Brandywine Falls at Cuyahoga Valley National Park (photo by Gabe Leidy)

10 Ohio Waterfalls and Where to Find Them

These flowing cascades exemplify the beauty of Ohio. We talked with the photographers who love to capture them and share how you can check out these sights for yourself.

Brandywine Falls 
Though the sun had just begun to rise over Cuyahoga Valley National Park, photographer Gabe Leidy had already been sitting alongside Brandywine falls for hours, ready to craft the image he had dreamed up. Leidy has been exploring the roughly 33,000-acre national park since he was a child, growing up just 25 minutes away in the city of Parma. The photo, billed by Leidy as “Here Comes the Sun,” is in fact a compilation of 54 individual photos, all cut together to make one breathtaking image that captures the beauty found in Ohio’s only national park. “I knew the sun was going to rise over that lip of the waterfall and what angle and what time,” says Leidy, who has spent much time photographing landscapes in the park. The 60-foot-tall waterfall can be seen along the 1.5-mile Brandywine Gorge Loop. Summer visitors can descend the wooden stairs to get a close-up view of the falls Trailhead: 8176 Brandywine Rd., Sagamore Hills 44607.  Instagram: @gabe_leidyphoto

Upper Falls at Old Man’s Cave in Logan (photo by Rick Buchanan)
Upper Falls at Old Man’s Cave
The allure of Hocking Hills is nearly impossible to resist, and the region’s natural beauty is what keeps drawing Rick Buchanan from his home in Columbus to create photos here. Crystal clear waters appear to turn emerald green as they spill over the blackhand sandstone rocks and fall 20 feet to the pool below. Buchanan stood alone, along the edge of the water to capture this early spring morning shot of the falls. Although there is no bad season to see Hocking Hills’ waterfalls, Buchanan says spring is a good time to visit. “The thing that keeps me going back there, in addition to being so close, is that it changes so often over the course of the seasons,” he says. “Every time you go, you encounter a different atmosphere and different environment and different way of looking at it.” Old Man’s Cave Parking Area: 19988 St. Rte. 664 Scenic, Logan 43138.  Instagram: @rickbuchananphotography

Lower Falls at Old Man’s Cave in the Hocking Hills (photo by Rick Buchanan)
Lower Falls at Old Man’s Cave
Another waterfall found near Hocking Hills’ Old Man’s Cave that Rick Buchanan captured in the spring was the Lower Falls. He created this image just as day broke over the woods and the waters were flowing strong after a storm. This side shot of the falls captures the details in both the water and rock formations, which sets it apart from head-on shots of the falls. When it comes to Lower Falls, this angle is the one most accessible to photographers too. “I find Lower Falls a little bit more difficult to photograph because of the way it falls and where you can access it,” Buchanan says. “So going to the side gives it a little more drama. It makes the waterfall seem a little bit larger and seem more imposing and more significant.” Old Man’s Cave Parking Area: 19988 St. Rte. 664 Scenic, Logan 43138. Instagram: @rickbuchananphotography

Cedar Falls waterfall in the Hocking Hills (photo by Rick Buchanan)
Cedar Falls 
This 50-foot waterfall is the largest by volume within the Hocking Hills region as well as the state of Ohio. Another of the waterfalls Rick Buchanan likes to photograph during his trips to this part of southeast Ohio, Cedar Falls can be found along the half-mile Cedar Falls Trail. Hocking Hills State Park’s Cedar Falls, Old Man’s Cave and Ash Cave are all destinations along the 6-mile Grandma Gatewood Trail, which is also part of the statewide Buckeye Trail as well as the national North Country Scenic and America’s Discovery trails. “There’s a lot of hidden beauty in Ohio,” says Buchanan, who has been a full-time photographer since 2004 and is drawn back to this part of southeast Ohio year after year. “You just have to get out there and look for it, find it and know where it is. Cedar Falls Trailhead: 21724 St. Rte. 374, Logan 43138. Instagram: @rickbuchananphotography

West Milton Cascades in West Milton, Ohio (photo by Adam David Wagner)
West Milton Cascades
Plenty of visitors to downtown West Milton explore the cascades that are found in the village center. Down a short set of stairs, the 20-foot falls spill over, and the gentle flow welcomes explorers to walk along the waters. For photographer Adam David Wagner, being out among the falls is about more than getting the perfect shot, it is also a chance to mindfully get out in nature. Wagner pops his earbuds in and walks the site for about 20 minutes, angling the camera and looking for different ways to set up the scene, just like this one that captures the waterfall’s multiple tiers. “It’s the coolest looking waterfall that I’ve seen in Ohio yet, and I think I’ve seen most of them,” Wagner says. “Going there and taking that shot has probably been my favorite [image] that I have as a photographer.” Accessible through West Milton Municipal Park: 249 E. Tipp Pike, West Milton 45383.  Instagram: @adamdavidwagner

Hayden Falls in Dublin, Ohio (photo by Rick Barge)
Hayden Falls
By looking at photos of the 35-foot-tall Hayden Falls, you might guess that it is found in a remote area of a state park, but it’s actually located down a quarter-mile trail in the city of Dublin’s Hayden Falls Park, a natural space nestled among the bustle of the suburbs. Photographer Rick Barge loves to discover new waterfalls but says that he has known about the beauty of this location for years. “I used to buy waterfall books, but now with the internet, I belong to an Ohio waterfalls group, [and] I get a lot of new ones off that group that I haven’t known about,” he says. Although the area is touted for its shopping and dining opportunities, the falls are the only thing that brought Barge to Dublin the day he created this photograph, traveling about two hours from home to capture this image in summer 2018. 4326 Hayden Run Rd., Dublin 43017. Instagram: @bargephotography

Ludlow Falls in Ludlow Falls, Ohio (photo by Adam David Wagner)
Ludlow Falls
Located near the town post office and firehouse, Ludlow Falls is the namesake of the Miami County village where it resides, and Adam David Wagner paid a visit on his day off with a friend to get the perfect shot. The pair had to be a bit adventurous to find the best way to capture an image of the 15-foot waterfall. It spills into Stillwater River, and although there is a viewing platform for the falls, that was not where Wagner felt the best photos would come from. “We decided to get our gear and go hiking down through these woods, and there was a huge — I don’t know if it was manmade or a beaver — dam down there and we set up on the dam for a little bit and took a couple pictures.” This photo was ultimately taken from the banks of the river, but the behind-the-lens story of that day has stuck with Wagner over the years. 11 Greenville Ave., Ludlow Falls 45339. Instagram: @adamdavidwagner

Chagrin Falls in Chagrin Falls, Ohio (photo by Nick Hoeller)
Chagrin Falls 
Nick Hoeller and his wife, Isabella, explored Chagrin Falls for the first time in 2019, having dinner in the quaint northeast Ohio town before taking a stroll to see the village’s namesake. Night was about to fall, and the streetlamps had kicked on, so Hoeller walked down to the base of the falls to capture a dusk shot of the rushing Chagrin River. “Since it was a dusk shot, definitely a longer exposure was being used on this one,” says Hoeller, who has been a freelance photographer since 2020. “That gives you that really nice, silky look of the water.” The golden glow of the lamps bouncing off the cascade made for a unique shot of the falls, which spills from 20 feet of rocky outcropping under the North Main Street Bridge. Access stairs near Chagrin Falls Popcorn Shop: 53 N. Main St., Chagrin Falls 44022. Instagram: @nickhoeller

Charleston Falls in Tipp City, Ohio (photo by Rick Barge)
Charleston Falls
Rick Barge is on a quest to visit every waterfall in Ohio, although the one he always comes back to is Charleston Falls in Tipp City. Located near his Butler County home in Liberty Township, this waterfall in Charleston Falls Preserve is the one closest to Barge, and the beauty of the 37-foot-tall cascade rewards photographers who make repeat trips. Barge says he has been to 106 waterfalls in the state of Ohio, but this was one of the first he visited. He has been shooting landscape photography here since the 1990s. “I’ve been up there I don’t even know how many times,” he says. “That’s kind of a short walk, it might be a little over a mile to get to that falls, so maybe a couple miles round-trip.” 2535 Ross Rd., Tipp City 45371. Instagram: @bargephotography

Big Lyons Falls at Mohican State Park in Perrysville, Ohio (photo by Rick Barge)
Big Lyons Falls
The larger of two waterfalls located within Loudonville’s 1,100-acre Mohican State Park, Big Lyons Falls is not a rushing torrent. But standing 80 feet tall, the long drop from the top makes its magnitude feel much greater. The rocky walls of Clearfork Gorge extend toward the sky, wrapping guests in the serenity of this part of the park. Photographer Rick Barge stood at the top of a set of wooden stairs out of the gorge to catch the cascade in motion. This waterfall requires a hefty rainfall to get flowing, and Barge had visited the park three times before, hoping to get a shot of the falls. It had eluded him until spring 2019. “I’m trying to go back again when [there is] even more flow,” he says. “I do kind of watch the weather when I see major storms up there.” Big Lyons Falls Trailhead: 1041 County Rd. 3006, Perrysville 44864. Instagram: @bargephotography