March 10, 2016

Central Ohio Waterfalls

This winter we have stayed pretty close to home, in contrast to 2015 when we were frequently out of town. We have enjoyed this relatively mild winter at home more than I expected, largely thanks to the fact that we have gotten out to explore various natural areas nearly every day. Since there has been plenty of precipitation, we have made a point of visiting several waterfalls within about an hour drive, most of which we had never seen prior to this winter.

One cold day in January we headed west to Greenville Falls, which is part of the Miami County Park District:

Another view of the falls shows the ice formations along the sides of the stream:

From there we headed to nearby Ludlow Falls, a pretty good drop considering the generally flat topography in this part of Ohio :

My favorite waterfall that day was West Milton Cascades, tucked into a ravine right in the small town of West Milton:

Here is another view, from the icy steps that were constructed long ago to give access to the falls:

Hayden Run Falls is about 5 minutes from our house, and I had only been there once many summers ago when just a trickle of water fell over the ledge. That visit involved a messy scramble down a steep cliff, but several years ago the City of Columbus parks department built a stairway and boardwalk to give safe access to the falls. The contrast between our January visit and my long ago trek was quite dramatic!

A few weeks after that photo was taken, we stopped back by Hayden Run after much of the ice had melted:

What a difference a few days of warm weather makes!

On another one of the warmer days this winter, we headed to Knox County to 25-foot tall Honey Run Falls: 

We had never been there before, and enjoyed the hemlock forest, impressive sandstone boulders and a short trail that leads from the falls to the Kokosing River.

Another interesting waterfall that neither of us had ever been to is Indian Run Falls in Dublin:

Located in a steep ravine behind the Dublin Library, Indian Run is rather hard to photograph but is well worth a visit. The City of Dublin has constructed a series of stairs and trails to allow safe access to several viewpoints.

One weekend we headed west to Charleston Falls Preserve in Miami County. This park has an extensive trail network in addition to the waterfall, which is the main attraction. The bottom of the falls is accessible via a series of stairs and a boardwalk, which were quite icy the day we visited. I actually preferred the view from above, with the falls flanked by a stately sycamore and a tall cedar.

Last week we topped off our series of waterfall visits with a trip south to Hocking Hills State Park. My favorite was this view of the upper falls at Old Man's Cave:

Just above the falls is a series of scenic cascades:

Here is a photo of the lower falls at Old Man's Cave. 

The entire hiking experience at Old Man's Cave is great (if it isn't too crowded) and I highly recommend it. 

Cedar Falls was flowing quite well; I liked the way the water splits over the rock and comes together again:

Our last waterfall in this series is at Ash Cave, another part of Hocking Hills State Park. It didn't have a lot of water, but the setting is so impressive:

A trail leads behind the falls to another view which includes the massive recess cave for which the area is named:

All in all, we have managed to enjoy this winter here in Columbus (much to my surprise!) and our waterfall expeditions have been some of the highlights. If you would like to see more pictures of some of these falls, check out Jim McCormac's excellent blog here.


  1. Amazing! I loved all the photos and your descriptions. What a different kind of winter activity. I thought of your previous post when we got home last night. My aconite and snow drops were in bloom. I checked my garden journal and saw that this is about a month earlier than usual. Most of the snow is gone, too, which is also unusual. It was in the 60s a couple of days this week before we got home which, though nice, is also worrisome.

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