Yellow Spring Falls, Ohio

In the town of Yellow Springs, you can find Glen Helen Nature Preserve, which has three smaller waterfalls in it: Yellow Spring Falls, The Cascades at Glen Helen, and Grotto Falls. I’m not sure if this waterfall is where the town got it’s name, but it’s a unique waterfall. I’m not sure if it’s a natural waterfall, or if it’s man-made (possible it could be accidental). Looking at the picture now, it appears to be a mix of natural and something people added on to.

At 4′ tall, Yellow Spring Falls isn’t super exciting, but the color of the rocks is fascinating. The rocks do have a yellow-orange hue to them. The trail system to find the falls can be somewhat confusing, so I’ve included a map in the directions below.

Directions:

  1. Head into the town of Yellow Springs. (There are a number of ways to enter, so I’ll let you figure that part out.)
  2. From the downtown area, head south on Corry Street.
  3. Turn left in the parking area, which is found at 405 Corry Street.
  4. At the parking area, pay the entrance fee. Follow the Inman Trail to the falls. It may help to have this map, since the trail system can be confusing.

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 4′
Length of Hike: ~ 1 mile round-trip

DSC_0329

Yellow Spring Falls in August 2015

Where in the World is Yellow Springs Falls?

Grotto Falls, Ohio

dsc_0334

Grotto Falls in August 2015

There are a number of waterfalls in the Dayton area, and in the town of Yellow Springs, you’ll find a few smaller waterfalls. They’re part of the Glen Helen Nature Preserve, which I found to be a very nice and enjoyable little park. (It’s surprisingly easy to get lost at the park, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.)

The Cascades would probably be classified as the main attraction at the preserve, as they’re very scenic, though not particularly tall. Grotto Falls is a bit of a surprise, as I wasn’t sure how many waterfalls I’d encounter. This isn’t a large waterfall, but it was still nice to stumble upon it!

Directions:

  1. Head into the town of Yellow Springs. (There are a number of ways to enter, so I’ll let you figure that part out.)
  2. From the downtown area, head south on Corry Street.
  3. Turn left in the parking area, which is found at 405 Corry Street.
  4. At the parking area, pay the entrance fee. Then start heading along the main trail, which will head downhill.
  5. It may help to have this map, since the trail system can be confusing.

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Length of Hike: ~ 1 mile round-trip (though you might be able to get to this waterfall a bit quicker by taking a different path that I took)
Height: 4′

Where in the World is The Cascades at Glen Helen?

Old Mill Falls, New York

There are a few waterfalls that I honestly don’t remember a whole lot about, and Old Mill Falls seems to be one of them. There are at least two waterfalls named Old Mill Falls. One of them, which I previously visited and posted about here, is found in Ithaca. The other Old Mill Falls is further east south of Albany.

Looking at photos of the falls, it is a pretty waterfall, but it isn’t very tall, and it is near the more interesting Plattekill Falls. There are a few other waterfalls along the Plattekill Creek, but they aren’t as easy to access. Looking back at my post, Plattekill Falls wasn’t particularly easy to get to either, but Old Mill Falls is the easier to get to. There is a bridge that leads over the creek near the start of the trail head, and just downstream from that is the falls.

Directions:

  1. In West Saugerties, head west (somewhat northwest) along West Saugerties Road. You’ll pass Manorville Road on your right as you start heading uphill. At some point this road will turn into Platte Clove Road. The one book I used said it was about 2.5 miles from West Saugerties. (You’ll know you’re headed in the right direction if you see a sign for “This is a seasonal road.”)
  2. As you’re heading along this road, look for a “long” dirt parking area on your left (at about the 2.5 mile mark, though I can’t guarantee the mileage). Right near the end of this parking area is a bridge that crosses over Plattekill Creek. If you start seeing houses to the right and left, then you’ve gone just a bit too far. If you reach Platte Cove Community (which has a very nice sign), turn around when possible, pass the houses, cross over the bridge, and pull over in the gravel parking area.
  3. The confusing piece of the directions that I had was the red cabin. The red cabin is not obvious from the road. You may see a sign for a number of trails and “parking” in a 100 yards, which means you’re in the right place.
  4. To get to the trail to the falls, look for a trail near the creek with a wood bridge over the creek. Cross the bridge and then turn left to get easy access to the base of the falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 9′ (maybe up to 16′, but only a portion is easily visible)
Hike: 0.1 miles round-trip

DSC_0949

Old Mill Falls in July 2014

Where in the World is Old Mill Falls?

 

The Cascades at Glen Helen, Ohio

Outside of Dayton, you can find a number of waterfalls. None of them are particularly tall or large, but they’re still interesting nonetheless. One place you can find a number of smaller waterfalls is Glen Helen Nature Preserve. The preserve is found in the town of Yellow Springs, which gets its name from one of the waterfalls in the preserve.

From the parking area off of Corry Street, the trail is relatively straightforward to find. It initially leads you downhill toward Birch Creek. Once you reach that creek (which might be the 2nd one you meet), you can either cross that river over a rock bridge, or you can take a left and head uphill. The Cascades mentioned here are found by taking the left uphill. Keep walking for a way until you reach the falls, which are difficult to miss.

That being said, the trail system is surprisingly complex and isn’t marked as well as it really should be. Finding the Cascades was easy, but after that, it was very easy to get lost. Some of the trails lead to dead ends or private property, and you don’t know until you end up at that point! I’m not sure what trail we used to get back to the parking lot.

Directions:

  1. Head into the town of Yellow Springs. (There are a number of ways to enter, so I’ll let you figure that part out.)
  2. From the downtown area, head south on Corry Street.
  3. Turn left in the parking area, which is found at 405 Corry Street.
  4. At the parking area, pay the entrance fee. Then start heading along the main trail, which will head downhill.
  5. After reaching the low point of the trail, head left uphill toward The Cascades. It may help to have this map, since the trail system can be confusing.

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 10′
Length of Hike: ~ 1 mile round-trip

The Cascades in mid-August 2015

Where in the World is The Cascades at Glen Helen?

Kaaterskill Falls, New York

Kaaterskill Falls in July 2014

I know some people try to visit waterfalls at the “perfect time”, when the sun is at the perfect position or it’s a cloudy day. I don’t always have that option, and so sometimes I show up at the “wrong time”, when the sun is directly above the falls and it’s really difficult to get a good photograph. That was the case with Kaaterskill Falls, one of the more popular waterfalls in eastern New York. At 260′ tall, that’s where it gets most of its fame.

There are beautiful paintings and pictures of Kaaterskill Falls, but I really had a much harder time capturing the falls in all of its possible glory. The sun wasn’t helping, and honestly, to get the pictures that others had painted, I would have had to be standing in some very odd location. I’m not even sure what location that would have been, as the trees blocked most of the viewpoints that would have allowed me to see both drops at their appropriate magnitude.

Instead, I ended up with a much closer view of the lower portion of the falls, while the bottom piece of the upper drop could not be captured. I had to be standing on the left side of the river at the base just to capture this much of the falls without having the photo completely ruined by the sun. I guess I really didn’t love Kaaterskill Falls as much as I thought I would because of these issues. The hike to the falls wasn’t extremely difficult, but I think I was expecting something visually different.

Directions:

  1. I did not take the exit from I-87 to get to the falls, so I don’t really know what exit you would take, considering it’s a toll road with limited exits. I instead started on US-9W, and turned onto NY-23A heading east at the junction of these two roads.
  2. Continue heading east along NY-23A, passing under I-87. Keep going along 23A past the junction with NY-32.
  3. NY-23A will start climbing uphill with some sharp, curvy turns. At some point along the road, the speed limit is reduced drastically, you will take an extremely sharp curve, crossing the bridge over Kaaterskill Creek. If you look to your right, you’ll see Bastion Falls.
  4. Pass over that bridge, and shortly after that (about 0.2 miles or so), you’ll come to a parking area on your left. It could be very easy to pass, so pay careful attention. If you pass this, I’m not sure when the next place to turn around is.
  5. From the parking area, you will then have to head back to the bridge and Kaaterskill Creek. This is along the curvy, winding road, and at times you will be walking along a road with absolutely no shoulder. Be extremely careful.
  6. Cross over the bridge, and the start of the trail should be to your left. (You would be heading upstream.) You’ll know you’re in the right place since there’s a sign for Kaaterskill Falls.
  7. Start the hike. The first few hundred feet are actually the steepest, and then it tends to level out somewhat. It’s only about 0.5 miles one-way from the start of the trail.

Don’t Be Stupid Alert!: It’s not difficult to arrive at the base of the lower drop, but climbing to the base of the upper drop is extremely dangerous. There are signs indicating to not hike past a certain point, but there’s an obvious trail where people have ignored these signs. Don’t do it! Don’t be stupid!

Accessibility: 6/10 (moderate)
Height: 260′
Distance of Hike: 1 mile round-trip

Where in the World is Kaaterskill Falls?

Plattekill Falls, New York

Plattekill Falls in July 2014

I visited a number of waterfalls in eastern New York this past Saturday. I usually post about the first one that I visit on a trip, but I’ve decided to post on Plattekill Falls because I will forget something if I don’t write about it right now. Of all the waterfalls I visited, this one (and Old Mill Falls, which is a smaller fall just above this one) was the most difficult to find.

First, the road that leads to the trail head, Platte Clove Road, is closed during the winter months, so you’ll have to visit Plattekill Falls during the late spring and summer months. The road is moderately steep and narrow in places, so this is understandable. Second, it is not extremely obvious where the trail head to the falls starts, at least from the road. I drove by once and really had no clue if I was in the right place. I turned around, and on a hunch decided to park where a number of other cars were parked. I did find out it was the right place, but I initially started on a different trail that led to some mountain. I was able to see Old Mill Falls, and then noticed there was a much larger drop downstream.

I went back to the main road, and went toward the other main “path” I could see, and only after hiking it discovered it did lead to Plattekill Falls! I’ll mention in the directions below what to pay attention for in order to have an easier time finding the falls, though it’s still a bit confusing.

Once I was at the falls, it was really very beautiful. Since it was a sunny, amazing day, it did make photographing the waterfalls just a bit more difficult, though I had less difficulty here than with Kaaterskill Falls earlier in the day. It’s just over 50′ tall. After wandering around for a bit, you also discover there are even more waterfalls below, though they’re not easily accessed from the trail to Plattekill Falls. (There was an adventure company helping people rappel down the cliff near this other waterfall.) If you’re interested, there may be a way to see 14 falls along Plattekill Creek, as written here.

Directions:

  1. In West Saugerties, head west (somewhat northwest) along West Saugerties Road. You’ll pass Manorville Road on your right as you start heading uphill. At some point this road will turn into Platte Clove Road. The one book I used said it was about 2.5 miles from West Saugerties. (You’ll know you’re headed in the right direction if you see a sign for “This is a seasonal road.”)
  2. As you’re heading along this road, look for a “long” dirt parking area on your left (at about the 2.5 mile mark, though I can’t guarantee the mileage). Right near the end of this parking area is a bridge that crosses over Plattekill Creek. If you start seeing houses to the right and left, then you’ve gone just a bit too far. If you reach Platte Cove Community (which has a very nice sign), turn around when possible, pass the houses, cross over the bridge, and pull over in the gravel parking area.
  3. The confusing piece of the directions that I had was the red cabin. The red cabin is not obvious from the road. You may see a sign for a number of trails and “parking” in a 100 yards, which means you’re in the right place.
  4. To get to the trail to the falls, head to the end of this gravel parking area, where there was a gate (maybe more like two metal posts) with chains blocking the path. If you start walking down this three-foot wide trail, you should now pass the red cabin, and then you’re definitely on the right path. (If you cross a wood bridge, you are not on the right trail, though you can see Old Mill Falls on this trail.)
  5. It follows a few switchbacks, and then you end up at the falls. It was a shorter hike than I had expected, though it is consistently downhill (and uphill on the return).

*There is another parking area, but I had an extremely difficult time seeing it. It was near a very sharp turn in the road, and it requires you walk along the narrow road to get to the trail.

Accessibility: 6/10 (moderate)
Height: 78′
Length of Hike: 0.6 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Plattekill Falls?