When I visited northern Georgia in May 2012 searching for more waterfalls, I stopped at the Dukes Creek Falls Recreation Area in the Chattahoochee National Forest. The main attraction is clearly Dukes Creek Falls. Dukes Creek Falls is not found along Dukes Creek, but instead Davis Creek (confusing, isn’t it?). Dukes Creek Falls is found at the confluence of Davis Creek and Duke Creek.
As you’re hiking to Dukes Creek Falls, you will often be hiking alongside Dukes Creek. I noticed about a third of the way along the trail (maybe a little bit more) that I could hear water flowing nearby. Often, this is just some small cascade or rapid, but in this case there was a larger fall to be found. I would guess the falls were about 10′ tall or so. It is not particularly easy to get to these falls, but it is also nowhere near impossible. There is no official trail to the falls. You’re just very quickly heading down a moderately steep hill. There are trees and roots that planted themselves strategically to make your journey less difficult. In the end, you’re rewarded with a falls that pretty and isolated.
- From Cleveland, Georgia, head northwest along GA-11.
- After some distance turn right on GA-75.
- Again, some distance later, turn left on GA-348. (I seem to remember this turn coming rather abruptly.)
- Drive two miles to the parking area for Dukes Creek Falls Recreation Area. A National Forest pass will be required, which carries a daily cost.
- Follow the trail to Dukes Falls.
Accessibility: 4/10 (moderate/strenuous)
Length of Hike: 2.2 miles round-trip
Upper Dukes Creek Falls in May 2012
Where in the World is Upper Dukes Creek Falls?
Buttermilk Falls in August 2009
Buttermilk Falls is another one of the surprising waterfalls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which is very close to Cleveland. Brandywine Falls is the main attraction, but doesn’t require much of a hike (or walk). The small Blue Hen Falls is in another area of the park, and Buttermilk Falls is found by continuing along that trail.
I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to find it after reading the directions, but it was easier than I expected. You do have to cross the river/creek, and that is not difficult. It’s unlikely you’ll get wet! Once you get to the falls, you can get pretty close to the falls. I think some people were actually trying to climb up the falls. They’re steep, but only about 20′ tall.
- On I-271, take exit #18 onto OH-8.
- Head south on OH-8.
- Once you reach E Twinsburg Road, turn onto E Twinsburg Road, which will become W Twinsburg Rd.
- Go to Brandywine Road and turn east. Brandywine Road will become Olde Eight Road.
- Turn west onto Boston Mills Road. On your right will be a one-way road where you can park to visit Blue Hen Falls. There is also a parking lot on the left side of the road that is much easier to park at, though it does add a short amount of distance to your hike.
- From there, follow the rather obvious trail downhill to Blue Hen Falls.
- After you see Blue Hen Falls, keep heading downstream along the trail. You will cross the stream three times, which is not that difficult at all. It’s pretty hard to miss Buttermilk Falls (assuming you’re on the right trail).
Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Length of Hike: 1.2 miles round-trip
Where in the World is Buttermilk Falls?
Berea Falls is found in the city of Berea. When we visited Berea Falls, the sky was overcast and the air was humid. The waterfall is a pretty waterfall, but it’s one negative is that you are pretty far from the falls when you’re viewing them from the overlook. I think the falls would be more interesting if I could have gotten closer to them.
With that being said, there is likely a way to get closer. I’m just not sure how, and since they didn’t excite me that much, I didn’t try and figure out a path. The one interesting thing in the background is the bridges crossing the river. The bridges look rather old.
- From I-71, take exit 235.
- Head west on Begley Road for 2.2 miles.
- Turn right onto Barrett Road.
- Go a little more than 0.5 miles to the entrance of the metropark, which will be on your right. Turn here and park.
- The overlook will be obvious from the parking lot.
Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Length of Hike: negligible
Berea Falls in August 2009
Where in the World is Berea Falls?
In the outskirts of the Cleveland metro area is a group of pretty cool waterfalls. At least three of these falls are to be found in the US’s most recently formed national park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Brandywine Falls is the largest of the falls in the park and in the Cleveland area as a whole. It is an amazing sight to see.
When I thought of this area, I guess my first thought was not of waterfalls and terrain that would lead to waterfalls. When I visited, I was surprised to see this waterfall and such a deep gorge formed, at least considering the area. At points, the walls on the side of the gorge are pretty steep.
As a bonus, look for a small, small waterfall to the left of the crest of the falls. I’m not always a great judge of distance, but it might be 200 feet or so away from the crest. We visited in July, and this mini-waterfall was still flowing, so I’m guessing in spring, there might actually be more water flowing there. A camera with very good zoom is required since you can only view it from the opposite side of the gorge where the trail is.
The 2nd visit: In November 2011, the parking lot appears to have been repaved, and it looked really impressive. The hike to the falls was still short, but the cool thing about this visit was the much higher volume of water flowing over the falls. It had rained almost non-stop the night before, which was not great for driving, but was great for the view. It was a very nice time to visit the falls, as there were very few people there in late November.
- In metropolitan areas, it can sometimes be complicated to remember how I got to the falls, since there are many different exits and construction that exist. I believe from I-271 heading south, we exited onto OH-8.
- We headed south on OH-8.
- Turn right onto Highland Road E and head to the intersection with Brandywine Road.
- At the intersection, turn right on Brandywine Road and pull into the parking area for the falls.
- From the parking area, head toward the trail leading to the falls. There is a wooden boardwalk that leads there.
Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Length of Hike: 0.3 miles round-trip
Brandywine Falls in August 2009
Brandywine Falls in November 2011
Where in the World is Brandywine Falls?
In the city of Olmsted Falls, Ohio, you can find Olmsted Falls, a beautiful waterfall found on Plum Creek. Plum Creek flows through the city, and two different drops occur, one being Olmsted Falls and the other known as Plum Creek Falls. Both falls are not large, but they are very scenic and the hike around the falls is just as beautiful. Plum Creek meets with the Rocky River in this park.
- From I-71 in Ohio, take exit 235 to Bagley Road.
- Head on Bagley Road for a short ways to the town of Olmsted Falls.
- In Olmsted Falls, turn right onto OH-252 (aka Columbia Road) heading north.
- In a short distance, OH-252 will veer to the left. Instead of veering left, head straight.
- Park at the library or in the parking area below the library. The trail to the falls will be pretty noticeable. You will first encounter Olmsted Falls, and further downstream will be Plum Creek Falls. (You may also be able to access the falls via the David Fortier River Park, but it’s unclear whether there’s an entrance on Water Street.)
Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Length of Hike: 0.5 miles round-trip
Olmsted Falls in August 2009
Where in the World is Olmsted Falls?
In the center of the town of Chagrin Falls is the eponymous waterfall. The waterfall is beautiful and extremely easy to visit. There are multiple different viewpoints of the falls, though the view on the right side of the falls is the easiest to find. The left side viewpoint is publicly accessible near a restaurant, though it is more complicated to find, as it is more hidden.
Chagrin Falls is a charming little city, and is worth exploring even after you visit the waterfall. In the summer, the town is rather busy.
- From I-271 heading north, take the exit to OH-87, which is also known as Chagrin Boulevard.
- Head east on Chagrin Boulevard for a ways. At one point, you will go through a roundabout. VEER to the right and keep heading on Chagrin Boulevard. Do not keep heading on OH-87, as they split.
- Chagrin Boulevard will turn into W Orange Street. From there, find a parking area in the bustling city area.
- From there, find the signs that indicate where the falls are found.
Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Length of Hike: variable, depending on where you find parking
Chagrin Falls in August 2009
Where in the World is Chagrin Falls?
I’m guessing not many people have heard of Columbia Beach Falls. You wouldn’t exactly expect to find this waterfall along the Lake Erie shoreline, but there it is! The cliffs along the lakeshore are not very tall, but they are still 30 feet or so above the lake level. Columbia Beach Falls has been formed in those cliffs. The erosion is likely slow, though, as not much water was flowing in early August.
I think I would have liked the falls better if the falls were cleaner. There was a lot of algae growing on the falls, which definitely attracted a lot of ducks. It was interesting to see the ducks climbing up and down the falls. There were also some milk jugs and other things that had been lodged in the falls, though they’re harder to see in the picture. Still, it’s a pretty easy waterfall to get to, and you do get to enjoy beautiful Lake Erie.
- Columbia Beach Falls is found on US-6 in the town of Bay Village. The “park” for the falls is right at the intersection of US-6 and OH-252.
- Parking can be found in a parking lot directly next to a church. From this parking area, cross the road, and walk down to the shoreline. The waterfall will be to your left.
Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip
Columbia Beach Falls in August 2009
Where in the World is Columbia Beach Falls?