Fall-ing into Autumn

A photograph of Hocking Hills State park in the fall of 1966. Courtesy of the Ohio History Connection. Via Ohio Memory.

Goodbye heat and hello crisp, cool mornings; fall is here! The official start of fall, or the Autumnal Equinox, officially begins on Thursday, September 22, 2022. The autumnal equinox happens as the sun crosses the equator, going from north to south. At this exact moment, it also triggers the start of spring in the southern hemisphere! We will now be in autumn until the Winter Solstice, which will happen on December 21st.

A photograph from the Ohio State Department of Visual Education of a corn shock, pumpkin, and pheasant from a field during autumn. Courtesy of the Ohio History Connection. Via Ohio Memory.

Whether you are looking forward to pumpkin spice lattes, hikes among orange and red trees, or just the cooler weather, the fall season is certainly one of the best of the year! Particularly for those who look forward to the amazing change in colors of the trees, Hocking Hills State Park offers some of the best views this time of year. Hocking Hills is in southeastern Ohio, encompassing over 25 miles of hiking traits, waterfalls, and caves. Evidence suggests that the region has been inhabited for thousands of years. American Indian tribes in the area called the river “Hockinghock”, referring to the shape of the sandstone gorges throughout it. In 1949, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources was formed, and assumed control of the state park complex, which includes seven state parks. To celebrate the Autumn Equinox, the park is holding a “Autumn Equinox in Ash Cave” event. It will be a hike through Ash Cave, during which you can learn about the history of Ash Cave and the local stories associated with the Autumn Equinox.

If hiking is not quite your thing, surely you are looking forward to the pumpkin patches and corn mazes that are in abundance this time of year! Agriculture has always been one of the primary industries in Ohio, with many of the original settlers in the state raising wheat, corn, and other grain crops. By the 1850s, Ohio produced more corn than any other state. Today, corn is the one of the biggest crops in the state, second only to soybeans. In 2020, Ohio harvested over 3 million acres of corn, which totaled more than 560 million bushels. With that much corn, it is no wonder we have some of the best corn mazes in the country! According to ohio.org, the top five corn mazes in the state are the Maze Craze in Springfield, McPeek’s Mighty Maze in Coshocton, The MaiZE at Little Darby Creek in Milford, Wheeler Farms Corn Maze in Whitehouse, and Maize Valley Corn Maze in Hartville.

A poem titled, “Awesome Autumn”, by Sara Sarto (1980). Courtesy of the Tiffin-Seneca Public Library. Via Ohio Memory.

Clearly, the best place to be is Ohio, and the best time of year is fall! Poet Sarah Sarto really put it best:

“The cycle begins, we are ebullient for spring,

Summer arrives, and then again,

We welcome awesome autumn.”

Thank you to Katelyn Muraleetharan, Digital Projects Coordinator at the Ohio History Connection, for this week’s post!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.