Most people visit waterfalls in summer, but we recently discovered that the wintertime can be a great time to visit them as well. The frozen waterfalls in Ohio are gorgeous!
I’ve had the worst case of cabin fever lately between recovering from surgery and the subzero temperatures. By last weekend I was willing to brave the cold weather if it meant getting out of the house a bit. We had heard that the waterfall at a nearby county park was frozen and was quite an impressive sight to see.
After looking online, I discovered that there were actually 5 waterfalls within a half hour drive of us. So we bundled up and headed out to see some beautiful frozen waterfalls.
By far the prettiest waterfall we saw on our outing was Charleston Falls near Huber Heights Ohio and it was the only one that was completely frozen. Charleston Falls is a fairly low volume waterfall that slows to a trickle during the summer.
I think the low volume is what allows it to freeze completely. Just gorgeous! This is the side view of the frozen falls. From what we could tell, the ice was about 4 feet thick.
Another of our favorites was Ludlow Falls. Ludlow Falls used to be pretty famous to locals due to the fact that volunteer firefighters used to decorate the falls with Christmas lights every year. I have fond memories of visiting their light display as a child.
Unfortunately they stopped doing the display about 10 years ago because of the cost involved, and nearly everyone has forgotten about the waterfall. Although Ludlow Falls wasn’t frozen completely, it was still quite a beautiful sight to behold.
Directions to 5 Frozen Waterfalls in Miami County Ohio:
#1: Farrington Reserve
There first frozen waterfall on our agenda was at Peterson Road located right next to Farrington Reserve Park. We had a bit of trouble finding this one. The waterfall is on the stream feeding into the Little Miami River and the bike path goes right by it. So park in the lot for Farrington Reserve and follow the bike path.
#2: Greenville Falls
Greenville Falls is located at 9140 Covington-Gettysburg Rd. in Covington Ohio. This park is in 2 segments with the river running between them. The falls overlook can be reached from the Covington-Gettysburg Rd entrance. There is also an entrance off Rangeline Rd. There is a short trail leading down to the river for a closer view from a different angle.
#3: West Milton Cascades
The West Milton Cascades are located on the northeast corner of the intersection of state routes 48 and 571 in West Milton. The falls can be a little bit hard to find as there are no signs. Here are directions to the West Milton Cascades.
In addition, if there has been a lot of snow, the parking lot may not have been cleaned off. If you are lucky enough to be able to visit during the winter though, the frozen waterfall is gorgeous and well worth the effort to find it!
#4: Ludlow Falls
Ludlow Falls are hidden under a bridge going over Route 48 in the town of Ludlow Falls. Park on Covington Ave across the street from the Post Office. There is a path near the Ludlow Falls fire department leading down to the waterfall.
#5: Charleston Falls
Charleston Falls Preserve is located at 2535 Ross Rd. in Tipp City. Enter the trail into the woods and at the intersection go left. (The other ways leads to a small picnic area.) After a short distance, the trail splits again. This time go right. There is a stairway leading down to lower viewing of the falls or you can continue on to the upper viewing area.
Tips for Exploring Frozen Waterfalls in Your Area
- Plan your route ahead of time. When I was looking online, I discovered the Go Waterfalling website. It has pictures and directions to waterfalls all over the US. You can also Google your state + “waterfalls”.
- Do a Google image search for the waterfall name + “frozen” to see if the waterfall actually freezes and is worth a visit in the cold. High volume waterfalls may not freeze at all, although the ice that forms around them may still be pretty to see.
- Dress in lots of layers to stay warm, especially if a long hike is involved. You can always remove layers if you get overheated.
- Bring along a water bottle. Just because it is cold outside doesn’t mean that you can’t get dehydrated.
- Let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back, especially if the frozen waterfalls are in a remote area or will involve a long hike.
- Be prepared for slippery trails due to ice and snow. A set of inexpensive trekking poles are great for helping you keep your balance and can be used for hiking all year long. I never hike without a hiking stick because a fall while we were out hiking is how I initially ruptured the disc in my back.
- Know when the sun sets in your area and plan to be done with your hike well before the sun goes down.
- Don’t forget to take a camera along. You will probably find a ton of gorgeous winter views to capture along your hike.
We had so much fun spending the day exploring the frozen waterfalls in Ohio. I hope this inspires you to get out and explore some of the pretty winter scenery in your area of the country. So tell me… Do you have any frozen waterfalls in your area?