While the leaves are slow to change this year, there’s still beautiful fall foliage views to see. And if you’re searching for the absolute most Instagram-worthy photo spots in Mahoning County, you’ve come to the right place! Today we’re sharing some of the best local spots to capture fall views.


Mill Creek MetroParks

If you ask a local, “where can I go in Mahoning County for the best fall foliage?” – there’s a 99% chance that they’ll say two words: Mill Creek. And we don’t disagree! Mill Creek MetroParks is home to some of the most beautiful trails, bike paths, bridges, ponds, lakes, gardens, you-name-it, in the area. But with the park spanning across 4,400+ acres of Mahoning County, we thought it might be helpful to narrow down the very best spots to see fall foliage in Mill Creek.


Lanterman’s Mill is one of Mahoning County’s most iconic historic landmarks, and an ultra-popular photo spot. Fun fact: The Mill was built in 1845-46 and still operates today! And while the park has many water features, we recommend visiting Lake Glacier and Lily Pond. The surrounding trees reflected in the water make for some pretty picturesque scenes. And make sure you don’t leave without visiting the Mill Creek Park Suspension Bridge aka the “Cinderella Bridge.” Its lacy arches and tall spires have been the backdrop to countless engagement photos- and you’ll understand why once you visit. Long story, short- you can’t go wrong with a visit to Mill Creek during the fall.


Anything else outdoors?

Of course! Both Berlin Lake and Lake Milton are also home to beautiful foliage in the fall. Berlin Lake is one of Ohio’s largest inland lakes, stretching over 3,000 acres and it’s open for public use.  Insider tip: take US 224 and cross Berlin Lake. There’s space to park your car and take photos, making it a perfect vantage point to see the water and trees. Lake Milton is equally as beautiful with a 4-mile mountain bike trail and you can also visit Lake Milton State Park for plenty of photo ops.


Sip ‘n See

Believe it or not, you don’t have to fly to California for great vineyard views. There are several wineries right in Mahoning County, with many sporting beautiful fall foliage. Take a seat on the patio at The Vineyards at Pine Lake for a shimmering scene of Pine Lake surrounded by trees. Halliday’s Winery also offers views of water (Lake Milton) and foliage. Not close enough? Visit Myrddin Winery and literally sit among the trees!


And while you’re sipping and seeing all the fall foliage, why not collect some stamps too? Grab a Wines of the Valley Wine Trail passport and earn custom wine charms at six of our wineries with each glass of wine you purchase! Here’s all the details.


Hidden Gem

One spot that even the locals might not think to visit for fall foliage is actually Youngstown State University’s Stambaugh Stadium. If you’re there to catch a Penguins game (next home game is November 10), the stadium’s tall stands offer a spectacular view of the city and changing leaves.


Don’t miss all of the great opportunities to witness fall’s changing colors in Mahoning County! Share your fall photos with us @YoungstownLive or #VisitYoungstown. For more information on local parks, lakes and wineries, visit the Mahoning County Convention & Visitors Bureau website!

Sprawling acres of lush green vines, freshly-curated wine and a glistening lake can only mean one thing: The Vineyards at Pine Lake. Family-owned and located in Columbiana, this stop on the Wines of the Valley Wine Trail is bustling with energy during its busiest time of year, harvest season! And today we’re traveling behind the vines with a look at the harvest process and VPL’s upcoming Harvest Festival.


Behind the Vines of Harvest Season

The Vineyards at Pine Lake is home to over 3,600 grape plants- so you can imagine that getting those grapes from vine to glass is no simple feat. But amid the season’s hustle and bustle, winemaker Joe Glista went live to give us all a behind-the-scenes look at each step of the wine harvest process. Here’s the cliff notes:


Step 1: Harvest the Grapes

Starting in the last week of August, Joe and his crew headed to VPL’s 4.5 acres of vines for the first step in wine harvest: collecting the grapes. With “grape forks” in hand, the team cut the grapes from their stems, dropped them into buckets and sent them off to the crusher. Watch the video here.


Step 2: Crush and De-Stem

Over 15 tons of grapes eventually make their way to the crusher and de-stemmer machine, located on VPL’s crush pad. The machine pulls the grapes through rubber rollers that squish out the juice and send the remnants down to the de-stemmer. The end result? Grape material ready for fermentation and stems ready for the compost pile. See the machine here.


Step 3: Start Yeast Fermentation

Once the grapes are smushed and separated from their stem counterparts, it’s time to ferment. Joe adds a sugar and water mixture to increase the sugar levels. He then adds tempered yeast to the bin and lets it convert the sugar to alcohol. Watch the video here.


Step 4: Punch the Cap

As the yeast does its job, the grape skins and stems (aka the “cap”) float to the top of the bin. Why? Because the added yeast releases CO2 gasses, causing the material to float. Thus in order for red wine to have the right color and flavor, Joe must press down the skins using something called a punch down tool. See how it’s done here.


Step 5: Start Malolactic Fermentation

This step in fermentation involves adding beneficial bacteria that converts malic acid into a much smoother and easier-to-drink lactic acid. Watch it added here.


Step 6: Press Wine Off the Skins

Once the flavors are right, the wine and grape mixture is shoveled into VPL’s bladder press. This machine pushes the grape skins to the outside and drains the wine into a collection bin. The grape material is collected in a bag and the wine travels into a massive tank. See the machine here. Note: this is the last video posted, but not the last step in winemaking. Check back to VPL’s Facebook page in the next few weeks for the rest of the process.


If you’re like us and thinking “this is awesome, how do I see more?!” You’re in luck! On Saturday, Oct 20 from 1-7 p.m., The Vineyards at Pine Lake is offering the ultimate wine harvest experience at their first-ever Harvest Festival.


What’s Happening at Harvest Festival?

A lot. From 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., you’ll have the chance to celebrate the wine harvest season with the release of VPL’s first estate-grown wine, exclusive wine tasting tours, hands-on sessions, live music, food, craft beer from Birdfish Brewing Co., games, face painting, local vendors and more. Here’s the schedule:

1:00 – 1:45       Vineyards White Release

2:00 – 3:30       Vine to Bottle Tour*

3:30 – 5:00       Parents Wine Blend Class/Kids Dessert Creation Class*

5:30 – 7:00       Vine to Bottle Tour*


*How to Get Tickets

Although admission to Harvest Festival is free, you won’t really get the full wine harvest experience unless you grab tickets to one of the event’s interactive sessions. And in our opinion, they’re more than worth the price. Bringing a date? Reserve tickets for the Vine to Bottle Tour, which includes wine tastings, for just $15/person. You can choose from two different tour times, starting at either 2 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. Have kids? Grab tickets to the Parents Wine Blend Class for $20/adult and your kids get to create a dessert with VPL’s Executive Chef for free. All ticket details and links can be found at vplharvestfestival.eventbrite.com.




This harvest season, take advantage of this beautiful vineyard located in southern Mahoning County! And when you visit, don’t forget to bring your Wines of the Valley passport, purchase a glass of wine and earn your stamp and wine charm. Looking for more winery events in Mahoning County? Visit our Facebook page or take a look at the Mahoning County Convention & Visitors Bureau website!

Okay, we’ll say it: IT’S FALL Y’ALL! Sweater season has officially arrived & we’re here to make sure you don’t stay on the couch for another movie marathon. Instead, visit Youngstown & Mahoning County for the many fall-tastic happenings. Keep scrolling for our ultimate guide to fall – festivals, pumpkin pickin’ & spiced lattes included.

Raid the stores for lederhosen and practice your guten tag – Oktoberfest is next week and you won’t want to miss it. The new Rhine Haus Bier Hall (opening soon) is celebrating big September 28-30 with their first-ever Youngstown Oktoberfest. Expect authentic German cuisine, live music, pretzel tosses, beer belly contests and a lot more on Phelps Street in downtown YO, right next to Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts. If you get lost, just follow the polka music & pierogi scents.

Mahoning County fall fests = your one-stop shop for all things fall. Pick any weekend from now until October 28 and celebrate the season at White House Fruit Farm. Their Fall Celebration Weekends include a petting zoo, pony rides, food vendors, caramel apples, cider, donuts – the list goes on. It’s family-friendly and extremely popular among locals and visitors. The fall fare continues with Molnar Farms’ Fall Fest on Saturday, September 29 from 9am-5pm. Find home décor from 20+ featured vendors. The Boardman Rotary is hosting its 42nd Annual Oktoberfestival on Sunday, September 30. Check it out at Boardman Township Park from 9am-5pm (pro tip: wear comfortable shoes). And if you’re one of those “it’s not fall until October” kind of people, then wait until the Fall Festival happening at Lamppost Farm on Saturday, October 6. It’s open to all ages, with hayrides, games, demos & fall food for purchase.

We can’t promise you’ll find the Great Pumpkin, but we can at least tell you where to find lots of pumpkins n’ patches in Mahoning County. During the first three weekends of October, visit Mill Creek MetroParks Farm for their Pick a Pumpkin events. It includes a tractor ride ($1) out to their patch, a pumpkin ($3) and decorating session. White House Fruit Farm’s pumpkin pavilion is also now open to visitors. But, for those that are ready to get elbow-deep in pumpkin goop, head to Fellows Riverside Gardens for Pumpkin Carving October 11-13. All carved pumpkins will then be showcased in their Pumpkin Walk at Twilight on Sunday, October 14 (date night anyone?).

Disclaimer: the following events might lead to nightmares. Haunted house lovers and fans of fear, the Canfield Scaregrounds is where you need to be. Open every weekend from September 28 – October 31, the Canfield FairScaregrounds is home to six terrifying attractions (think: barn of evil, haunted circus, zombie massacre). For ticket prices and discounts visit canfieldscaregrounds.com. In other spooky news, you can take a tour of the historic Oak Hill Cemetery on Saturday, October 27. Enjoy The Twilight Zone performed on stage at the Hopewell Theatre, or see The Addams Family performed by YSU Theater October 19-28.

This season, local shops are pulling out all of the stops when it comes to fall-themed goodies. Here’s where you need to go:

  • Branch Street Coffee Roasters: check their Instagram for all the deets on their new fall flavor releases
  • High Octane Coffee Co.: try their pumpkin iced latte & specialty ice cream
  • Handel’s Ice Cream: seasonal flavors include caramel apple, pumpkin pecan & pumpkin ripple (lots of locations)
  • White House Fruit Farm: pumpkin donuts (the best), pumpkin roll, apple cider, pies & anything else you could possibly want
  • The Orange Avocado: a quaint juicery now serving pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin pie smoothies

 Make the most out of this season and get your fall on while in the Youngstown area! Out of date night ideas? See a performance at Hopewell Theatre. Ready to carve pumpkins? Pick the perfect one from the MetroParks Farm’s patch. Craving sweets? We bet those White House pumpkin donuts are calling your name. To stay up-to-date on upcoming fall events in Youngstown & Mahoning County, visit our Facebook page or take a look at the Mahoning County Convention & Visitors Bureau website!