10 Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Ohio

One of Ohio’s best-kept secrets? Its abundance of cascading, stunning waterfalls. While much of the state is covered in agricultural land, wildlife areas, nature preserves, and state parks are home to beautiful, awe-inspiring waterfalls.

From thin, misty cascades to wide, long drops of water, Ohio’s waterfalls are a must-see for visitors and locals.

While numerous stunning waterfalls are waiting to be explored, these are some of the best in the state of Ohio. Whether you want to find a cool summer spot or gape up at icy formations in the winter, these 10 beautiful waterfalls in Ohio are some of the best places to find misty waters and hidden beauty away from the flat farmland.

1: Big (and Little) Lyons Falls – Mohican State Park

Big (and Little) Lyons Falls – Mohican State Park
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Tom Hart

Mohican State Park is home to some of Ohio's most unique natural wonders, including a vast hemlock forest, scenic river views, and of course, two of the most magnificent waterfalls in Ohio: Big Lyons and Little Lyons. A two-mile loop hike takes visitors around the 300-foot-deep Clear Fork Gorge to find these misty falls.

The best part about this adventure is that there are two waterfalls to enjoy. Big Lyons drops water 80 feet down into the gorge, and you can even explore the cave behind the falls. Little Lyons may be shorter, but it’s still just as impressive (especially from above).

The trailhead to the falls starts at the Covered Bridge and follows the Clear Fork Creek. The falls are best viewed after heavy rain when the gushing waters are even more impressive.

Address: 3116 State Route 3, Loudonville, OH 44842

2: Cedar Falls – Hocking Hills State Park

Cedar Falls – Hocking Hills State Park
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/James St. John

Southeast of Columbus sits Hocking Hills State Park, a lush protected land home to Cedar Falls, one of the most popular waterfalls to visit in Ohio. In the spring, wildflowers appear along the trail, and cold temperatures allow for an enjoyable hike. In the fall, the changing leaves create a colorful background as you take in the cascading water.

The half-mile hike makes it more accessible than other waterfalls, and its flow changes with the seasons and rainfall amounts. In the spring, heavy rainwater crashes down into the sandstone pool below. Sometimes the pool and falls dry up in the summer if there isn’t a lot of rain.

The half-mile trail takes about 40 minutes to hike. Many take a longer time to take in the historic grist mill, moss-covered cliffs, and natural wildlife all around. The trailhead is located off route 374 in Hocking Hills State Park.

Address: 19852 OH-664, Logan, OH 43138

Website: www.hockinghills.com

3: Buttermilk Falls – Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Buttermilk Falls – Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Vince Reinhart

Even though it's a short drive from Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park provides an escape into the natural world and the opportunity to explore forests, hills, and beautiful Ohio waterfalls. One of those falls, Buttermilk Falls, offers views of a 30-foot rocky cascade among the forest trees.

After an easy 20-minute walk past the more well-known Blue Hen Falls, hikers will come upon the hidden Buttermilk Falls. Blue Hen is a beautiful 15-foot cascade, and many turn around here. There’s no real trail that leads to the falls, so hikers follow the creek downstream about a mile past Blue Hen Falls.

Visitors can park at the Boston Mill Visitor Center and walk down the Buckeye Trail. The park rangers warn not to park outside the visitor center parking lot or risk being towed.

Address: Brecksville, OH 44141

4: Brandywine Falls – Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brandywine Falls – Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Tim Evanson

Also located in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Brandywine Falls has gained popularity as the largest waterfall in Ohio. The waterfall drops water down a 65-foot cliff into the creek below, creating a pleasant and unforgettable sight.

While Brandywine Falls are easily visited year-round, one of the best times to go is in the fall, when the changing leaves create a colorful and breathtaking background. It’s no wonder Brandywine Falls has become the most popular place in the national park.

The short walk from the parking lot makes it easy to access Ohio’s largest waterfall, and there are numerous spots perfect for spectacular photos of the falls. The parking lot sits along Brandywine Road, and a terrace around the falls provides accessible areas for people of all ages and abilities.

Address: 8176 Brandywine Rd, Sagamore Hills, OH 44067

Website: www.nps.gov

5: Chagrin Falls – Cleveland/Chagrin Falls

Chagrin Falls – Cleveland/Chagrin Falls
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Tim Evanson

If you don’t want to leave the city for a taste of natural splendor, you’ll find Chagrin Falls is a beautiful, accessible sight in the Cleveland metro area. The town of Chagrin Falls, named for the falls that flow through the Chagrin River (and the middle of town), is a popular attraction for visitors and locals alike.

The falls sit about 25 miles east of Cleveland and are extremely easy to find – just below Chagrin Falls’ Main Street bridge! Take in the scene from the bridge, or head to the lower level boardwalks to get a closer look at these beautiful cascades.

You won’t soon forget seeing this urban waterfall drop water 20 feet down to the river. After visiting the falls, the town is home to a variety of small shops, including a delicious ice cream store right next to the river.

Address: N Main St, Chagrin Falls, OH 44022

6: Hayden Falls – Dublin/Columbus

Hayden Falls – Dublin/Columbus
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Kyle Hartshorn

South of Dublin and north of Columbus sits Hayden Falls Park, a quiet respite in the middle of Central Ohio’s urban landscape. While the falls sit next to a busy road, the two acres around Hayden Falls provide a peaceful spot for a workweek lunch or weekend picnic.

The waterfall features a 35-foot drop into a clear pool below and is most spectacular after heavy rains pass through the area. After spending some time taking in the misty waters, you’ll quickly forget the park’s proximity to city life.

Hayden Falls is accessible by a stairway from a parking lot off Hayden Run Road. A boardwalk at the falls' base offers amazing views of this waterfall.

Address: 4326 Hayden Run Rd, Dublin, OH 43017

7: Paine Falls – Painesville

Paine Falls – Painesville

Near the city of Painesville close to Lake Erie is Paine Falls Park, home to another stunning Ohio waterfall. The park itself is just five miles from town and features a small park and areas for picnics, grilling, and hiking around the gorge.

The two-tiered Paine Falls is easily accessible from Interstate 90 and features a walkable bridge at the top. Take some time to hike the trail around the falls, but stay on the path as the rocks around the falls are very slippery.

Paine Falls is the perfect stop on a road trip (especially between Buffalo, New York, and Cleveland). The falls are located a half-mile off Paine Road, just past the bridge.

Address: 5570 Paine Rd, Painesville, OH 44077

8: Greenville Falls – Greenville Falls State Natural Area

Greenville Falls – Greenville Falls State Natural Area
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Chris M Morris

Greenville Falls is a remarkable 20-foot waterfall surrounded by Ohio’s abundant farmland in Miami County. The falls sit about 50 feet wide and have running water for most of the year (visit in the fall for impressive ice formations!).

The falls also features a natural stone arch and an old mill, and its unique features make it one of Ohio's most famous waterfalls. The park itself has 92 acres of land to explore, including a short walk to a power plant and more scenic overlooks.

These grand falls are accessible by walking a short trail to the overlook. The parking lot for Greenville Falls is located on Rangeline Road in Covington, Ohio.

Address: 9140 Covington-Gettysburg Rd, Covington, OH 45318

9: Lanterman’s Falls – Youngstown/Mill Creek Park

Lanterman’s Falls – Youngstown/Mill Creek Park
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/MJ

On the outskirts of Youngstown, Mill Creek Park is another hidden Ohio gem. An old grist mill overlooks Lanterman’s Falls, a beautiful 15-foot waterfall fed by Mill Creek. The mill’s restored waterwheel and covered bridge provide a historic and unique experience. The power generated by the falls is still used to power the old mill.

Visitors can visit the mill and even purchase flour ground there. Lanterman’s Falls cascades into the gorge, where an overlook provides unforgettable views of the scenery. There are also several hikes around the falls and the creek to find different views of the falls for even greater photos.

The overlook is accessed by a short walk from a parking lot on the north side of Mill Creek. Take the trail down into the gorge for a close-up view of the falls or walk the park’s covered bridge and step back into history.

Address: 980 Canfield Rd, Youngstown, OH 44511

10: Old Man’s Cave Waterfalls – Hocking Hills State Park

Old Man’s Cave Waterfalls – Hocking Hills State Park
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/See1,Do1,Teach1

Another Hocking Hills State Park treasure is Old Man’s Cave Waterfalls. With upper and lower cascades, these falls are some of the most photographed waterfalls in Ohio. With more than 40 total feet of gushing water, it’s an unforgettable adventure in the heart of Ohio.

Named after the caved where Richard Rowe lived in the 19th century, Old Man’s Cave Falls have carved out the creek and surrounding rocks for centuries. The upper falls are found at the east end, where several caves are waiting for daring explorers. The lower falls are farther down the trail, where the second cascade drops its water into a large pool below.

The falls can be accessed from the Grandma Gatewood Trail in Hocking Hills State Park. The trail crosses bridges and winds through a tunnel, then leaves the falls via manmade stone and wooden stairs and even passes underneath another waterfall and through a tunnel.

Address: 19852 State Route 664 S, OH 43138

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