The state of Ohio has many spectacular parks and nature reserves that are filled with picturesque waterfalls. The best time to visit them is in spring when the snow melts or after a heavy rainfall when the water is gushing. Besides, rain helps the flowers to bloom, making the area beautiful and lively. During fall, the colorful foliage surrounding the waterfalls makes the view more panoramic. Most of the waterfalls are located around Cleveland in the northeastern part of Ohio. A few are close to Dayton in the center.
Located at the Mohican State Park, this waterfall is an imposing cascade of water with an 80-foot drop over a sandstone cliff to the Clear Fork Gorge. Visitors can walk behind the falls and enjoy the panoramic view from a small cave. Near to the Big Falls lies the Little Falls, a 25-foot drop into the gauge. A trail takes the visitors to the falls.
Nearest Town/City: 18.5 miles from Mansfield and 92 miles southwest of Cleveland.
Hiking & Other Activities: A 2-mile hiking trail and an 8.5-mile cycling trail pass through the park. There are three campgrounds inside the park.
This 30-foot scenic waterfall is tucked inside Cuyahoga Valley National Park. A short-unmarked track leads to the waterfall that crosses three streams. The 20-minute walk also passes through the Blue Hen Falls along with an abundance of flora and fauna. The park has few other notable falls, namely, Brandywine Falls and Miller Creek Falls.
Nearest Town/City: 6.8 miles from Brecksville and 22 miles south of Cleveland.
In the Cuyahoga Valley National Park lies a picturesque waterfall that is easily accessible through Brandywine Road. The 86-feet waterfall is surrounded by several layers of rock that were formed 400 million years ago. Next to this waterfall lies the smaller Blue Hen Falls and Buttermilk Falls.
Nearest Town/City: 5.7 miles from Northfield and 23 miles south of Cleveland.
Hiking & Other Activities: There is a 1.5-mile hiking trail that allows visitors to explore beyond the waterfall. The picnic shelters are available after reservation.
Located in the heart of the town of Chagrin Falls, this 20-foot waterfall can be easily accessible through a boardwalk from North Main Street above. The Chagrin River flows through the town. The nearby Cuyahoga Valley National Park is within a 30-minute ride from the town.
Nearest Town/City: Chagrin Falls, 25 miles east of Cleveland.
The waterfall can be found inside Charleston Falls State Nature Preserve. It is 37 feet high, and the water is fed by Charleston Creek, which makes a deep cut on its way to the Great Miami River. The flow of water into the rocky gorge gives a splendid view. Several trails lead to the ravine below the falls.
Nearest Town/City: 4.4 miles from Tipp City and 14 miles north of Dayton
Hiking & Other Activities: The preserve has several hiking trails. Camping and picnic facilities are available as well.
Named after the town where it is located, Ludlow Falls looks impressive with a 15-foot drop hidden under a highway bridge on Route 48. The Ludlow Creek feeds the waterfall. A short walk from Covington Avenue through a park can give good views from the northern side. There is an old stairway that runs into the gorge.
Nearest Town/City: Ludlow Falls, 27 miles north of Dayton.
This urban waterfall is situated on Black River inside Cascade Park, not far from Lake Eire. With 30 feet high twin cascades, this impressive waterfall can be viewed from the bridge above and an observation deck nearby. A 1.2-mile trail leads up to the falls. Its neighbor East Falls is a mile away.
Nearest Town/City: Elyria, 30 miles west of Cleveland
Hiking & Other Activities: There is a playground at the park.
Inside Griggs Reservoir Park lies a 25-foot impressive waterfall fed by Hayden Run on its way to the Scioto River through a deep-cut gorge. A boardwalk from the parking lot takes to an observation deck where the falls can be seen clearly. Hayden Falls has gained popularity in recent times because of its proximity to Columbus.
Nearest Town/City: Dublin, 16 miles from Columbus.
Hiking & Other Activities: There is a possibility to do a picnic while watching the gorgeous waterfall.
Within the Hocking Hills State Park lies this 50-foot-high impressive waterfall fed by Cedar Creek. It flows down a sandstone rock that splits the waterfall into two before converging again to drop into a pool below. Rocky beaches surround the pool. Many caves and cliffs can be seen in the park. An easy trail leads to the falls with a half-mile hike.
Nearest Town/City: 14.5 miles from Logan and 60 miles southeast of Columbus.
Hiking & Other Activities: Cyclists can explore many trails in the park.
Located in Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve in southwestern Ohio, this 40-foot waterfall is next to the historic Clifton Mill. There is an old waterwheel, a wooden covered bridge, and several landmark buildings around this area. Made out of limestone, Clifton Gorge has been curved by the Little Miami River. Visitors can reach the waterfall from the west by the Narrows Trail. Another waterfall, Amphitheatre Falls, is also located in the preserve.
Nearest Town/City: Clifton, 24 miles east of Dayton.
A two-tiered picturesque waterfall in Paine Falls Park near the shores of Lake Eire, the waterfall is 25 feet high and surrounded by forest, which turns into a spectacular sight in fall. It is a quarter-mile walk to the observation deck from the parking lot near Pine Road. The falls are located between Buffalo and Cleveland.
Nearest Town/City: 6.2 miles from Painesville and 37 northeast of Cleveland.
Hiking & Other Activities: There is a hiking trail that gives a spectacular view of the gorge.The park includes grills for picnics and clean restrooms.
Located in Greenville Falls State Natural Area, it is a 20-foot-high cascade of water pouring from Greenville Creek to a characteristic and imposing gorge. A beautiful nature-made arch surrounds the waterfall. The falls can be easily accessed by a short trail overlooking the cascade. A uniqueness about this waterfall is that it is filled with water all year round.
Nearest Town/City: 1.5 miles from Covington and 15 miles east of Greenville.
A 15-foot-high waterfall and surrounded by a pristine landscape, it is best viewed in spring. The waterfall is located in a small wooded gorge in Fallsville Falls Wildlife Area. A short half-mile walk from Carytown Road takes visitors to the gorge from where the falls can be seen. Charleston Falls and Clifton Gorge are within 30 and 40 miles, respectively.
Nearest Town/City: 6.6 miles from New Vienna and 53 miles southeast of Dayton.
This waterfall is located in John Bryan State Park and Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve. Visiting the waterfall in winter can give a spectacular view of the frozen cascade. In summer, the water rushes through a steep and narrow limestone gorge. The George Trail takes the visitors directly to several lookouts over the gorge.
Nearest Town/City: 2.2 miles from Yellow Springs and 22.5 miles east of Dayton.
Hiking & Other Activities: There are mountain biking trails and a few campgrounds inside the park.
The Caesar Creek State Park in the southwest is an ideal place for hiking, which leads to a small and beautiful waterfall surrounded by spectacular landscape and wildlife. The water drops to a creek below. The trailhead starts from Wellman Area, and a 109-foot-long Caesar Creek Swinging Bridge spans the waterway.
Nearest Town/City: 7.3 miles from Waynesville and 24.5 miles south of Dayton
Hiking & Other Activities: A 1.8-mile-long loop runs through the park, which is easy to navigate since the trail is flat. Pets are allowed but must be on the leash. Activities like camping, picnicking, and fishing are allowed in the park.
There are quite a few waterfalls situated in Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve in the central east. This waterfall is on the Chestnut Trail and can be easily reached by a 1.4-mile trek connected to the main Blackhand Gorge Trail.
Nearest Town/City: 11.7 miles from Newark and 51 miles east of Columbus.
Hiking & Other Activities: Starting from the north parking lot, the Marie Hickey Trail leads to the rest of the waterfalls in this area.
Located in Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, this waterfall cascades 40 feet down the face of a sandstone ledge. It can be seen from above, below, or a cave behind it. A short half-mile walk along the Yellow Trail takes to the boardwalk near the falls. Summer should be avoided as the water dries up. The Minnehaha Falls is a short 10-minute walk from the waterfall, and the Garrettsville Falls is a short 10-15 minutes’ drive from the park.
Nearest Town/City: 5.3 miles from Garrettsville and 44 miles east of Cleveland.
Hiking & Other Activities: Several hiking trails from the parking lot takes visitors inside the park. A few picnic spots are available by the road leading up to the falls.
It is an urban waterfall that is fed by the creek of the same name. The waterfall consists of two parts – a 20-feet cascade and a 15-foot-drop leading to a beautiful broad gorge. A bridge runs across the gorge, which is now closed to the public. The falls can be best viewed by taking the trail along the gorge’s edge.
Nearest Town/City: Dublin, 17 miles north of Columbus
Hiking & Other Activities: There are walking paths, overlooks, and two shelters.
Around 70 feet tall, this twin waterfall drops dramatically to a beautiful gorge below. The track leading up to the falls is not an easy one. The water at the bottom is usually shallow, and hence, it should be visited after a rainfall.
Nearest Town/City: 4.5 miles from Northfield and 17 miles south of Cleveland.
This waterfall is located in Mills Creek Park, next to the mid-19th century Lanter’s Mill. The drop is 15 feet, which is strong enough to power the mill. Fed by the Mill Creek, the waterfall plunges into a picturesque deep rocky gorge. A trail from the mill leads down to an overlook in the gorge. The falls can be best viewed from the side and above. There is an admission fee of $1 for residents and $2 for non-residents.
Nearest Town/City: 3.5 miles from Youngstown and 51.7 miles east of Akron.
Hiking & Other Activities: There is an option for hiking in and around this area.
Best Waterfalls for Hiking: Brandywine Falls, Cedar Falls, Blue Hen Falls
Best Waterfalls for Swimming: Chagrin Falls, Ludlow Falls, Horseshoe Falls
Best Hidden Waterfalls: Cedar Falls, Ludlow Falls, Upper Falls
Best Waterfalls in Northeastern Ohio: Brandywine Falls, Mill Creek, Bridal Veil Falls
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