There are few things more spectacular than stopping to watch a beautiful cascading waterfall. Whether it’s a reward after a challenging hike, a perfect spot for a picnic, or a point of interest on a road trip, we firmly believe that yes, you should absolutely go chasing waterfalls.
And the good news is that there are plenty of waterfalls near Cleveland, Ohio!
If you plan to spend more time in the great outdoors near Cleveland, these are hands down the waterfalls you need to put on your must-see list.
(And you can find all these waterfalls plotted on a map if you scroll down to the end of this post!)
Best Waterfalls Near Cleveland, Ohio
Note: We’ve only included waterfalls here that you can reach or see using established trails and overlooks; we don’t condone going off-trail, no matter how great the Instagram photo might turn out!
1. Brandywine Falls
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Sagamore Hills
Brandywine Falls is the most popular waterfall in Cuyahoga Valley National Park (and possibly in northeast Ohio). This 65-foot waterfall is impressive to see any time of year, including during a frosty cold snap when it freezes over, and it’s not surprising that it often attracts a crowd.
It also has a long history with early settlers, when they used the waterfall for its water power for several mills.
Today this waterfall is really easy to get to from the Brandywine Falls picnic area and parking lot. You can either take the Brandywine Gorge Trail loop to enjoy the scenery of the area before exploring the waterfall, or just take the short MetroPark Bike & Hike trail to the steps down to see it.
2. Great Falls of Tinker’s Creek Gorge
Viaduct Park, Bedford Reservation
This small but mighty waterfall near Cleveland is located in the stunning Tinker’s Creek Gorge near some incredible old grist and saw mills, and even an old electric power plant.
This waterfall is great because it’s usually not very crowded at all – and it looks pretty incredible in the winter when it begins to freeze over.
To get there, just park in the Viaduct Park parking lot and take the Viaduct Park Loop trail.
3. Bridal Veil Falls
Bedford Reservation, Walton Hills
While you’re in the area around Tinker’s Creek Gorge, then you’ve got to stop and see Bridal Veil Falls. Less of a big waterfall and more of a series of tiny waterfalls that flow along Deerlick Creek under a wooden bridge, this place is nevertheless picturesque.
Just park at the Bridal Veil Falls parking lot and take the Buckeye Trail for a few short minutes until you reach it. You can also make this a longer hike by continuing on the Buckeye Trail to Tinker’s Creek Gorge!
4. Blue Hen Falls
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Brecksville
This is one of the Cleveland waterfalls that cannot be missed. There are a few smaller falls leading up to the big waterfall itself, then it drops into a beautiful pool of water before continuing on its way.
The best part about visiting Blue Hen Falls is that there are several ways to get there depending on how much hiking you’d like to do. You can easily see it by parking in a smaller parking lot off of 2001 Boston Mills Road and hiking a half mile to the waterfall.
However, if you want to get a little more adventurous, I recommend taking a longer hike via the Buckeye Trail starting at Jaite Trailhead. It’s an 8 mile hike and takes at least 3.5 hours to complete round-trip.
Lastly, for a mid-length hike, take the Buckeye Trail from Boston Mills Visitor Center to Blue Hen Falls. This is only a 4 mile hike round-trip and takes at least 2 hours.
5. Mill Creek Falls
Garfield Park Reservation, Cleveland
Looking for a waterfall *in* Cleveland? This is it. Mill Creek Falls, or Cataract Falls of Mill Creek, is a 48-foot waterfall and happens to be Cuyahoga County’s highest waterfall! It cascades over many rock layers in the northern corner of Garfield Park Reservation.
To see this waterfall, park in one of two parking lots on Webb Terrace. From there, you can follow the Mill Creek Trail to the main Mill Creek Falls Overlook.
6. Chippewa Creek Falls
Located near Chippewa Creek Gorge, this waterfall is located under the State Route 82 bridge near the entrance of Brecksville Reservation. This sweet little 10-foot waterfall cascades down through the gorge.
To get here, just park at the parking lot at the entrance of Brecksville Reservation and take the Chippewa Creek Falls Trailhead to the Chippewa Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook.
You can also hike along the Hemlock Trail for better views of the falls and gorge.
7. Deer Lick Cave Falls
Also in Brecksville Reservation, this tiny little waterfall is a beautiful spot to relax. There are also a few ways to get here.
The easy way to see it is to park at the small parking lot off of Valley Parkway, take the Deer Lick Cave Loop trail a short ways in, and then you’ll spot the falls. You could also continue the loop, merge onto the Valley Bridle Trial, and merge back onto Deer Lick Cave Loop. This is about a 4 mile hike.
Lastly, you could take a 2 mile hike from the Oak Grove Picnic area and take the Buckeye Trail heading southwest. Take that until you can turn right from the trail onto Valley Parkway. Then you’ll be on the small loop trail and you’ll take that around and then come back the way you started.
8. Berea Falls
Rocky River Reservation
Do you remember those calendars that feature beautiful nature scenes? I’d wager that this waterfall more than earns its spot in one of those. With mini waterfalls flowing along the Rocky River and gorgeous stone bridges in the background, it’s no wonder that this waterfall is a popular spot with photographers.
Berea Falls was formed by a post-glacial river that eroded the shale and sandstone underneath, creating these falls. This spot is particularly beautiful in the fall.
To get here, park at Berea Falls Overlook and take the trail down.
9. East Falls
Cascade Park, Elyria
Next to an old deteriorating mill, these 30-foot falls make for a lovely sight. What makes it extra lovely, aside from it being next to the old mill, is the mix between man-made and natural, with the Black River flowing over a dam and then more natural sandstone.
To get here, park at East Falls Riverwalk (right behind the police station) and take the boardwalk and steps to a set of overlooks. If you want a better view, take the smaller and less-maintained trail through the forest down to a couple more viewing areas.
10. West Falls
Cascade Park, Elyria
Located underneath the Lake Avenue bridge, this waterfall is also in Cascade Park. With a height of 35 feet, it is slightly more impressive than East Falls. It also appears to have 3 waterfalls in 1, as there are a few spots where water runs off the Berea Sandstone rocks.
To get here, park in Cascade Park’s main parking lot and take the 1.2 mile Waterfall Trail.
11. Day’s Dam Falls
Black River Reservation, Lorain
Located near both the East and West falls mentioned above, the Day’s Dam Falls are incredible, especially after a rainy day. The craziest part is because of the popularity of the other two nearby waterfalls, this place gets overlooked and isn’t crowded at all!
Start at the Day’s Dam Trailhead and take the Bridgeway Trail south for about half a mile until it connects with the Waterfall Trail. This loop trail then goes to the falls.
12. Quarry Rock Falls
South Chagrin Reservation
No big hiking needed for this waterfall, as it is close to the Quarry Rock picnic area. There is an overlook deck that shows the Aurora Branch of the Chagrin River with its charming cascades flowing along rocks as the water continues down the river.
Just park at the Quarry Rock picnic area and wander over to the lookout spot.
13. Chagrin Falls
Downtown Chagrin Falls
No hiking required for this gem of a waterfall near Cleveland! Just head to downtown Chagrin Falls. Main Street crosses over Chagrin River, and you can take the steps down to get a great viewpoint of the falls.
This waterfall also played a part in the history of Chagrin Falls, as it was used to power many mills in the area back in the day.
14. Affelder Falls
The West Woods, Novelty
Up until 2016, this waterfall wasn’t accessible by official trails. Now, this 20-foot waterfall is reachable via the ¼-mile Waterfall Trail made by Geauga Parks. To get here, park at Affelder House and take the Waterfall Trail from the house.
Also, while this waterfall can be quite beautiful, it does dry up a bit when there isn’t much precipitation. To see it in its true beauty, aim to hike to it after rain or a snow melt.
15. Chair Factory Falls
Located near what was an old chair factory that burned down years ago, this spot was actually on private property until Lake MetroParks created a 0.3 mile trail to access the falls.
This waterfall near Cleveland is beautiful where the water curves over a rocky cliff and ends in a pool at the bottom. To get there, park at the Concord Township Old Stone School and take the Greenwood Corridor Connector Trail. Continue until you see the Chair Factory Falls path. That’ll lead to the overlook.
16. Paine Falls
Paine Falls MetroPark, Leroy Township
Located in what was once known as “Paine’s Hollow,” Colonel Hendrick Paine set up a cabin and started to industrialize the area by using, you guessed it: water power from the falls. He built a sawmill and many other industries started here.
Now today it is just a lovely waterfall where Paine Creek flows under a bridge before cascading down in two spots, creating the falls.
To see it, park at 5570 Paine Road in Leroy Township. There is a staircase you can take from the parking lot that leads to the overlook.
17. The Little Falls
Located in Cuyahoga Falls, and found as a result of taking down old dams, is the Little Falls. These little waterfalls tumble along the river, giving expert whitewater kayakers a challenge.
The easiest way to see it is from the Sheraton Suites hotel. There’s a restaurant and bar here called Beau’s on the River that has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking this part of the Cuyahoga River.
18. Cascade Falls
Nelson & Kennedy Ledges State Park, Garrettsville
Standing around 40 feet tall, this skinny waterfall is set amongst some gorgeous ledges in Nelson & Kennedy Ledges State Park.
To get here, park in the only parking lot in the park and take the trail to the right. This is a little adventurous to get to, as you’ll have to crawl for a second as you scramble past Dwarf Man’s Pass to continue to the falls. However, it is well worth it.
This park also has a 10-foot waterfall called Minnehaha Falls you can visit while you’re there.
19. Lanterman’s Falls
Lanterman’s Mill, Youngstown
This is definitely the furthest waterfall from Cleveland itself, but if you are planning to take a day trip from Cleveland, this is a great one if you love waterfalls.
Located next to the beautiful (and still working) Landerman’s Mill and a covered bridge, you can admire the gorgeous property and waterfalls without hiking – though there are also some walking/hiking trails nearby in Mill Creek Park.
After checking out the falls, be sure to pick out some souvenirs at their gift shop, where you can find stone-ground buckwheat, cornmeal, and whole wheat flour.
Just park at Lanterman’s Mill at 1001 Canfield Road. The best view of the whole place (seen in the photo above) can be seen from the Canfield Rd. (Route 62) bridge, which you can reach by taking the E Gorge Walk trail from the mill.
Here’s a map to help you find all the waterfalls listed here!
Which of these Cleveland waterfalls is your favorite?
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Kat is a Cleveland transplant and has lived here for over 5 years. She loves to eat, drink, and explore all across the city, and has made it her personal mission to find the best breweries and pizza in Northeast Ohio. She also runs a couples travel blog and podcast called World Wide Honeymoon.