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OHIO WATERFALLS: 7 Secret Gems in the Buckeye State

When you think of Ohio, you might visualize its industrial cities or its fertile farmlands, but there’s so much more to experience there. In fact, there are beautiful waterfalls in Ohio.

Though the rural parts of the Buckeye State are largely agricultural, there are many gorgeous natural areas to visit, too. These include an abundance of waterfalls, many of which are breathtaking spectacles throughout the year.

Some of these rushing waters are easy to access while others are a bit more tucked away, but all are worth seeing in person.

Today we’re sharing 7 amazing waterfalls in Ohio along with the best nearby campsites.

Let’s dive in.

#1 Brandywine Falls

These falls are easily the most popular destination in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and for good reason. The 65-foot cascade of water is consistent throughout the year, and the wide wooden boardwalk that serves as a great lookout point connects to a nice hiking loop through the park so you can easily tour the surrounding scenic spots.

Location: In northeastern Ohio, between Cleveland and Akron in Summit County.

Great Nearby Campsite: Streetsboro-Cleveland SE KOA

We love the Streetsboro-Cleveland SE KOA RV Park, which is just nine miles away. It’s tidy and neat, with full hookups, level spaces, and some cool extras like two playgrounds, a dog run, and a swimming pool. Decent cell reception and WiFi.

Ohio Waterfall Vibes Score: 9.5/10

#2 Cedar Falls

Those big trees you see are hemlocks, but the early settlers thought they were cedars, so that’s how this beautiful waterfall got its name. No matter how much or how little it rains here in the Hocking Hills region, this one always flows and is almost 50 feet tall.

The trail to it is about a half-mile long, so it should take about 40 minutes to hike. Visitors also enjoy seeing moss-covered cliffs and the remains of an old grist mill from the mid-1800s.

Location: In Hocking County in southeastern Ohio.

Great Nearby Campsite: Hocking Hills State Park

Hocking River RV Park offers 29 spaces with electricity out in the country but close to town, too. It’s just minutes from Cedar Falls and other attractions like Old Man’s Cave and Ash Cave. All sites are 54-feet-long pull-throughs, in a straight row along the Hocking River. There are fire rings and picnic tables and a dump station.

Ohio Waterfall Vibes Score: 9.3/10

#3 Amphitheater Falls

The Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve is majestic any time of year, but Amphitheater Falls typically dries up during the summer. During rainier months, expect a pretty low-flow waterfall over a limestone bluff with a crest of about 3 feet and a height of 25 feet. It’s easy to reach and one of many attractive natural features in the unique limestone gorge.

Location: Near the town of Yellow Springs in western Ohio.

Great Nearby Campsite:  John Bryan State Park

The well-maintained John Bryan State Park campground, adjacent to the falls, offers partial hookups and big, level sites. It’s quiet and has great hiking trails. Cell service can be iffy, though, and it’s understaffed at times.

Ohio Waterfall Vibes Score: 8.8/10

#4 Hayden Run Falls

At its peak during the spring, Hayden Run Falls is almost as wide as it is high, with a crest of 30 feet. The best-known waterfall in central Ohio, it’s an easily accessible centerpiece to cozy Pastime Park just outside the capital city of Columbus. The park is just off a busy street, but it feels wild and remote once you’re in the presence of the captivating falls.

To view them, it’s an easy walk along a .3-mile hiking trail that also allows dogs on a leash.

Location: In Plain City, a suburb of Columbus, in central Ohio.

Great Nearby Campsite: Pastime Park Campground

Pastime Park Campground is quiet and convenient for a short stay. One site has full hookups, and others have water and electricity. There is a dump station, and for long-termers, a local service comes twice a week to pump waste tanks for a fee. Sites are gravel or grass, and some are on the tight side. Cell service is good.

Ohio Waterfall Vibes Score: 8.9/10

#5 Dundee Falls

It’s a bit of a hike, but it’s worth the extra steps. Dundee Falls is the highlight of the 1,912-acre Beach City Wildlife Area. It is located in a picturesque forest and plunges into a rocky gorge with a height of 15 feet and a crest of 10. The waterfall is rather consistent much of the year. Expect to walk two miles from the parking area to the falls and back.

Location: Near the town of Dundee in Tuscarawas County, in the northeastern part of the state.

Great Nearby Campsite: Baylor Beach Park

Baylor Beach Park, in Ohio’s Amish country, is a great value and has some cool amenities, including a lake for swimming or fishing, a game room, a basketball court, and pavilions. That’s on top of level gravel sites with plenty of space between them.

Ohio Waterfall Vibes Score: 9.1/10

#6 Paine Falls

Paine Falls is a stunning double-cascade waterfall that’s just outside Cleveland. It’s very easy to access – park your vehicle, walk a few minutes down a trail and two flights of wooden steps (a tenth of a mile total), and you’re there! The falls are inside a 377-acre park. With their two tiers and 30-foot fall, they are a must-see!

Location: In Paine Falls Park near Painesville, which is just east of Cleveland.

Great Nearby Campsite: Perry Township Park

Often called a “hidden gem,” Perry Township Park offers thick, grassy sites that overlook Lake Erie along with electricity, clean showers, and a dump station. Other amenities include a beach and a boat launch, recreation fields, a community center, picnic tables, and fire pits.

Ohio Waterfall Vibes Score: 9.4/10

#7 Ash Cave Waterfall

Not far from Cedar Falls (our #2 entry above), Ash Cave is one of several seasonal falls in or around Hocking Hills State Park. When it runs in the spring, visitors can enjoy observing a 30-foot plummet to the rim of a horseshoe-shaped cave that’s the largest in Ohio at 700 feet long, 100 feet deep, and 90 feet high.

Location: In Hocking Hills State Park, in southeastern Ohio.

Great Nearby Campsite: Top of the Caves Campground

Located in the town of South Bloomingville, Top of the Caves Campground has 230 campsites in a lovely woodland setting, and there’s also a unique “arcade barn” on the premises. Cell service is spotty, though, and reviews are mixed on the bathroom and shower facilities. Some sites are on a slope.

Ohio Waterfall Vibes Score: 8.6/10

Plan Your Trip to One of These Waterfalls in Ohio

Getting close to a waterfall is one of the most enchanting ways to experience nature, and Ohio has plenty of them for you to experience. There are others scattered around the state, too, but these 7 on our list will get you started in the right direction.

All of Ohio’s regions are distinctive in terms of their scenic beauty, and all have many inspiring places for you to stop and enjoy along your way.

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

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  1. Deborah Kerr says:

    Thank you ! We live in NE Ohio and only been to the Brandywine Falls, but there’s a lot more to discover! Great article!