Truly the calm before the storm, fall color will overtake the Ohio countryside in a beautiful blanket of orange, red and gold. Here are four vibrant vistas within an hour's drive of Columbus-and one spot worth an entire day.

SHALLENBERGER STATE NATURE PRESERVE
Rt. 22 at
Beck's Knob Road SW, Lancaster
OhioDNR.com/dnap
To enjoy some Hocking Hills scenery without the crowds, hit this small, hidden preserve. The views from Allen and Ruble knobs are incredible.

CHESTNUT RIDGE METRO PARK
8445 Winchester Rd. NW, Carroll
MetroParks.net
From the mile-long Ridge Trail, you can see the Columbus skyline roughly 20 miles away. During the fall, an ocean of color will unfold in between.

LITTLE MIAMI SCENIC TRAIL
110 Dayton St.,
Yellow Springs
MVRPC.org/recTrails
You can walk parts of this 75-mile trail, but the best way into the Little Miami is on two wheels. Try the 10.3 miles of flat, smooth, tree-lined riding from Yellow Springs to Xenia.

DAWES ARBORETUM
7770 Jacksontown Rd. SE, Newark
DawesArb.org
This classy conservation center is known for native plants and trees, including many delightful deciduous varieties. Interactive classes and guided hikes are offered throughout the year.

ROAD TRIP: BEAVER CREEK STATE PARK
12021 Echo Dell Rd., East Liverpool
OhioDNR.com
Ohio's pioneer history and natural beauty combine in this pristine park at the foothills of the Appalachians. Along the Vondergreen Trail, you'll see explosions of color, plus vintage canal locks.