5 reasons we’re excited about fall in the Miami Valley

Every year on the Monday and Tuesday of Halloween week, the hill behind the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, glows bright with the light from hundreds of jack-o-lanterns for the Stoddard Avenue Pumpkin Glow. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
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Every year on the Monday and Tuesday of Halloween week, the hill behind the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, glows bright with the light from hundreds of jack-o-lanterns for the Stoddard Avenue Pumpkin Glow. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Now that fall is in the air, we are excited to usher in a new season full of festivals, Halloween haunts, dazzling hikes and more.

Here are five things we are looking forward to this fall in Dayton.

ExploreBEST OF DAYTON: Nominate HERE for your favorites!

🍁🎃Picturesque fall hikes

Hills & Dales MetroPark is a perfect destination for a fall hike, day at the park. CONTRIBUTED
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Hills & Dales MetroPark is a perfect destination for a fall hike, day at the park. CONTRIBUTED

There is no better time of year than now to soak up the natural beauty of our region while enjoying the crisp autumn air. There are so many gorgeous spots to choose from for a nature walk. Here are a few of our top picks:

John Bryan State Park: If you ask us, the best time of year to visit this state park in Yellow Springs is now. Hike along the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati Stagecoach Trail along the course of the Little Miami River that cuts through the limestone gorge.

Hills & Dales Metropark: Hike the 1.4-mile Adirondack Trail (orange), which includes a loop around beautiful Dogwood Pond, a picturesque waterfall and a boardwalk through a high-quality forested wetland.

Sugarcreek MetroPark offers a variety of scenic landscapes as hikers trek further along its many lengthy trails. Hike the green or orange trails to visit the Osage Orange Tunnel of trees and Three Sisters (three ancient white oak trees) at this park with a variety of trails.

Englewood MetroPark has three waterfalls with an amazing view of limestone dipping into a wide ravine. If you continue to Patty Falls, you’ll see a large rocky waterfall, which is active year-round, sided by cascade stone.

ExploreUnbe-leaf-able fall hikes in Miami Valley to catch a glimpse of the changing leaves

🍁🎃Pumpkin and apple picking

This favorite family festival is held at Young's Jersey Dairy throughout October in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
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This favorite family festival is held at Young's Jersey Dairy throughout October in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Credit: Tom Gilliam Photography for Dayton.com

Credit: Tom Gilliam Photography for Dayton.com

Nothing says fall family fun than a day at the pumpkin farm. Enjoy the outdoors, pick out your own pumpkins, indulge with some fall-flavored treats, pet some farm animals or get lost in a corn maze (more on that below). Some even offer apple picking.

A few of our favorite spots include Young’s Jersey Dairy, Niederman Family Farm, Tüken’s Orchard and Farm Market and Brumbaugh Fruit Farm.

🍁🎃Return of beloved fall festivals

Minster is a small village located approximately one hour north of Dayton. Every year, their Oktoberfest weekend attracts a crowd roughly three times the size of its population of near 3,000. DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED
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Minster is a small village located approximately one hour north of Dayton. Every year, their Oktoberfest weekend attracts a crowd roughly three times the size of its population of near 3,000. DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED

Credit: DAVID MOODIE

Credit: DAVID MOODIE

As if haunted houses, corn mazes, dazzling hikes and pumpkin-flavored everything weren’t enough to make us fall in love with autumn, the Miami Valley’s beloved fall festivals also offer a plethora of opportunities to celebrate your favorite aspects of the season.

Whether you’re trying new food at the Ohio Sauekraut Festival, Enon Apple Butter Festival and Germantown Pretzel Festival, or indulging in season-specific fun at the Minster Oktoberfest and Ohio Renaissance Festival, the Miami Valley does not disappoint in the fall festival department.

ExploreYour ultimate guide to Miami Valley fall festivals

🍁🎃Halloween haunts

The Land of Illusion "Scream Park" in Middletown boasts seven state-of-the-art haunted attractions, including a food court, full bar, live music, movies, and themed weekends. CONTRIBUTED
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The Land of Illusion "Scream Park" in Middletown boasts seven state-of-the-art haunted attractions, including a food court, full bar, live music, movies, and themed weekends. CONTRIBUTED

Those who prefer a scare over a pumpkin spice latte will also have the opportunity to indulge in a number of terrifyingly fun haunts in the Miami Valley. Land of Illusion offers a wide variety of scares. The Riverside Jaycees Haunted House is spooky and run by volunteers to help support a good cause. Brimstone Haunt, Dayton Scream Park and the Sidney Haunted Woods are also great options in the Miami Valley.

🍁🎃Corny fun

We visited Tom Eby at Tom's Maze. Photo by Amelia Robinson
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We visited Tom Eby at Tom's Maze. Photo by Amelia Robinson

‘Tis the season. There are dozens to choose from in the Dayton region, ranging from easy for the little ones to even a challenge for the smartest grown-ups. One maze to add to your must-try list is Tom’s Maze in Germantown. It’s been nominated as one of the top 10 corn mazes in the state. Apple Country Farm Market typically designs an intricate maze based upon a fun theme each year as well.