Road Trip Inspiration: 8 Ohio Waterfalls to Visit this Year

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Waterfalls in Ohio? What? Yes, it’s true! This list will spark some road trip inspiration for your next Ohio adventure!

I say it over and over again! There is a lot to love about Ohio! One thing that might surprise you is that there are actually waterfalls in Ohio. Now, I’m not talking about Niagara Falls. But I am talking about little water falls that are hidden gems. You  might have to go just a little out of your way to find them, but they’re worth the trip!

Some of these waterfalls are part of a bigger destination. (Hocking Hills, for instance.) And some stand alone by themselves, waiting to be discovered just off the beaten path. 

Use this list as inspiration for your next Ohio road trip and check out one of these 5 Ohio waterfalls:

1. Indian Run Falls in Dublin, Ohio

Address: 700 Shawan Falls Dr, Dublin, OH 43017

Indian Run Falls in Dublin, Ohio

Indian Run Falls is just a skip hop and a jump from historic downtown Dublin. A hidden little gem off the beaten path, this Ohio waterfall is nestled in a small park.

Take the Indian Run Falls Trail to the observation decks that overlook the Indian Run Falls. The entire area includes .8 miles of trails, 2 shelter houses, observation decks and a pedestrian bridge. 

These pictures were taken during a dry summer. The falls can definitely get larger than pictured here. Despite what you see in these pictures, creeking, swimming and jumping off the falls is technically not allowed here. 

A small parking lot is available.

boy in creek area of Indian Run Falls

2. Cascades at Glen Helen Nature Preserve in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Address: 405 Corry St., Yellow Springs, OH 45387

The Cascades at Glen Helen Nature Preserve in Yellow Springs, Ohio

The Cascades are part of Glen Helen Nature Preserve, a nonprofit organization associated with Antioch College. In addition to the waterfall, there are several things to do and see within the preserve and there a few main trails to hike!

Take a good look at the map of Glen Helen and bring it with you! Don’t be tempted to park at the Raptor Center. Parking for hiking is not allowed there. The main entrance is on Corry St. and you can take the Inman Trail to the Cascades. The trail was made one way in 2020 so make sure to check the map for updates.

There are no trail markers on the path. Even though the trails are named and intersections are numbered on the map, there are no signs or numbers within the park so you have to pay close attention to where you are on the map!

Parking is available for $5 at the Corry St. entrance.

ohio waterfall in Glen Helen Nature Preserve

3. Upper Falls at Hocking Hills State Park in Logan, Ohio

Address: 19988 OH-664 Scenic, Logan, OH 43138 

the Upper Falls in the Old Man's Cave Area in Hocking Hills State Park

The Upper Falls at Hocking Hills State Park is in the Old Man’s Cave Area of the park. Take the Gorge Exit Trail (one way in 2020) from the Visitor Center and parking lot. You will cross over the bridge above the waterfall and then head down to the base of the falls. 

The Old Man’s Cave Area is beautiful no matter what the season, but fall is just breathtaking! The entire area is a moderate hike with lots of steps! Within this area you can also find the Lower Falls and Brocken Rock Falls to add to your list of Ohio waterfalls!

A large parking lot (and maps) are available at the Old Man’s Cave Visitor’s Center.

Waterfall in Ohio in Hocking Hills State Park

4. Lower Falls at Hocking Hills State Park in Logan, Ohio

Address: 19988 OH-664 Scenic, Logan, OH 43138 

The Lower Falls in Hocking Hills are in the Old Man’s Cave Area and can be seen on the Grandma Gatgewood Trail. These falls will be more of a hike to get to compared to the Upper Falls but the whole area is so beautiful! If you’re in the mood for a hike, seeing these falls will just be the icing on the cake.

As I mentioned above, Hocking Hills is stunning in the fall, but gorgeous any time of year! Here at the Lower Falls, there is a wide open area to view the falls and, when we visited, there were large logs where you could sit, rest and take in the view.

5. Chagrin Waterfalls in Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Address: N. Main St., Chagrin Falls, OH 44022

The Chagrin Waterfalls in Chagrin Falls, Ohio

These beautiful Ohio waterfalls are located in downtown Chagrin Falls, an adorable little town outside of Cleveland. There are viewing areas and benches on both sides of the river for viewing this waterfall in downtown Chagrin Falls. You can also view them from Main Street Bridge. 

Chagrin Falls also offers local shopping, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, restaurants on the river and a great popcorn shop!

Parking is available around town.

Ohio Waterfall in Chagrin Falls, Ohio

6. Hayden Falls in Dublin, Ohio

Address: 4326 Hayden Run Rd., Dublin, OH 43017 

Hayden Falls in Dublin, Ohio

Hayden Falls is a 35 foot waterfall that is part of the waterways of the Scioto River in Dublin, Ohio. Follow the steps and boardwalk to the bottom viewing area to see the waterfall. This is another waterfall that will look very different depending on the amount of rainfall the area has had in recent days.

There is a small parking lot available. 

boy going down the steps to the waterfall at Hayden Falls Park in Dublin, Ohio

7. Brandywine Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Northfield, Ohio

Address: 8176 Brandywine Rd., Northfield, OH 44067

Brandywine Falls is the tallest Ohio waterfall! Brandywine falls are easy to access via a short boardwalk trail. There is a parking lot right at the falls. Make sure to go to the right and not the left on the trail and the falls will be visible after a 5-10 minute walk on the boardwalk!

There are two viewing decks, both accessible from the boardwalk: one upper and one lower. Make sure to visit both! You can also go to the top of the falls from the path and see the falls from the bridge above! If you want a longer experience, take the trail to the left and follow the Brandywine Gorge Trail, visiting the falls at the end!

Brandywine Falls are 60 feet high and flow from the Brandywine Creek which extends from the Cuyahoga River. This waterfall is just one of the many sights to be seen inside Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio’s only National Park which covers 33,000 acres in Northeast Ohio!

8. Little Falls in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

Address: 1817 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221

The Little Falls on the Cuyahoga River are in downtown Cuyahoga Falls! The town has a boardwalk along the river but the falls are just south of the downtown area and behind the Sheraton Suites hotel. My husband and I stayed at this hotel a few years ago and there is a great view from the restaurant in the hotel.

If you’re not staying at the hotel, the best place to see the falls is in High Bridge Glens Park just south of the hotel. If you are walking past the hotel, don’t give up and turn around like we almost did on our last visit! You will not be disappointed with the view from the park!

Prospect Bridge crosses the river and there are a couple of benches to sit and take in the rushing water! There is also a boardwalk in the park that will take you to a lower view of the river. 

If you’re looking for some more Ohio inspiration try out an Ohio beach or one of these fun activities to do with kids all around the state of Ohio! Or plan an easy day trip one hour from Columbus or less! I firmly believe you’ll never run out of things to do in the great state of Ohio!

Exploring Columbus with Your Kids

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5 Waterfalls in Ohio to Visit This Year

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vermilion light house at main street beach

How to Have the Perfect Day at the Beach in Vermilion, Ohio

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Vermilion, Ohio is our favorite little Lake Erie beach town! Read on for how we love to spend a day at the Main Street Beach in Vermilion!

I love Vermilion so much! With an adorable downtown, a clean beach and tasty treats it’s easy to spend the perfect day on Lake Erie in Vermilion, Ohio! Vermilion is home to one of our favorite Ohio beaches and we return again and again when we visit Lake Erie as a family (as I’m sure you will be able to tell from the growth of my children in between some of these photos!)

Why do we love Vermilion? It’s such a quaint, well kept town. Parking is easy. The beach is free. The lagoons are unique. There’s ice cream. And Woodstock Cafe. Read on to see how we have spent a day at Main Street Beach – year after year!

Where is Vermilion, Ohio?

hanging baskets on a light post in downtown Vermilion, Ohio on Lake Erie

First of all, let’s talk about downtown Vermilion! Vermilion is a small town of around 10,000 residents, situated on Lake Erie, in between Cleveland and Sandusky. 

downtown Vermilion, Ohio

Downtown Vermilion is known as the Harbor Town Historic District and is built around the Vermilion River and The Vermilion Lagoons. This is a beautiful residential area with shopping and restaurants. 

boats on the Vermilion Lagoons on Lake Erie

houses and boats on the Vermilion Lagoon in Ohio

With a touch of New England and a touch of Venice, Vermilion makes for a beautiful Ohio getaway where you can feel like you’ve truly gone on vacation to someplace far away – even if it’s just a few hours drive!

How Do We Spend the Perfect Beach Day in Vermilion, Ohio?

Our family has spent a day in Vermilion 4 different times beginning in 2015 and as recently as 2019! Each year we have done the exact same thing. No joke. In fact, looking back at the pictures I can see that I have eaten the exact same lunch each time! LOL

These are the things we do. We’re not ashamed to say we’ve done the same thing every year and we will probably do the exact same thing again the next time we go back!

1. Woodstock Cafe

Address: 665 Main St., Vermilion, OH 44089
Phone: 440-967-7687 

outdoor patio at Woodstock Cafe in Vermilion, Ohio

Lunch at Woodstock Cafe is always our first stop as soon as we arrive in Vermilion. And every time we arrive just before the lunch rush and enjoy a relaxing meal on the amazing patio.

boy and dad playing checkers at Woodstock Cafe in Vermilion, Ohio

What is so great about Woodstock Cafe, if you have kids, is the great outdoor dining patio that has rotating yard games to keep kids (and adults) occupied while you relax and wait for your food.

boys playing checkers at Woodstock Cafe

California Club sandwich at Woodstock Cafe in Vermilion, Ohio

The menu includes pizzas, hot and cold sandwiches, subs, salads, plus craft beer. You can also stop in to order coffee and baked goods to go! Every year I get the California Club. Every time. 

boys playing Jenga on the patio at Woodstock Cafe in Vermilion Ohio

boys playing games on the patio at Woodstock Cafe in Vermilion Ohio on Lake Erie

Whenever we eat at Woodstock Cafe we feel happy and relaxed! The patio gives off California hippie vibes and, of course, we know that we are headed to the beach so just looking at these pictures brings back a happy and nostalgic feeling for me.

2. Main Street Beach

Address: Main St. at Lake Erie, Vermilion, OH 44089

lake erie beach in Vermilion Ohio

The Main Street Beach in downtown Vermilion is at the north end of Main Street. There is parking up and down Main St. You may have to park a couple of blocks away. We always plan to go on a weekday so it is not as crowded. 

beach overlook and shore thing beach shop at Main Street Beach in Vermilion, Ohio

In front of the beach is an observation deck, outdoor spigot for rinsing off and a beach shack. The small beach shack is called Shore Thing and in it you can purchase snacks, ice cream and beach jewelry. You can also rent beach chairs and umbrellas here.

This is a great beach for walking and playing. In my opinion it’s a great size. Big enough to feel like you’re “at the beach” but small enough to be able to keep an eye on kids as they play.

boys playing on the Lake Erie Beach in Vermilion Ohio

There is one downside to the Main Street Beach and that is that there is no changing area or restroom close by. As I was researching details, I did see mention of a porta-potty, but I do not personally remember seeing one so maybe that is new since 2019.

There is, however, a Comfort Station a few blocks south in Exchange Park on Main Street at the corner of Liberty Avenue. This small building (an old police station) has large restrooms where you can also change clothing. It’s not super convenient so plan accordingly with extra bathroom visits at lunch. 😉  

people on Main Street Beach in Vermilion Ohio - Lake Erie

3. Big Ed’s Main Street Soda Grill

Address: 5502 Liberty Ave., Vermilion, OH 44089
Phone: 440-967-4002

downtown Vermilion, Ohio on Lake Erie

What’s left to do after the beach? Ice cream of course! We always stop for scoops, ice cream sodas or root beer floats at Big Ed’s Soda Grill on the corner of Main Street and Liberty Avenue.

root beer float at Big Ed's Main Street Soda Grill in Vermilion, Ohio

Expect old fashioned ambiance and a classic soda fountain and diner counter. All kind of ice cream treats are available including hand-dipped ice cream, shakes, malts, phosphates, floats, banana splits and sundaes!

boy with a drink at Big Ed's Soda Grill in Vermilion, Ohio

If ice cream isn’t your thing or you’re looking for a different meal option, Big Ed’s Soda Grill has an extensive food menu with classic diner items like hot dogs, burgers and other sandwiches.

Kids meals are available that include a drink and choice of fries or apple sauce. Kids options include hot dog, battered Icelandic cod, chicken tenders, corn dog, cheeseburger or PB&J.

man and toddler eating ice cream at Big Ed's Soda Grill in Vermilion

front of Big Ed's Soda Grill in Vermilion Ohio

Well, there you have it. That’s our three part plan for a perfect day at Main Street Beach in Vermilion, Ohio!

Just in case we ever feel like mixing up our routine, please feel free to share any of your favorite spots in Vermilion in the comments!

Exploring Ohio with your Kids!

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How to Have the Perfect Day at the Beach in Vermilion, Ohio



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25 Super Fun Things to do in Ohio with Kids

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There are so many fun things to do in Ohio with kids! Whether you live here or plan to visit, these Ohio attractions for families make for fun day trips, staycations or vacations for all ages!

From beaches to hills, farmland to caves, you can just about find it all in Ohio! If you’re looking for a museum, an outdoor adventure, an indoor water park or the best donut you’ve ever tasted, you won’t be disappointed!

families on a beach in Vermilion, Ohio

The beach in Vermilion, Ohio is beautiful!

With a population of over 11 million people, Ohio is the 7th largest state in the United States. Ohio is bordered on the north by Lake Erie and the south by the Ohio River. The entire state includes 3,877 square miles of water. (And yes, there are actually beaches in Ohio!)

I grew up in Ohio and I have lived here for the majority of my life. That’s a lot of time spent exploring Ohio! Even after all these years I continue to be surprised by the diversity of scenery that can be found in this underrated midwest state!

From the hills of Hocking Hills to the farmland of Amish Country to the shores of Lake Erie, traveling to a new part of the state can feel like an unexpected getaway!

boy playing at LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Columbus, Ohio

LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Columbus is tons of fun for kids!

Ohio’s slogan is “So Much to Discover” and it couldn’t be more true! There is so much to love about Ohio! I think you might be surprised at all the fun things there are to do in Ohio! Take a look through this list of fun things for families to do in Ohio and plan your next day out!

25 Super Fun Things to do in Ohio with Kids

If you're planning a trip to Ohio or you live here already and you're looking for a new idea for a family-friendly outing, this list will be a great starting point!

Ohio has so many attractions for families and you'll never run out of things to do! Whether it be indoors or outdoors, for teens or for toddlers, you're sure to find a new idea on this list of 21 fun things to do with kids in Ohio!

I hope this list has inspired you to try something new with your kids! My family is always on the hunt for unique things to do in Ohio! We love exploring our home state!

If you need even more ideas of things to do check out these posts:

Feel free to share some of your favorite Ohio attractions in the comments!

Exploring Ohio with your Kids!

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24 Super Fun Things to do in Ohio with Kids

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