Finding Hemlock Falls – A hidden waterfall of Ohio

Unfortunately, vandals have damaged the property at Hemlock Falls. This has ruined it for all visitors! Ughhh. Per Jason from the Richland Co Park District- as of 5/20/20 – The Hemlock Falls property and the main falls are still open to the public via the Clear Fork Valley spur trail, but only via that trail spur and only to the end of the bridge below the falls. Due to current situations there is absolutely no off-trail access or access to other parts of the property without a written permit from the park district or certified guide. Access to the other falls on the property, the giant slump rocks and anywhere above and around the main falls is strictly prohibited, again without a temporary pass or a guide from the park district. Even with a pass (without a guide from the park district) the pass only gives access past the bridge to the “horseshoe” falls area. No other areas are accessible even with the temporary permit. My note – You may contact jlarson@richlandcountyoh.us to get a permit.

Hemlock Falls is a beautiful waterfall near Butler, Ohio.  Even though it’s difficult to locate, the hike to this nearly 100-foot waterfall is worth the trip!

While Hemlock Falls is located NEAR Mohican State Park, it is owned by the Richland Park District and access is managed by Mohican Outdoor School. Eventually, the Falls will be on the new B & O Trail as the land was recently purchased by the Mohican Watershed Conservancy.

How do you access Hemlock Falls?

You must call and get permission.

The Mohican Outdoor School hosts school field trips, so visitors may not always be welcome. If you’re coming from out of town, you can call and set up a time in advance.

The hidden waterfall is located across Bunkerhill Road from the School.  Follow signage for the “Hemlock Falls Field Trip” to find the parking area.  On our first visit, the owners of the Mohican School asked us to check-in at the school first.  The second time we visited, this was not the case. 

Hemlock Falls waterfall Ohio - Northest Ohio waterfall
Staring at the large stone outcroppings on the hike to Hemlock Falls, a hidden waterfall of Ohio.

After you park near the Field Trip Center (across the road from the school), you will need to follow signs that are located on tall poles or trees. 

There are currently no blazes, but they do have plastic ties adorning the trees.

We followed the blue ties on the way to the waterfall and the white ties (i.e. the main trail), on the loop back.  The make-shift blazes aren’t the best markings and cell-phone service is spotty.  If you’re nervous, you may want to bring a compass, although eventually the main trail puts you out by Bunkerhill Road and from there it’s pretty easy to determine where you are parked.

Hiking at Hemlock Falls in NE Ohio.  This waterfall is a great place for families to visit.
Notice the blue plastic tie serving as a trail marker.
The first waterfall that you will come upon is actually NOT Hemlock Falls, but still a hiker’s delight.

Once you arrive at the bridge to view Hemlock Falls, there are signs saying the trail is closed.  I suspect that this is referencing an old trail and now they’ve created a new trail, which is why they just use the plastic markers, not actual blazes.

Hemlock Falls near Mohican State Park - has been drawing visitors for over one hundred years.
Thanks to the brush, it’s hard to get a great photo without leaving the trail.

The Hemlock Falls trail is slippery when muddy, so wear your best hiking shoe (see my favorite HERE) or rain boot!  I wouldn’t bring children that are younger than 3 unless you have them in a hiking carrier. It’s very hilly. I carried our youngest in our Lillebaby and it worked out well. 

The # to call for Mohican School of Outdoors: 419-938-6671

Hemlock Falls is located approximately 25 minutes south of Mansfield, OH or 30 minutes north of Mount Vernon, OH.

Have you been to Hemlock Falls? It’s a gem for Northeast Ohio.  Let me know if you go!

Interested in visiting more waterfalls?  Check out my 6 favorite waterfalls of Ohio!

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Hemlock Falls State Park is a hidden waterfall close to Mohican State Park. This Northeast Ohio waterfall is accessed by permission only.
Hemlock Falls State Park is a hidden waterfall close to Mohican State Park. This Northeast Ohio waterfall is accessed by permission only. #hikingOhio #Ohiotravel

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5 thoughts on “Finding Hemlock Falls – A hidden waterfall of Ohio”

  1. This place looks beautiful. It may actually be closed as of May 2020, I found your site trying to find more information about this post I saw on AllTrails today:

    “HEMLOCK FALLS AREA CLOSED – SIGNS WILL BE POSTED SO THAT EVERYONE IS AWARE OF THE LOCATIONS THAT ARE BEING CLOSED.

    If you have any questions prior to going out hiking please contact one of the people listed below with any questions or concerns that you may have. Thank you so much for being diligent in protecting Hemlock Falls.

    This area is closed to protect rare plants and fragile habitat.

    In two weeks’ time people climbing the hill sides and the cliffs have done damage that will take 10 or more years for nature to repair. This is a unique place with a rare community of plants and fragile habitat not found elsewhere in Richland County.

    Please report anyone you see violating this emergency closing order to Gorman Nature Center at 419-884-3764 or jlarson@richlandcountyoh.us, Eric Miller at 419-631-2158 or ericmiller@neo.rr.com, or Mike Solon at 419-610-3148 or msolon@richlandcountyoh.us.

    This land is owned by the Richland County Park District. It has the right and the obligation to close this area in order to protect it for future generations.”

    Reply
    • Hi Kat! Thanks for letting me know. I reached out to one of the contacts and this is the response I got:
      The Hemlock Falls property and the main falls are still open to the public via the Clear Fork Valley spur trail, but only via that trail spur and only to the end of the bridge below the falls. Due to current situations there is absolutely no off-trail access or access to other parts of the property without a written permit from the park district or certified guide. Access to the other falls on the property, the giant slump rocks and anywhere above and around the main falls is strictly prohibited, again without a temporary pass or a guide from the park district. Even with a pass (without a guide from the park district) the pass only gives access past the bridge to the “horseshoe” falls area. No other areas are accessible even with the temporary permit.

      You can email and ask for a temporary permit if you want to access the other areas. Thanks!!

      Reply

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