Glen Helen offers variety of fall scenery to hikers
By Sarah Allen
Time in nature is rarely time regretted. And during autumn at Glen Helen Nature Preserve, all that the outdoors can offer comes to life in a stunning display of fall color.
Glen Helen is a “smashingly beautiful place to take a hike in the fall,” said Nick Boutis, executive director of the nature preserve.
Owned by Antioch College, the private nature preserve in Greene County is one of the largest and most visited such areas in Ohio, Boutis said.
He added that Glen Helen also has a more mature forest than other areas in the state, saying that many of the trees are four to five feet thick and are 300 to 400 years old.
The end of September through the first three weeks of October are the peak times for fall colors, Boutis said. However, he said, variables such as the weather can affect the trees, causing the leaves to turn brown faster.
Until then, however, Boutis said that Glen Helen has a variety of tree species, all adding something different to the fall palette.
Sugar maples will have red leaves, while spicebush will have a “vivid yellow color,” Boutis said. Walnut trees will also turn yellow. And oaks, he added, will bring both browns and yellows to the landscape.
“The different species turning different colors at different times,” Boutis said, all add to the diversity waiting for hikers.
And that, he said, means there is “more to draw the eye in.”
Boutis said that, while fall is a vibrant time, it rarely has all the colors of the rainbow — but, at Glen Helen, that is not entirely true.
“(With) blue skies and blue streams (added to) the red leaves, there’s a lot to draw your eye in and make you glad that you got out in nature that day,” he said.
Find your fall escape
Glen Helen is located at 405 Corry St. in Yellow Springs. It is open from dawn until dusk. For more information, visit glenhelen.org.
A fundraising dinner, Whoo Cooks for You, will begin at 4 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Raptor Center. Cost is $165. The event includes fine dining featuring seven local chefs, a live and silent auction, music, drinks and raptor interaction. Call 937-769-1902, ext. 1103 for details.
Fall Hiking Tips from Nick Boutis
It is important to dress for the trail. Boutis recommended wearing layers, which can be added or shed as the day warms or cools.
Hikers should be cautious. Falling leaves can make trails slippery or conceal rocks and roots. He said a walking stick or hiking boots can help reduce risks of tripping.
Glen Helen is a “rugged” area, he said. Hikers will go “up and down,” so, above all, it is important to dress for personal comfort.
Bring a camera. Each year, Glen Helen has an annual photo contest, with the winners being featured in the preserve’s wall calendar.
“It’s always a treasure to see how people enjoyed their time in nature,” Boutis said.