecrow or two at our awesome county fair (October 9-15). Fairfield County hosts the final county fair in the state – truly, the last and best of the season! Stroll the midway and win a prize at one of the many games of chance. Get your ticket for an exciting ride – swings and teacups for the little ones, and some heart-pounding thrills for the grownups in the crowd. Plenty of fun events such as a demolition derby, tractor pulls, combine derby, live music, and more can be enjoyed from the beautiful grandstands.
In a nod to our community’s past and current ties to agriculture, there are shows and judgings of livestock in buildings throughout our historic fairgrounds. You’ll also find an art show, quilt exhibition, pie baking contests and, of course, all your favorite fair food. A trip to the Fairfield County Fair is the perfect way to cap off the perfect autumn day.
You are sure to find something to fall in love with when you visit Fairfield County. We can’t wait to share our Autumn Experience with you! For more information, check out: VisitFairfieldCounty.org.
To plan the perfect trip, download our Visit Fairfield County app for Google or Apple devices.
An Autumn Adventure in Fairfield County, Ohio