Hayden Falls, Ohio

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.

Directions:

  1. From I-270, take exit 15 and head east along Tuttle Road.
  2. Drive along Tuttle Road for about 2 miles, and then turn right onto Dublin Road.
  3. Drive about 1 mile to Hayden Run Road. Turn left onto Hayden Run Road.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 25′
Hike: 0.3 miles round-trip

Hayden

Hayden Falls in August 2015

Where in the World is Hayden Falls?

Morgan’s Steep Falls, Tennessee

Morgan’s Steep Falls in January 2016

I decided to take a trip to northern Alabama to see waterfalls, and ended up in Tennessee in the process. One of the first falls I tried to find was called Falls Mill Falls, and as I pulled up, I found out that it is closed for part of the winter. I then headed off to Sewanee, as I had a reservation at the Sewanee Inn, which is a very nice place to decide to stay. I was tired, so I ended up napping…and I never really thought I should check to see if there are any waterfalls in the area!

The next morning, as I was looking in my book of Tennessee waterfalls, I then discovered that there were a few waterfalls within 1 mile of my location! I could have been exploring those the day before! I still decided to check out one of the falls in the area.

There are at least three falls within a short distance of each other in Sewanee. The one you see here is Morgan’s Steep Falls, which is very easy to observe. The other two are Proctor Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, which I didn’t visit because they required longer hikes (and I hadn’t eaten yet). Each of those falls are found by hiking in opposite directions from Morgan’s Steep Falls.

Morgan’s Steep Falls isn’t the tallest or maybe even the prettiest waterfall, but because it’s so easy to get to, I would recommend stopping. From the (what I think was) a gravel parking area, it was a short 0.1 mile hike down some steps to see Morgan’s Steep Falls. Getting a good view of the falls did require a little bit of maneuvering, but even younger kids should be able to handle this falls. And as a side note, if you don’t like this waterfall, there are many other waterfalls in the area! Check those ones out too!

Directions:

  1. From US-41A, turn onto University Avenue (which forms a loop that connects back into US-41A).
  2. Drive along University Avenue to South Carolina Avenue.
  3. Turn onto South Caroline Avenue. Drive along South Carolina Avenue to the junction with Laurel Drive.
  4. You can really take either direction, as another loop is formed. If you take a left along Laurel Drive (more like veering left), you’ll end up circling back onto South Carolina Avenue later.
  5. The parking area for the falls is found at the end of this loop (or at least what I think was the parking area). It was a gravel area. (Make sure not to park on any private residences.)
  6. From there, go back to the trailhead. There is a sign for Bridal Veil Falls, but you want to take the stairs down to the other trail. Keep going along that path, and you will shortly arrive at Morgan’s Steep Falls.

Accessibility: 8/10 (stairs and a bit of maneuvering)
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip
Height: ~10′

Where in the World is Morgan’s Steep Falls?

Palouse Falls, Washington

A yellow-bellied marmot at the cliff’s edge.

As I was driving through Iceland viewing many of the different waterfalls, the scenery and surroundings kept reminding me of some other waterfall I had seen before…And then it clicked, a number of these falls were reminiscent of Palouse Falls, a truly spectacular waterfall in eastern Washington.

I don’t usually spend a significant amount of time at any one waterfall, but this is one I would suggest planning to explore more. Getting there is not terribly difficult, though you will drive through some grazing areas. The falls are not difficult to view either, but there are a number of interesting features of Palouse Falls that are worth more time.

First of all, I’ve got to say I’m amazed that people were able to get down to the base of the falls, and I’m not even remotely sure how they safely did it! There are a number of trails that lead to rapids further upstream, and many of these trails lead to steep and what seemed like very unsafe offshoots. I doubt that the park system supports the use of these trails, but there must be some way to get there. I’m just not sure I’d be trying!

Second, the geological features of Palouse Falls and the gorge that it has formed are just spectacular! At the right viewpoints, you can see the sharp cliffs and the river winding far below. Depending on the time of day, you might be in photographic heaven…

Finally, Palouse Falls is a great place to see a very interesting mammal, the yellow-bellied marmot. These creatures live at the cliffs edge, obviously unafraid of heights. When they sense danger, they will crouch down and lie as still as possible. They don’t seem to be as wary of humans (considering they are in very close contact with them), but they will still often respond in that way. It’s a really great surprise!

Directions:

  1. From Washtucna, head southwest for about 6 miles of WA-261.
  2. At the junction of WA-261 and WA-260, CONTINUE on WA-261 for a little under 9 miles.
  3. Turn left onto Palouse Falls Road. If it seems as though your headed through land meant for cattle, you haven’t chosen incorrectly. Drive for 4 miles to the parking area for the falls.
  4. The falls are very easy to visit from the parking area.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 198′
Length of Hike: negligible

Palouse Falls in April 2011

Where in the World is Palouse Falls?

Smalls Falls, Maine

Smalls Falls in September 2010

Smalls Falls is a gem of a waterfall in an amazingly beautiful area of Maine. It feels like the area is hidden away from much of humanity, and it probably is. And yet it is still incredibly easy to visit the falls. They are found directly off of ME-4 southeast of Rangeley.

The Rangeley Lakes area of Maine is really breathtaking. I visited before the fall colors were appearing, and I can only imagine that the area would be extremely impressive then. Smalls Falls is just a small part of the area to explore, but it’s a necessary stop. The falls are one of my favorites after visiting Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Smalls Falls is one of the few falls where I really focus on the colors of the surrounding rock. The colors almost remind me of a rainbow.

Explore the area around the falls, if you have the time. There is one main drop, and climbing uphill, you’ll find a number of other smaller drops. Each one is impressive, not because of its size, but because of its surroundings.

Directions:

  1. From Rangeley, head southwest on ME-4.
  2. About 12 miles along ME-4 (from the center of Rangeley), you’ll find the parking area to Smalls Falls on your right.
  3. Park and head to the falls, which are pretty hard to miss.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy from easiest viewpoint), 7/10 (easy/moderate from other viewpoints)
Height: 54′
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

Smalls Falls from lower viewpoint

Where in the World is Smalls Falls?