A Not-So-Scary Trail

Fairfield County’s Trail of Scarecrows celebrates fall in Ohio while social distancing

By Corinne Minard

This October, those who drive just 30 minutes southeast of Columbus, Ohio, will find a fall activity perfect for social distancing. Fairfield County’s second annual Trail of Scarecrows brings almost 300 scarecrows to 14 communities in the county.

Visitors can drive around the county or walk through each participating community to see hundreds of unique and inventive scarecrows. Businesses, groups, organizations and residents in Fairfield County were invited to create scarecrows for the countywide event as long as they kept to three rules: “The only rules were that they had to give it a name so that people could vote and they had to have it out the whole month of October. And it couldn’t be political,” says Jonett Haberfield, executive director of Visit Fairfield County.

This has led to a variety of creative scarecrows, from Minions to Cat in the Hats to Scary Larry. “We’re just opening it to whatever or however creative people want to be,” adds Haberfield.

Those who want to explore the free trail can do so in several ways. This year Visit Fairfield County has added a map to its app (which can be download from the Apple or Android stores). There you can find the location of all the participating scarecrows and even “check in” when you’re within 50 feet of one. Visitors can also view an online map or get a printed map of the Lancaster scarecrows at the Visit Fairfield County visitors center.

Those who visit the scarecrows can vote for their favorites online and submit photos of themselves with the scarecrows to Visit Fairfield County.

“Everybody has their own way of experiencing it,” says Haberfield. “They can be interactive without physically seeing us or anybody else.”

After following the trail, Haberfield encourages visitors looking to experience fall to continue to explore the mostly rural county.

“We have a lot of farms. And a lot of those farms have pumpkin fields where you can pick pumpkins, you can pick apples at the apple orchard. There’s a couple of corn mazes that you can participate in. We even have a haunted farm,” she says. “Come and have an authentic autumn experience here.”