COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is encouraging people to get out and enjoy the fall colors this weekend before the weather turns, the leaves fall off and it’s too late.

David Parrott, a Fall Color Forester for ODNR, said the end of October is the peak of fall foliage. 

So if you’ve been putting off a fall hike, Parrott said the next few days may be your last chance.

“Moving forward we’re going to see less and less of just leaves on the trees. You can already see the leaves falling and that’s only going to speed up with rain and freezing temperatures. So what is a beautiful tapestry of color will soon just be a bunch of bare trees,” said Parrott.

Parrott said Ohioans should try to experience the outdoors this weekend. While we could get some rain, he said that isn’t a reason to skip a hike.

“It looks like it might be kind of rainy but that’s not necessarily a bad time to be out in the fall colors. Any photographers out there might know that not having a ton of sunlight sometimes makes the best pictures,” said Parrott.

If you do plan on taking a walk, Parrott said make sure you are doing your research into the park or walking trail so you know what to expect and be prepared for anything Ohio weather may throw at you.

If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time to enjoy a hike, Parrott said it’s now.

“If they’ve been putting it off all year this is the last chance for them to finally get out there and take that hike they’ve been saying they are going to take all year so we recommend everyone gets out and enjoys Ohio’s natural resources now while they have the chance,” said Parrott.

Some of Parrott’s favorite hiking spots in and around central Ohio are Alum Creek State Park, Mohican State Park and Hocking Hills.