If you’re in the Columbus area, there are a surprising number of waterfalls in the vicinity. I’m not sure that all of them would be worth visiting, but the few that I’ve visited have been easy to find. Hayden Falls and Indian Run Falls are the two that I’ve visited.
My observation has been that waterfalls in this area tend to be very dependent on the season and rainfall levels. Your best bet at viewing the falls would be in the spring after the snow has melted (which might be relatively early) or after a lot of rain. I visited Hayden Falls in late August 2015, and there wasn’t a whole lot of water flowing over the falls. And yet there was still some, which I felt was pretty good for that time of year. As you can see, if you were to show up after a lot of snow melt, you might see a falls 6 to 7 times wider than it was.
- From I-270, take exit 15 and head east along Tuttle Road.
- Drive along Tuttle Road for about 2 miles, and then turn right onto Dublin Road.
- Drive about 1 mile to Hayden Run Road. Turn left onto Hayden Run Road.
- On your right (as you’re heading east), you’ll see the parking are for Hayden Falls. The parking area seemed to be further east than what’s sort of shown on Google Maps.
- At the parking area, it’s a very enjoyable hike to the falls. There are stairs that lead to the falls, which makes it relatively accessible.
Hike: 0.3 miles or so (round trip)
Hayden Falls in August 2015
Where in the World is Hayden Falls?
Whiskey Jack Falls in September 2014
Anywhere else, Whiskey Jack would probably be its own destination. But, understandably so, it ends up being second fiddle to the much larger and more impressive Takakkaw Falls. It’s best quality, though, is that even with Takakkaw Falls nearby, it’s still very easy to find.
The drive down Yoho Valley Road leads to both Takakkaw Falls and Whiskey Jack Falls is easy enough, though it is only open in the summer months. (Check Yoho National Park’s website for opening/closing dates. Takakkaw Falls is the main attraction, but Whiskey Jack Falls is almost as obvious. It’s just further away from the road and no trail leads to the falls (that I know of). It’s one of those falls I wouldn’t drive out my way to visit by itself, but it’s an added bonus to another amazing waterfall I would absolutely drive to.
- From the Trans-Canadian Highway 1, take Yoho Valley Road north to Takakkaw Falls. (The signs for Takakkaw Falls are very obvious.)
- Look for the falls on the left (if you’re heading north).
Hike: not applicable
Where in the World is Whiskey Jack Falls?
Sahalie Falls in September 2015
There are two Sahalie Falls, and they aren’t that distant from each other (maybe 60 miles or so as the bird flies, 110 miles driving distance). The Sahalie Falls near Umbrella Falls isn’t as easy to get to as it used to be. On the other hand, this Sahalie Falls (along with Kooshah Falls), is very easy to visit.
The biggest difficulty might be getting to the vicinity of the falls. It’s about a 150 mile drive from Portland and a 55 mile drive from Redmond/Bend. I started in Portland, and in one day I was able to hit Gooch Falls, Shellburg Falls, Sahalie and Koosah Falls. It was a long drive, but most of these falls don’t require a difficult hike.
Once you get to the parking area for the falls, the hike to the falls is extremely short: only about 100 feet or so. And after arriving, you’ll probably be rewarded with an amazing waterfall. I visited in September, which for some waterfalls is a low volume time since there may not be much rain during the summer months. And yet, as you can see, Sahalie Falls was pretty intense. Overall, this is an awesome waterfall, and you’ll be able to see Koosah Falls also (along with some other “smaller” waterfalls, which are still impressive).
- There are multiple ways to get to the falls, though they will all require some drive. If you’re in Albany/Corvallis, you could head east on US-20. From Bend, head west on US-20. If you’re in Eugene, head east on OR-126.
- The falls are found on OR-126…If you’re on US-20, you would turn and head south on OR-126. If you’re already on OR-126, it would obviously be a “straight-shot”, though it’ll be a curvy drive. There are two parking areas, one for Sahalie Falls and one for Koosah Falls, though there is a trail that connects both falls.
- The Sahalie Falls parking area is the further north of the 2 parking areas, and once you park there, it’s a short 100 feet to the falls.
Hike: 100 feet
Where in the World is Sahalie Falls?: map
Foss á Siðu in June 2012
I was about to post this waterfall as the waterfall Krossarfoss, and then started to do a bit of research. I’m not sure where I got the name Krossarfoss, as I usually get names from another source or Google (especially when there isn’t some kind of sign near the falls). My main source and Google both call this Foss á Siðu, so that’s what I’m going to call it also! (And as I searched, it seems there is another falls known as Krossarfoss, but it must not be very well known.)
If you’re driving along the southern portion of the Ring Road, it’s almost impossible to miss Foss á Siðu (unless you’re just not paying attention to anything around you). I don’t exactly remember what I did to get a picture of the falls, but there must be some way to pull off of the Ring Road and take pictures. (And honestly, there were times where the roads were so quiet that I just stopped on the road since I could see pretty far ahead and behind me.)
The day I saw the falls, it was pretty windy, at least near the falls. As you can tell, the water was being blown a good 10-15′ off of its “normal” path. Looking at all of the shots I took, I can see the waterfall swaying back and forth. It’s a pretty awesome waterfall and it’s easy to visit. That makes it worthwhile in my book!
- Drive along the Ring Road. If you’re heading east, you will pass Roads 203 and 202 (in that order). After passing road 202, drive a few more kilometers and then you’ll see the falls to your left. Google has a “location” for this on Google Maps, so you could search for that.
Hike: not applicable
Where in the World is Foss á Siðu?: map
Ohiopyle Falls is an example of a waterfall that can end up looking less exciting when there’s more water. For many waterfalls, the higher the water levels, the bigger the rush. But for a few, the higher water levels make those waterfalls look smaller.
I visited Ohiopyle Falls in mid-April 2015. The snow was mostly melted, but this still led to high water levels. Because of that, the falls look like they’re only a few feet tall, when at lower levels, the drop approaches 20′. The waterfall is wide, so it is still powerful, but it’s visual impression is lessened. And it doesn’t help that another waterfall nearby, Cucumber Falls, is taller and more interesting to view (at least I thought so). Ohiopyle’s one major redeeming quality is that it’s wildly easy to visit. Because it’s found on a larger river, a short walk of only 100-200′ is required to view the falls. The area around the falls is handicapped accessible. I would suggest that if you’re going to visit the falls, visit when it hasn’t rained as much or later in the season.
- There are multiple ways to arrive at the falls, so I’ll list the least complicated option. Drive along US-40. US-40 forms somewhat of a loop around the city of Uniontown, and you’d be heading east along US-40 if you started near Uniontown.
- In the town of Farmington, turn north onto PA-381. Drive for a few miles along PA-381 toward Ohiopyle State Park. The road passes through the park and town, so once you enter Ohiopyle, you just need to find the visitor’s center.
- From there, take a short walk to the falls. There are multiple viewing areas.
Height: 20′ at low flow
Hike: 0.1 miles at most
Where in the World is Ohiopyle Falls?: map
Ohiopyle Falls in April 2015
Cascade Falls in September 2014
I couldn’t remember Cascade Falls right away, but once I saw a picture, it began to come back very quickly. I remembered passing by Cascade Falls as I went west through Banff, and yet I didn’t stop. I’m not really sure why…it may have been that I had passed the exit near the falls. So on the way back, I remember seeing it out of the corner of my eye, and I quickly exited the Trans-Canadian Highway and found that there were indeed places where I could pull off and take photos of the falls.
At approximately 1000′ in height, I didn’t feel any need to get closer to the falls. After doing a bit of research, it appears there is a path that will get you closer to the falls. In winter, there are even people that do ice climbing on the falls. In early September, the ice climbing obviously wasn’t an option! And earlier in the year, you’re likely to find more water flowing, which might make hiking to the base a bit more worthwhile. I was honestly just happy to be able to stop and photograph the falls, as there are other instances where cool waterfalls of this sort aren’t so easily captured since there’s no nice place to pull off.
- This is a very easy one to find as it’s right off of Trans-Canadian Highway 1. As you’re heading into Banff, take the exit for Banff/ Minnewanka Loop/ Boucle Minnewanka. From there, head north along Range Road 115B.
- After just a few hundred feet, find a place to pull off and photograph the falls, which will be to your left. If you’re interested in hiking to the base, you’ll have to look for further directions. It sounds like there’s an easy to find trail nearby.
Hike: roadside, though hike possible
Where in the World is Cascade Falls?
Bridal Veil Falls in May 2016
Bridal Veil Falls is likely one of the more iconic sites in the Black Hills. If you’re entering the Black Hills from Spearfish, it’s one of the first sites that you’re going to encounter, at it’s a beautiful waterfall.
Bridal Veil Falls has many things going for it. It’s wildly easy to visit, as it’s a roadside waterfall. Spearfish Falls and Roughlock Falls are both in the vicinity, but both of those require slightly more effort to visit (though Roughlock Falls is easier to visit than I expected). All three waterfalls in the area are also free to visit! And finally, as I said before, this waterfall is a beautiful waterfall. It sort of just magically appears, and is surrounded by beautiful scenery.
When I visited these three falls in early May, it was quiet in the Black Hills. Many people visit in the summer, and then the area becomes very popular. At certain times, you may not be able to find hotel rooms. I, on the other hand, had a whole hotel to myself. And the weather was particularly beautiful the five days I was in the region. I would still suggest visiting in the late spring when you may not be surrounded by hoards of other people.
- There are a few different ways to arrive at the falls. I approached from a different way than most people, so I’ll tell you one easy way to arrive at the falls. From I-90, take either exit 12 or 14.
- Head generally south toward US-14 ALT. This is really the road you really want to find, as this leads directly into Spearfish Canyon. This is known as Spearfish Canyon Highway.
- Drive a few miles along this road. I don’t think a distance is necessary, as you should see the falls to your left. The parking area is across the road on your right (all assuming you’re heading south).
Hike: not applicable, roadside
Where in the World is Bridal Veil Falls?: map