15 Amazing Waterfalls in Ohio

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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While the world may not know a great deal about the waterfalls in Ohio, come springtime, when the winter snows have melted, there are plenty of places where you can see waterfalls with impressive volumes of water.

The rains similarly help flowers to bloom to create some lovely settings for you to enjoy.

From spring onwards, many people enjoy the outdoor life and Ohio’s natural environment away from the cities.

If you are like-minded, here are 15 amazing waterfalls in Ohio.

1. Big Lyons Falls, Mohican State Park

Big Lyons Falls, Mohican State ParkSource: April DeBord / shutterstock
Big Lyons Falls, Mohican State Park

If you head for Mohican State Park, you can enjoy a two-mile hike which takes in two waterfalls – Big Lyons and Little Lyons.

The hike is a loop, and although it is difficult to get a good photograph of Clear Fork Gorge and the 80-foot Big Lyons Falls, you can walk behind it in a recessed cave.

The gorge is 300-feet deep and over 1,000 feet wide, so the image you will see is most impressive, even if a photograph does not do it justice.

The volume of water is limited other than after heavy rains, but you will enjoy the setting.

2. Buttermilk Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Buttermilk Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National ParkSource: places4you / shutterstock
Buttermilk Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Just south of Cleveland, Buttermilk Falls are a 20-minute walk after the less impressive Blue Hen Falls in Boston Township near Peninsula.

Don’t expect to find a well-marked trail, but you can follow the way along a small track.

It is located on land belonging to Boston Mills Ski Resort rather than the National Park, so an official trail is not possible anyway.

The falls are 30-feet high and the landowners don’t mind visitors.

Ideally, you should have waterproof boots, because you pass through the creek to get there.

3. Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National ParkSource: Kenneth Sponsler / shutterstock
Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Those people living close to this National Park never tire of seeing these lovely falls.

The waterfalls from above some 65 feet into the creek below.

There is a short walk along a boardwalk from the car park, so the falls are easily accessed by all – children, elderly and disabled.

Those wanting to get really close, however, need to be careful.

There are a number of places from which you will get a lovely photograph of Brandywine Falls.

If you visit in autumn when the leaves are shades of yellow and brown, the scene is even more spectacular.

4. Chagrin Falls, Cleveland

Chagrin Falls, ClevelandSource: Lynne Neuman / shutterstock
Chagrin Falls, Cleveland

These falls on the river of the same name are actually in the town of Chagrin Falls, so they are very accessible.

You won’t need directions, because you’ll hear the water when you are in town.

A bridge crosses the river at the top of the falls, while you can take steps down parallel to them to get a different perspective.

Take care because the rocks on the banks of the river are fairly slippery.

It is relaxing just to sit back and look at the falls from below and listen to the power of the water.

5. Greenville Falls, Miami County

Greenville Falls, Miami CountySource: Brian Rice / Facebook
Greenville Falls, Miami County

Greenville Falls State Nature Area is on the way to Indiana and offers one of the last chances to see a waterfall before leaving Ohio.

The drop is fairly shallow but the scene is both beautiful and tranquil, set amongst farmland.

The area is less than 100 acres, with the cascade the highlight of a visit.

Access to this 20-foot waterfall is fairly easy; the car park is just minutes away from both entrances.

While you’re there, you should also take a look at the mill and the old dam.

6. Charleston Falls, Miami County

Charleston Falls, OhioSource: Daniel Briem / shutterstock
Charleston Falls

This waterfall is at its best after heavy rainfall or in the spring, when the effects of snowmelt are still around.

The preserve taking the name of the falls has a series of interesting trails in its 216 acres, running through forests and open ground.

These falls have received the nickname ‘’Miniature Niagara’’, not because of their height – just 37 feet – but because of the similar rock strata.

Visitor facilities are excellent, encouraging camping and picnics, with the flora and fauna an additional attraction to the lovely falls.

7. Ludlow Falls, Miami County

Ludlow Falls, Miami CountySource: Kenneth Keifer / shutterstock
Ludlow Falls, Miami County

You may well hear Ludlow Falls before you see them.

Hidden below a highway bridge, you cannot avoid hearing the powerful water plunging 15 feet down Ludlow Creek.

If you are riding along the highway, you will not see these fairly wide falls.

Once you know they are there, it is just a short walk within this very small town to get good views of the water.

Avoid the south side, because views are obstructed by trees and the gorge fairly steep.

The maximum flow is in the spring after the snow has melted and rain is still around.

8. West Falls, Cascade Park, Elyria

West Falls, Cascade Park, ElyriaSource: VIKVAD / shutterstock
West Falls, Cascade Park, Elyria

West Falls, and its near neighbor, East Falls, are on the way to Lake Eerie.

The best view of West Falls on the West Fork Black River is from the observation deck at the end of a 1.2-mile trail, some of which is paved.

West Falls is 30 feet high and you can view them from the bridge above as well as the observation deck.

Two or three separate flows descend from the top of the falls, crashing into the river below.

East Falls is about a mile away if you want to see both on the same visit.

9. Hayden Falls, Dublin, Columbus

Hayden Falls, Dublin, ColumbusSource: Kenneth Keifer / shutterstock
Hayden Falls, Dublin, Columbus

The proximity of these falls to Columbus has increased their popularity.

The falls are 25 feet high with the water falling into pools below, where locals are regularly seen swimming.

There is a boardwalk from the small carpark taking you to a place where you can look straight at the falls.

Enjoy a picnic while you are in the park, listening to the power of the water.

The setting makes a great photograph, with the gorge and natural environment other subjects for your camera to capture.

10. Cedar Falls, Hocking Hills

Cedar Falls, Hocking HillsSource: April DeBord / shutterstock
Cedar Falls, Hocking Hills

Cedar Falls are fairly narrow but have become one of the most visited falls in Ohio State.

That is because they are family-friendly and offer the chance to cool off on a hot day.

Their appearance changes by the season with the flow of water.

Inside the state park, you will see caves and cliffs around this 50-foot waterfall.

Visitors facilities are excellent and have led to even greater numbers coming, without the environment being spoilt in the least.

The trails are good and cyclists can explore the park at their leisure – all stop to look at the falls.

11. Clifton Gorge

Clifton GorgeSource: arthurgphotography / shutterstock
Clifton Gorge

The Little Miami River flows through a limestone gorge in the Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve.

The gorge, around 40-feet deep, has been created by glacial activity; these days, it is the melting snow that makes spring the best time to visit – you will see the waterfall with the maximum volume of water.

In the summer, they may dry up completely.

The views from the covered bridge near the old waterwheel are limited and it does take a little imagination to get a good photograph of the fast-flowing water.

12. Fallsville Falls, Clinton County

Fallsville Falls, Clinton CountySource: Kenneth Keifer / shutterstock
Fallsville Falls, Clinton County

Fallsville Falls have remained largely a secret; they do not merit much mention on the website of State Department of Natural Resources but can accurately be described as stunning.

The falls are close to the source of Clear Creek and largely hidden away.

However, once you know where they are, it is less than a 10-minute walk, descending into the gorge on the final stretch.

They are 15 feet high and best seen in the spring.

They may even dry up by the end of the summer.

13. Lanterman’s Falls, Youngstown

Lanterman's Falls, Youngstown, OhioSource: Jason Sponseller / shutterstock
Lanterman’s Falls

These Falls in Mills Creek Park get their name because of the proximity of the restored Lanter’s Mill, which opened in the mid-19th Century.

It is still in operation and you can buy its flour at a gift shop.

There is a drop of 15 feet and still enough force to power the mill for several months in the year before the water hurries down the gorge below.

You can get a nice photo from the side and above the falls.

If you want to hike around this lovely region, make sure you have comfortable footwear.

14. Paine Falls, Painesville

Paine Falls, PainesvilleSource: Jason Kostansek / shutterstock
Paine Falls, Painesville

The setting is lovely – a multi-tiered waterfall where you can sit at a table with a picnic.

Facilities are good, including restrooms, but take note of the instructions to stay on the marked trails.

The falls are in the park of the same name.

You will find it if you are traveling between Buffalo and Cleveland and you are fairly close to Lake Erie.

Their height is around 25-feet and the best photograph is from downstream.

A bridge crosses the creek upstream but the view of the waterfall from there is limited.

15 Amazing Waterfalls in Ohio:

  • Big Lyons Falls, Mohican State Park
  • Buttermilk Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  • Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  • Chagrin Falls, Cleveland
  • Greenville Falls, Miami County
  • Charleston Falls, Miami County
  • Ludlow Falls, Miami County
  • West Falls, Cascade Park, Elyria
  • Hayden Falls, Dublin, Columbus
  • Cedar Falls, Hocking Hills
  • Clifton Gorge
  • Fallsville Falls, Clinton County
  • Lanterman's Falls, Youngstown
  • Paine Falls, Painesville