Even Downtown is showing its colors, which is a very good sign that fantastic foliage is well underway. This week, venture into the western part of Ohio, an area unexplored by many Columbus residents who escape first and always to the state's southeasterly portions.

Even Downtown is showing its colors, which is a very good sign that fantastic foliage is well underway. This week, venture into the western part of Ohio, an area unexplored by many Columbus residents who escape first and always to the state's southeasterly portions.

Start first at Englewood MetroPark, one of Dayton's municipal green spaces. Walk the 3.8-mile Green Trail to pass three waterfalls that will be fit for a postcard when rimmed with autumn hues. Bring a change of clothes so you're not afraid to do a bit of aquatic exploring. You'll also see a swamp forest and the Stillwater River along the way.

Next, head back east to Yellow Springs, a small town that's big on outdoor adventure. It's an ideal place to grab lunch, a beer and some local artisan wares.

The town's biggest outdoor draw is John Bryan State Park, a paradise for hikers, bikers and picnickers who appreciate a good view. Begin at the park's southwestern corner and grab the 1.3-mile Pittsburgh-Cincinnati Stage Coach Trail, which hugs the Little Miami River.

On a busy day, you'll see climbers rappelling the rock ridge to the left and families stopping for photos as they meander down the easy dirt path.

When you reach the park's eastern footbridge, you'll hit Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve - a haven for spring wildflowers that stuns in all seasons. The Little Miami rages through stone cliffs in view from several spectacular overlooks. Trails run along the river and atop the gorge for several miles. Take the low road up, the high road back.

After returning to John Bryan, cross the bridge and take the South Gorge Trail back to your car.

If you're looking to ride, the park has roughly 12 miles of off-road trails. Novice mountain bikers will enjoy Abracadabra and Power Line, a pair of flat, winding routes running two miles apiece. The seven-mile Great Scott network offers a thrill for those with a bit more experience.