Richland County, OH — Richland Public Health’s “Fall Hike for Health” is Saturday, October 16, at Malabar Farm State Park and Gorman Nature Center in Mansfield. The fall hikes mark 20 years at Malabar Farm State Park and six years at Gorman Nature Center after taking a year away due to COVID restrictions.

Enjoy the beauty of Ohio’s fall colors at both locations with hikes through the woods from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Hikes are self-guided with suggested start times by 11 a.m.

Hikes are on easy trails so everyone in the family can participate. Hikes starting at either Malabar Farm State Park (4050 Bromfield Road) and Gorman Nature Center (2295 Lexington Avenue) generally last a half hour to one hour. Adults must accompany children on hikes. Dogs are permitted but must be on a leash.

A special guided hike called “Murder and Mayhem Up Ferguson Way” will be held at 10 a.m., leaving from the Visitor’s Center. Guide Nelson Shogren describes it this way: “Take a guided tour on the old Ferguson Road at Malabar Farm to see how a lovesick daughter, Louis Bromfield, and Hollywood each made this a road of murder and mayhem all within one-half mile. The under-3-mile hike will also include a stop at Ferguson Falls.” It’s a perfect pre-Halloween hiking adventure.

All hikers are encouraged to check in at the Visitor’s Center at Malabar Farm before starting their hikes. You will find maps of the walking trails as well as snacks and bottled water for before or after your hike. Gorman Nature Center’s main building may be closed that day, but the trails are open and well marked.

Hiking is promoted as a healthy form of exercise by Richland Public Health. Since the October 16 hike will be held rain or shine, participants are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather. Sturdy hiking boots are recommended as the trail conditions may be somewhat slippery.

For more information about “Hike for Health” call 419-774-4761.