There is just something about a waterfall. Maybe it was growing up in the era when TLC’s “Waterfalls” was a #1 hit. Ha! Maybe it is the soothing sound of falling water that evokes relaxation and peace. Whatever it is, visitors to Ohio will find multiple waterfalls throughout the state. Here are fifteen waterfalls in Ohio that we’ve visited and recommend.
The best waterfalls of Ohio
Honey Run Falls
Located near Howard, Ohio, Honey Run Falls, and its adjacent hiking trail offers a nice stopover for those traveling between Columbus and Ohio’s Amish Country.
During the summer months, you’ll find families playing in the water and on the rocks.
Parking is limited. The trail can get very muddy in the spring, so bring appropriate footwear. In June, I liked wearing my Chacos because I could wear them right into the water and they didn’t slip on the rocks.
Hayden Run Falls
Just minutes from the Dublin, Ohio, and the Tuttle shopping area, Hayden Run Falls is a quiet oasis among the busy life of the city.
The falls are accessed by a large boardwalk. Visitors must descend numerous steps into the ravine (and yes, those steps are the same way you return to your car). While this isn’t the easiest place to bring kids, the boardwalk does help keep them from getting close to the water.
Best of all, visiting the waterfall is free! Click here for more ideas of free things to do in Columbus with kids.
Parking is limited and there are no facilities. Even without these offerings, Hayden Run Falls offers a nice lunch-break escape or reflective spot while visiting the ever-growing Columbus!
Gorge Metro Park waterfall
Using some creative license, because while this is a waterfall, it’s a manmade waterfall! The dam within Gorge Metro Park creates this overflow. I found the surrounding environment to be very enjoyable (especially in the fall).
I recommend taking the Glens Trail past the Mary Campbell Cave and then turning towards the dam before the trail becomes primitive.
You can find more info on visiting Gorge Metro Park within Summit Metro Parks.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is home to the beautiful Brandywine Falls. Possibly one of the most photographed waterfalls in Ohio, Brandywine Falls is one you won’t want to miss!
Like Hayden Run Falls, 60-foot Brandywine Falls is reached via a boardwalk with many stairs, so it isn’t stroller or wheelchair-friendly. The parking lot is large but gets very full on weekends from May-October. Visiting early in the morning or late in the afternoon is probably best.
For more info: Our 5 Favorite Spots in Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Located just outside of Mohican State Park is Hemlock Falls. This waterfall is on private property but is open to visitors. Read my post on how to get access to Hemlock Falls.
Hemlock Falls is special because it isn’t over-touristed and retains some unknown charm.
The hike to get to Hemlock Falls isn’t very easy and cell phone service is rare. Make sure you’re prepared.
Big Lyon & Little Lyon Falls
Mohican State Park is home to two amazing waterfalls and they are both accessed on the same trail. The Lyons Falls trail is best accessed by parking at the Covered Bridge, but can also be reached by a trail spur and parking at the Pleasant Hill Dam. Wear good hiking shoes, as the Lyon Falls trail can often have icy or wet spots. Visiting in the spring is the best chance for seeing more than a drip of water, but winter visits allow for neat ice formations.
For more things to do in Mohican State Park – our family adventure guide.
Dundee Falls is a nature lover’s oasis in the midst of Ohio’s Amish Country. Dundee Falls is located within Beach City Wildlife Area and is a great place to enjoy a hike and a dip in the water. This hike is not strenuous (in fact, I forgot my hiking shoes and had to do it in flip-flops).
Staying longer in Amish Country? Check out the best places to stay in Amish Country.
The Cascades at Glen Helen Nature Preserve
Glen Helen Nature Preserve in Yellow Springs, Ohio is home to multiple waterfalls, but the most picturesque one is the Cascades. The Inman Trail is home to the Cascades, the Yellow Spring, and the Grotto. (Trail map here). Glen Helen operates as a non-profit, so you must pay $5 to park.
We had no problems doing this 1.25-mile trail with our children (ages 12-2). One area is a wetland, so this would be a great place to have a hiking carrier for little ones.
Hocking Hills waterfalls
Hocking Hills State Park is home to multiple waterfalls. Here are our favorites.
Cedar Falls is one of the most breathtaking places within Hocking Hills State Park. With nearly a 50-foot drop, it’s also one of the larger waterfalls in the state.
Cedar Falls is reached via a large, stone staircase. If traveling with small children, make sure you use a carrier or have a good hold on little hands.
While this looks like the perfect swimming hole, swimming is not permitted. Instead, you may see turtles enjoying an afternoon dip.
Cedar Falls is definitely one of the more idyllic waterfalls of Ohio. However, Hocking Hills can be crowded during the summer. For the most pleasant visit, visit on a weekday or during the spring or late fall.
Located on the grounds of Camp Akita, Rockstall Nature Preserve is a Hocking Hills hidden gem that is off-the-beaten-path compared to busier hiking areas within the Hocking Hills. We visited at the end of summer, and only got to see a very dry rockface, not a waterfall – so visit in the spring or early summer for the best chance of seeing this awesome Ohio waterfall.
Find out more here: hiking at Rockstall Nature Preserve.
Robinson Falls at Boch Hollow
Robinson Falls – commonly known as Corkscrew Falls at Boch Hollow is accessed only via a permit from ODNR. I wish someone would have told me that it will literally take 3-4 minutes to walk to the falls viewing area from the parking lot, so make sure you plan to do something else in the area, not just this one stop.
Corkscrew Falls looks dreamy on a wet day, but unfortunately, it was only a trickle when we visited in August. I recommend seeing this Hocking Hills waterfall in the spring.
Ash Cave is considered a rock recess or cave, but throughout the year it also acts as waterfall. At 90-feet-tall, this makes an exquisite sight! Ash Cave is one of the easiest hikes at Hocking Hills for kids and the trail is even handicap-accessible. Find out more about my favorite hikes at Hocking Hills for kids and my favorite wheelchair-accessible trails in Ohio.
Big Spring Hollow
Big Spring Hollow Falls is the tallest waterfall in the Hocking Hills Region. This beautiful trail is also great, because it’s one of the flatter trails and fairly easy to reach.
Here are my tips for visiting Big Spring Hollow. If nothing else, make sure you realize that this is a bridle trail and it can be very muddy. However, the views make it so worth it!
Old Man’s Cave Upper & Lower Falls
Old Man’s Cave is one of the most popular and heavily trafficked areas in all of Hocking Hills. My best tip for Old Man’s Cave is to arrive early! The parking lot can fill up quickly, especially on weekends and holidays. Visiting before 9 am is ideal.
Old Man’s Cave is one of the Hocking Hills trails with the most “bang for your buck” as it offers two waterfalls, a huge cave (rock recess), and lots of Instagram-worthy photo ops.
Plan your trip here:
Have you visited any of these waterfalls of Ohio? Which one is your favorite? Tell me in the comments below.
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