One weekend, Abhi and I went to another gorgeous nature preserve, where the big goal was to see the Charleston Falls in its full glory. The Charleston Falls Preserve is a beautiful hiking area with easy loop trails, which are beautifully kept. The most striking part about wandering in the nature preserve was to view the stunning waterfall from different directions. What is better than inhaling fresh air, walking amidst cute wildflowers, and hear the water gushing down in a perfect placid surrounding.
The Charleston Falls Preserve boasts over 216 acres of prairie and forests and nearly 4 miles of trails to hike and view wildlife. Rare plants such as Virginia Bluebells, Wild Columbine, Walking Fern, and Purple Cliff Break grace the cave and the surrounding gorge. Over 3 miles of trails pass through diverse habitats such as Redbud Valley and the Thorny Badlands, offering explosions of color and varieties of scenic wonder.
We visited on a cool, but sunny weekend in early May and got the bonus of a fine weather to admire the scenery and get some exercise. Apart from well-laid out hiking trails, Charleston Falls Preserve has bridges, wide wooden stairs, observation decks, boardwalks, and strategically placed benches in some of the most scenic spots. With varied terrain including forested hills, cliffs, prairie, and a pond, the highlight of the park for us was the stunning 37 foot waterfall. The trails, stairs, and observation decks allow a view of the falls from both above and below.
The remarkable falls, resembling similar rock strata as Niagara Falls originates from a natural underground spring and plummets 37 feet, then continues its meandering journey to the Great Miami River. On our very first trail, about half way through the hike a set of stairs took us down to the beautiful Charleston Falls. After stepping down a few stairs, the stunning falls captured our attention. Surrounded by layers of rock strata, we walked down the stairs to the gorge and got the gorgeous view of the amazing Charleston Falls. There were numerous layers of limestone with vibrant green moss delicately covering parts of the rock.
The viewing platform allowed us to get up close to this gem of nature. With a few other hikers around, we had the whole falls to ourselves. It was pure bliss seeing the wonder and listening to the water gushing down with full vigor and hear nothing but nature all around us. After viewing the waterfalls, we went ahead that took us over to a cute little crawl-able limestone cave. It was a small cave, and we did not risk going in as it seemed a little damp.
We were in for another delight as we entered the Redbud Valley that was filled with redbud trees. Few of the trees were in bloom and the rest were just beginning to blossom the day we visited. The valley was serene and breath-taking with butterflies and birds all around as we walked through it. Just as we thought we saw it all, lo and behold we found our hush-hush place; a bench amidst lush greenery and a stream passing by with no soul in sigh. We sat there in complete tranquility to savor the moment and I couldn’t wait to take off my shoes and feel the cold water under my feet.
There is so much that makes this nature preserve amusing. Cascading waterfalls, breathtaking cliffs, and forestland as far as the eye can. Located in the picturesque Miami County, Charleston Falls Nature Preserve is about a 45 minutes drive from Cincinnati. Although it became a little chilly in the evening, it was the perfect weekend road trip for us. It cast a spell on us and we left our hearts at the Charleston Falls Preserve after a lovely day spent in complete harmony.
Stay close to nature and have a relaxed weekend.
Photos by Abhi & Suchi