This Place is Magical – Nelson Ledges State Park

Our soaking socks, dirty, cut up hands, and our aching legs, didn’t even bother us this trip. We loved this geologically impressive area near Garrettsville, Ohio named Nelson Ledges State Park! Our car ride was only about an hour and a half from Pittsburgh and we did decide to take the turnpike for most our trip and recommend you do so as well! We decided to go here because we heard there were at least two waterfalls and the views were beautiful so we couldn’t pass this beautiful place up. Turns out there was plenty more to do here than just to see waterfalls…

First, we decided to try and find the Cascade Falls. Finding the place to park for any trail here is pretty simple due the Nelson Ledges State Park only has one gigantic parking lot. Once you park, head straight across the road and follow the trail that goes to the right. There will be two trails to your left but you want the furthest one to the right across the street from the Nelson Ledges State Park sign, named Yellow Trail. Yellow Trail was only about a mile long we felt and was pretty easy to hike. Appearance wise, we were amazed just by this trail! It was beautiful and we couldn’t believe that it was right next to a main road. We were surrounded by rock ledges, caves, and huge boulders.

If you keep walking on this Yellow Trail, you will reach the Cascade Falls. Cascade Falls is about 40 feet in height and only about 10 feet wide. We did read that there are several ways to get there and we are unsure of how we did, but we did not have to pass through the Dwarf Man’s Pass that most bloggers speak about. We were definitely up for the climbing, and crawling challenge though. We got some great images through this entire trail and the tall trees, the green ferns, and the nature was breathtaking! Once we got to the Cascade Falls, we were taken back by the rainbow in the descending water and the clean water at our feet. You can get some unique shots of these falls at almost every angle you get of the falls. Next we wanted to get a view from the top and of course had some great images and video along the way!

Next, we wanted to find the Minnehaha Falls. The falls are only about a 10 minute walk from the other falls which is great if you are exploring the area in a day. Of course it took us plenty of time longer due to all the pit stops we had to take pictures and video. (duh) Minnehaha Falls is only about 15 feet high but about 5 feet across when we were there. We were lucky to have the water coming over the rocks and the rainfall the day before, which made the falls so much more memorable. These falls were a little a bit more difficult than the other falls. We recommend being extremely careful walking down to the falls. When walking down to the other falls, there are actually other lower falls to the right. If you want to view the lower falls you will have to hike through the small canyon. It is extremely high, about 18 feet down is a small gathering of water and debris. Again, it is definitely worth checking out, but make sure to watch your step!

We are sad to say we did not make it to the Ice Box Cave and will be back to check it out! We spent hours at these falls without even realizing the time, that’s how unique these falls and cascades were! If you are looking for this destination you will need to take the Blue trail. We loved how the trails we just color coordinated and it was easy to navigate the entire area due to these color marks on the trees. Make sure to bring plenty of water with you through the mazes of ledges and extra clothes if you decide to jump on in!

After a long day of hiking, jumping in water, and filming, we decided to get some much needed coffee. We looked up closest coffee shops and found the cutest little shop called Cellar Door Coffee Co. Cellar Door was only about 4.5 miles away and only a 8 minute drive from where we were. Little did we know there were so many hidden gems in this area. The Cellar Door is located in the Old Mill building at the intersection of Water, Main, and Center streets in historic downtown Garrettsville. It is one of the most relaxing and comfortable coffee shops we have ever been in. There are multiple floors for all ages and vibes with a rich history of the small town. The coffee with the laughter of local families and children was indescribable!

Lastly, we decided to take a walk around the small town and found a mill/restaurant not like anything else we have ever seen. The restaurant’s name is Garrett’s Mill & Brewing Company. According to their website, Garrett’s Mill & Brewing Company resides in a historic building that was constructed in 1804 by Col. John Garrett III. The Mill once operated as a water-driven flour mill serving a 20 mile radius which was considered a mega mill at the time. You can see the hard work the town has put in this mill and how the town lives all around it. It is like the heart of this small town and we loved learning more on the past that brought it to life. The old mill sits on Eagle Creek, which has its own dam / waterfall known as the Garrettsville Falls. It is right in the center of town and made our little walk around town much more enjoyable. One local told us that the light up the bridge that overlooks the waterfall during November and December for the holidays.

The trip overall, and we say this all the time, was one of our favorites. We say this, this time, because the mobility we got to take the images we wanted, the film to make our video, and the memories we shared while doing so. We want to go back and get some more explored before the snow falls because we did miss quite a lot and we would recommend doing your research before getting there and timing your adventure. Summer is going way too fast for everything we want to accomplish, so onto the next!

Nelson Ledges / Garrettsville Photo Gallery