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‘Fall’ in love with the Tri-State

Fall colors of reds, yellows, oranges and gold decorate Ironton as seen from U.S. 52 Highway.

By Catherine Burcham

When the air gets crisp and the leaves transform from luscious greens to rustic reds and yellows, you know fall is upon us. With all this fresh air and beautiful scenery, there is possibly no better time to fall in love with the Tri-State area.

Hit the great outdoors for some camping, boating and outdoor recreation; visit one of the area museums to experience a little of our culture and fascinating history and with all of the cool fall festivals the area has to offer – there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

The Great Outdoors

With the temperatures getting a little easier to tolerate, it’s a great time to head outdoors for some adventure. You can get up close with nature on a hike around scenic Lake Vesuvius, located just outside of Ironton. Spend the day with family and friends as you swim, picnic, fish and maybe even take a canoe ride around the lake.

Stop by the Ohio University Southern Nature Center and learn about the local wildlife. The center also has frequent community education programs to enjoy. Want to stay longer? No need to pack up as the sun sets, pitch a tent and campout — s’mores and ghost stories can be a terrific way to end a day at the lake.

In West Virginia, Lavalette is home to Beech Fork Lake, a 720- acre lake maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where you can picnic at one of the shelters; check out the local wildlife on one of the trails, swim at Stower’s Branch Beach, or head to the marina that offers docking facilities and boat rentals.

Ironton resident Hannah Keating displays her tree climbing abilities while out in the front yard.

Beech Fork Lake State Park, located outside of Barboursville, also offers hiking trails, fishing, biking, picnicking, and boat rentals in the fall. Visitors to the park can stay in one of the deluxe cottages or 2-4 bedroom cabins.

Eastern Kentucky is full of great places for fall adventure, starting with two state parks which are in close proximity to the Ashland area. Yatesville Lake State Park, located in Louisa, has a 47-site campground, playground, nature trails and a marina.

Visitors can also fish, enjoy a game of mini-golf or hit the public beach. Interested in hitting the links? The park is also the home to the Eagle Ridge Golf Course, an 18-hole par course and pro shop.

Take the family away to the Greenbo Lake State Resort Park where you can stay in the Jesse Stuart Lodge or at the campground and enjoy outdoor activities such as mini-golf. Their outdoor amphitheatre is often the venue for some activities and music festivals.

The Tri-State area also has some great city parks.

Stop by Ritter Park for a day of fun; enjoy two walking paths, a fantastic playground, tennis courts and the beautiful rose garden — it’s a fun place to picnic or get a little exercise. Ashland’s scenic Central Park is also a beautiful location for an afternoon stay and the home for many seasonal events.

Several nice small parks are located around the Ironton area and throughout Lawrence County providing a place for children to play and for families to enjoy a picnic.

Indoor Fun

If outdoor adventure is not your thing, or you just want to spend the day inside, there are plenty of indoor activities to keep you entertained. Step back in time at the Heritage Farm Museum and Village located in Huntington, W.Va..

The farm boasts numerous exhibits and five museums, including a “hands on” area where you can experience life in pioneer days of old. Want to stay a little longer? Make reservations to spend the night in one of the five beautiful homes.