You don’t have to go all the way to Oregon or California to find a waterfall. Ohio is home to 24 breathtaking waterfalls. From Hocking Hills State Park and Mohican State Park in southern Ohio, these falls are an easy day trip from Columbus, Cincinnati, and other parts of Ohio. Here are some of the most beautiful waterfalls you can see right here at home!
1. Caneadea Cascades
This 60-foot cascade is located just outside Athens, Ohio, and is one of the most beautiful waterfalls you’ll find anywhere! It’s an old mill that was converted into a home before it was abandoned for years. Now it’s part of the privately-owned Brandywine Ski Resort.
2. Buttermilk Falls
Buttermilk Falls in Hocking Hills State Park. Bob Llewellyn / Flickr With 11 different waterfalls, clear blue lakes, and towering cliffs, this state park is home to some of the most breathtaking views around! While there are many great trails throughout the Park.
3. Mohican-Memorial State Forest
Another great state park, Mohican-Memorial, has two waterfalls within its main attraction (the gorge) which you can see up close and personal. With 100ft cliffs encompassing 3 miles along the Ohio River, there are plenty of places to stop and appreciate the view! You can read more about this fantastic area here.
4. Salt Fork Gorge
Located in Salt Fork State Park, these falls are easy to overlook if you aren’t looking for them! This deep gorge is home to many hidden features, including several waterfalls among towering sandstone cliffs. The best part? It’s free to visit!
5. John Bryan State Park
The Yellow Springs Falls of John Bryan State Park in Ohio. Chris Phan / Flickr Another excellent state park offers waterfalls amid its many trails, including the Buckeye Trail. It’s named for the once-popular 19th-century statesman (named after founding father, James Brown) governor of Ohio during the Civil War.
6. Brandywine Gorge
Just outside of Xenia on Old Route 35 lies a fantastic collection of waterfalls at the former site of the old Brandywine Ski Resort, which has since been turned into a series of canals and falls along Alum Creek (you may know it as East Fork Lake). One of the most popular hikes here is the Caneadea Cascades, a 60-foot cascade that feeds into the Alum Creek reservoir.
7. Clear Creek Falls
Located in Laurelville off of US 23, this waterfall is one of the most popular in Ohio! Take a dip in the creek or watch from below – either way, you’ll love this place! There are several trails throughout the area for all different skill levels and interests. This area is part of Salt Fork State Park, so you can stay here all day if you’d like!
9. Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve
This hidden gem in southern Ohio specializes in its natural beauty and an easy hike to a beautiful view overlooking the Little Miami River. It’s only 0.3 miles to the overlook, so perfect for a quick walk and some meditation.
10. Blue Rock State Park
Blue Rock has a lovely 30ft waterfall that’s easily accessible from the parking lot with only a short quarter-mile hike into the gorge where you can see an old mill on one side of the creek and a pretty covered bridge over it on the other side.
11. Caesar’s Creek State Park
Caesar Creek State Park is home to several waterfalls, one of which has been hand-carved by Mother Nature! She carved up the valley into several beautiful rock formations that have become a popular place for visitors and locals alike! The 20ft waterfall alone makes this Park worthwhile, but there are plenty more trails to take in all its natural glory.
12. Rockbridge State Nature Preserve
Rockbridge Natural Area Justin Kern / Flickr This tiny nature preserve (only 0.5 acres) features two small waterfalls at their base as well as stunning views along Salt Lick Run. An excellent place for hiking or photography – you’ll enjoy your time here!
13. Clifton Mill
Now a historic site, the old mill is a museum but still sits on top of a gorgeous waterfall location. Although it’s not free to visit, the view alone makes this worth the trip! This place has been featured in several movies over the years, including Superman III and Hanging Up.
14. Tinkers Creek State Park
Tinkers Creek State Park is filled with beautiful waterfalls that are easily accessible from many different trails throughout the Park – it’s just a matter of finding them! There are almost 50 falls within its 3,050acres, so you’ll have plenty to choose from when it comes to hiking trails through these fantastic natural features all around you.
15. Hocking Hills State Park
The state park offers eight waterfalls and 18 miles of trails among towering sandstone cliffs and deep ravines. It’s famous for its many gorges, including Old Man’s Cave (the deepest canyon), Ash Cave (one of the largest recess caves in Ohio), Cantwell Cliffs (home to the tallest cliff in Ohio), and Rockbridge (where Tinker’s Creek meets Black Hand Sandstone). The most famous waterfall here is Conkles Hollow which looks like it has been carved into a bowl shape – definitely worth seeing!
16. Shawnee Lookout State Nature Preserve
Just outside Lawrenceburg sits this beautiful lookout point over the Little Miami River, which features two hiking trails leading you to a small waterfall. This is a popular place during the spring when it’s filled with migrating birds and also in the winter when it’s covered with ice formations!
17. Rocky Fork State Park
Located around 40 miles outside of Columbus, this state park features a beautiful waterfall along Rocky Fork Creek which can be viewed from an overlook as well as several trails leading down into its upper gorge where you’ll see two additional falls! In fact, there are over 12 miles worth of hiking trails throughout the woods here making for some great views all around you.
18. John Bryan State Park
John Bryan State Park Justin Kern / Flickr One of six major parks in this area, hikers will enjoy exploring Haughnawanna Falls at their904-acre state park. With four miles of trails that lead you all around the Park, you’ll find yourself walking through beautiful highland meadows and winding through lush virgin forests with spectacular views along either side.
19. Indian Lake State Park:
Indian Lake State Park Justin Kern / Flickr This state park features a lovely 50ft waterfall along the shores of Indian Lake, but it’s even more inviting when you get up close and personal. In fact, the water cascading over the cliff is so picturesque that photographers flock here all year long to get their shots! The views from this spot are simply amazing.
20. Clear Creek Metro Park:
Sunlight shining through a tree at Clear Creek Metro Park Kenny Karst / Flickr Take in spectacular views of Clear Creek as you hike through its many trails and admire stunning scenery around every corner – including several spots where the creek rushes over several rocky outcroppings and beautiful deep pools below.
21. Campbell Falls State Park:
Campbell Falls State Park Justin Kern / Flickr This small state park is filled with tall trees, a thick canopy, and several trails as well as its own waterfall named Campbell Falls. In fact, you may hike up the stone steps to find this natural feature cascading down from atop the hill where it creates a picturesque pool below.
22. Kelleys Island:
Kiley’s Island Justin Kern / Flickr One of several popular islands out in Lake Erie, Kelley’s showcases a beautiful rock gorge along the North Shore between the towns of Vermilion and Marblehead where Old Woman Creek flows through it – creating a waterfall with nothing more than rainwater! In fact, you may even be able to see this natural feature from space on a clear day!
23. Perkins Stone Mansion
Located right here in Columbus is another spectacular display of nature as water trickles down over 70ft high cliffs into a pool below at the historic Perkins Stone Mansion which was originally built back in 1856. The surrounding area features great wildlife as well and is a nice place to visit for an afternoon.
24. McCormick’s Creek State Park:
While hiking through the lovely McCormick’s Creek State Park, you’ll find yourself wandering through tall trees and dense forests as well as many diverse species of plants and flowers that grow around its waterfalls – one of which is over 25 ft high! This Park is definitely worth visiting if you’re in this part of Ohio.
Ohio is home to many spectacular waterfalls, but the ones that are most easily accessible for visitors tend to be those in state parks. While they vary greatly in size and appearance, these natural features all share one thing – the power of nature as it flows over rocks into a pool below can’t fail to impress any visitor who visits them! Whether you choose Clifton Gorge or Kelleys Island (both only an hour outside of Cincinnati) your visit will not disappoint. If you’re looking for something closer to Columbus though there’s also McCormick’s Creek State Park with its 25 ft high waterfall which cascades down from atop a hillside through dense trees before reaching a beautiful stone-lined swimming hole at their base. No matter where you go.