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TourismOhio launches website for fall events

For the Miami Student

Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012

Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012 23:09

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Valerie Westin | The Miami Student

A new Ohio website features autumn events and tracks the changing colors of leaves.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources joined forces with The Office of TourismOhio this week with the launch of a travel-oriented website “Autumn Adventures” just in time for Sept. 22, the official first day of fall. This is a branch-off of the DiscoverOhio website and will include up-to-date information on events, attractions and state park tours throughout the entire autumn season.

Jason Fallon, public relations and marketing coordinator of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, said the goal of the site is to provide Ohioans with plenty of ways to experience the best time of the year to see all the colors of Ohio.

“We really work hard to promote these because we have a lot of great free activities that you can do around the state,” Fallon said.

According to Fallon, there has been an increase in nature sightseeing, and the department even has stronger ties with Ohio tourism groups than last year.

“We’ve done this campaign year after year,” Fallon said. “We’ve been working closer together to maximize both of our resources, [with] social media, press releases and media contacts.”

Fallon said the aspect of Autumn Adventures most publicized by the department is the extremely low cost of having a valuable Ohio nature experience.

“All of our state parks are free.” Fallon said. “You don’t have to pay a cover charge to get into any of them. All over the state you’ll find lots of great events and activities that you can package into a three-day weekend, from hiking one day to biking the next.”

One of the unique features of the website is a fall color report in which the colors of the leaves throughout Ohio are forecasted every Wednesday. The most-visited attractions will vary, Fallon said, depending on where the colors are most vibrant.

“We’re actually expecting fall color to be a little later [than usual],” Fallon said. “Usually you’ll see it in the first week of October, but it may not be until the second week that you see it in the north and then it will work its way down.”

Kateland Heestand, marketing manager for the Butler County Visitors Bureau, said there are definitely some outdoor experiences in Oxford that local residents and students can visit.

“We’re a big fan of Hueston Woods and Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, as it has a lot of wildlife as well has a museum,” Heestand said.

Miami University junior Alyssa Reck said she loves this time of the year and thinks Ohio is the perfect state for this program.

“Ohio is one of the states that gets all four seasons, and fall is one of the prettiest seasons,” Reck said. “You can actually enjoy the weather before it disappears.

Also, we have a lot of different types of trees, so we can easily watch the colors change.” Reck said she plans to utilize the hiking information on the Autumn Adventures site.

For more information, check out http://consumer.discoverohio.com/autumnadventures/.

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