On social media, it becomes all too easy to covet the perfection we think we see in other people’s posts. We might envy someone for their amazing physical transformation or their happily-ever-after relationship. We drool over photos of delicious food or swoon over the picture-perfect vacation.
Me, I find myself longing to hike ALL THE TRAILS, especially the ones leading to waterfalls.
Given how rainy it’s been around here lately, I’ve really been itching to go out and explore a new waterfall, knowing that rivers and creeks are flowing above average right now. But where could I go on a weekday afternoon for a quick waterfall fix?
Thanks to a photo I spotted on Instagram a few weeks ago, I found a waterfall a little closer to home than those in the Cuyahoga Valley. And as a bonus, it didn’t appear to be as well known, so I might just have it to myself for a spell.
Having finished my work by lunchtime today, I decided to find this “new” natural wonder. I drove out US Rt 250 heading southeast from Wooster, followed GPS directions along back roads and past Amish farms, and, roughly 25 miles from home, pulled into a small parking area in the Beach City Wildlife Area.
A state-designated area for hunting, this part of the wildlife area had a very muddy and primitive trail leading from the car park toward the river. As I got closer, I could hear a muted roar of water, and I turned to follow the current downstream until I spotted the top of Dundee Falls.
The challenge then became: where to find the best view? I took a deep breath and crossed the river gingerly, sometimes finding rocks to stop on and sometimes sinking into a couple inches of water. Once across, I followed a path up the hill for one view of the falls, but it didn’t quite satisfy me.
Back across the river I walked, scrambling up an eroded, muddy mess of a trail until I could find a better perspective for taking photos. Though it’s not a very large waterfall, Dundee Falls reminds me somewhat of Blue Hen Falls in structure (water falling cleanly over an overhanging sandstone ledge) and comparable height. The trail led down to the base of the falls, but considering the slippery mud and narrow edge path, I eventually (after careful thought) decided not to risk it today since I was hiking alone.
Having taken my photos and enjoyed the peaceful setting of this waterfall, I trekked back up the path to my car so I could get back to my day’s to-do list. Overall, the hike to the falls only covered about a quarter mile, and I’m sure it will be worth it to return in better trail conditions (with a buddy) to explore it some more.