Cedar Falls, Hocking Hills, Ohio
Cedar Falls is among the most magnificent waterfalls in Ohio and certainly one of the most popular in the Hocking Hills. No matter what time of year you visit, Cedar Falls Ohio is a sight to behold. In autumn, a trip to Cedar Falls is accentuated by fall foliage, and in winter, the 50-foot waterfall turns into a stream of icicles. When the snows of winter melt in springtime, Cedar Falls begins flowing at full capacity. It is said to be the largest waterfall in the Hocking Hills by volume.
The name Cedar Falls is a misnomer — the result of mistaken identity. Early settlers to the area misidentified the stately hemlock trees as cedar trees; consequently, this park was incorrectly named. Despite the mistake, the name Cedar Falls has been used ever since.
The beauty of Cedar falls began drawing visitors right away. The scenic gorge was, and is, an added bonus. In the early 1800’s, a trading post was built just a short distance downstream from the falls. It served the Indians and early settlers alike. There is a cave in the gorge where the Indians and early settlers obtained saltpeter, which was used in the curing of meat.
The water plunges 50 feet over the falls. Cedar Falls has the greatest volume of water of all the falls in Hocking County and is easily the most photographed of waterfalls in Ohio. It has been featured in magazines, newspapers, film and calendars and is at its glorious best during the rainy season, since its feeder stream is little more than a roadside gully.
The stream that ripples down the gorge below Cedar Falls is sparkling, unpolluted water. It supports a thriving community of marine creatures. Large snapping turtles that one would expect to find only in rivers and lakes are seen in this stream. There are several species of fish, including smallmouth bass. The depth of the gorge moderates the temperature. To hike the gorge trail on a hot summer day is a cool and refreshing treat.
The "bent bridge" below Cedar falls was originally straight. Large trees floating down the gorge during times of high water rammed the bridge with enough force to bend the massive steel girders. In this tortured configuration, the bridge became a favorite with the visitors. When extensive repair and modernization was done in the gorge in 2002-03, the bridge was repaired, but was left with the familiar curve. Guard rails have been added for safety.
A new bridge spans the stream just above the falls. It stands just a few yards onto the trail toward Old Man’s Cave. From the bridge, looking downstream, can be seen the outline in the sandstone where the water-powered grist mill once stood. The mill was built in 1835. The burr stones from that mill are on display at the end of the bridge.
A half-mile trail to Cedar Falls introduces 21st-century visitors to striking terrain featuring a gorge and sandstone cliffs covered with moss. The remains of a gristmill built near Cedar Falls in the 1830s can still be seen today. Hikers can enter Ohio's Buckeye Trail at Cedar Falls and hike to either Ash Cave or Old Man's Cave, two other popular destinations in the Hocking Hills. This six-mile section of the Buckeye Trail at Cedar Falls Ohio, also known as the Grandma Gatewood Trail, is part of two national trails: the North Country Scenic Trail and the American Discovery Trail.
Cedar Falls is located at St. Rt. 374 between SR 664 and SR 56. It is one of six areas within Hocking Hills State Park, which is known for its natural attractions. Picnic facilities, campgrounds and cottages are available at Hocking Hills State Park.