A Little Nature: Visiting Hayden Run Falls

Hayden Run Falls

Ohio has a little bit of something for everyone, not the least of which are the opportunities to get out and explore nature. Of course, we’re all familiar with the bigger parks like Hocking Hills State Park or Cuyahoga Valley National Park. These are the kind of visits you put on your calendar, grab your hiking poles and pack a picnic lunch.

A boardwalk winds through a gorge, above a creek while visiting Hayden Run Falls.
The boardwalk makes for a nice walk through the gorge while protecting the native plant life.

And while it’s always a good thing to spend some time in nature, we don’t always have time for that kind of a production. This was where I found myself today, looking for just a little adventure. I remembered visiting Hayden Run Falls Park, just a little hidey hole of a park tucked onto two acres in Dublin. I decided this was just the

Hayden Run Falls Park

Hayden Run Falls Park is part of the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. It’s a relatively small park, tucked just off the very busy Hayden Run Road between Dublin Road and Riverside Drive. The parking lot is marked with a sign that says “Griggs Nature Preserve” and is just a few spaces (I didn’t count but definitely less than 10). The park is located on the western shore of the Scioto River in the Griggs Reservoir area.

A golden doodle dog on a blue leash is sitting on a wooden boardwalk surrounded by leafy green trees.
Pumpkin stopped for a rest on the boardwalk. Dogs are welcome on leash.

As you head out of the parking area, you’ll go up a few steps, then over a small bridge. Then you’ll head down three sets of stairs into the gorge. As you descend the stairs, you’ll see the Scioto River through the trees on your left. Then the boardwalk veers off to the right and travels through the gorge.

A golden doodle dog is sitting on a wooden boardwalk. There is a waterfall and trees in the background. His tongue is out and he's wearing a blue leash.
This isn’t the best shot of Pumpkin, but I wanted to show you the viewing platform at the falls.

It’s a third of a mile back the boardwalk to the viewing area for Hayden Run Falls. The waterfall is 35 feet tall. The weather hasn’t been particularly rainy nor dry and the flow was pretty good. I have seen pictures with a heavier flow over the falls, but it was still beautiful. I imagine it might slow to more of a trickle during the drier summer months.

Visiting Hayden Run Falls

The entire trail is an elevated wooden boardwalk. This is especially nice if you are travelling with children and want to keep them clean! The boardwalk makes for a nice walk, but if you’re the sort that likes to explore you may find some frustration with your hike being thereby limited. The boardwalk not only makes a nice hike, however, but also serves to protect the gorge habitat which includes some rare and endangered plants.

When visiting Hayden Run Falls you first have to walk down three sets of stairs to the boardwalk.
The stairs down into the gorge are steep.

Dogs are welcome at Hayden Run Falls as long as they are both on a leash and under control. I took our pup, Pumpkin, and it was a nice walk. It’s tick season here in Ohio and the boardwalk kept him from wondering into weeds and grasses. The only real concern was in heading down the stairs at the beginning of the trail. He was quite excited about the walk and I had to be careful he didn’t pull me down the stairs!

When visiting Hayden Run Falls you will look for the Griggs Nature Preserve sign on this busy road.
The road is busy and you’ll look for the Griggs Nature Preserve sign at the parking lot.

If you’re visiting Hayden Falls, you’ll need to budget about an hour for your visit. When you put the park in your GPS, be sure to type the address as 4326 Hayden Run Road in Dublin. If you instead put in the name of the park it will take you to a street in a residential community. There’s a sign there saying “residents only – no falls access.” I imagine they’ve grown weary of the GPS misdirects to their neighborhood.


Thanks for taking this quick trip with us today and FindingOhio. Be sure to check back soon for more great Ohio adventures. Looking for more opportunities to get out in Ohio nature? Consider taking a trip to Yellow Springs in the Dayton area. There you’ll take a nice hike past the actual yellow springs and visit one of my favorite spots – Grotto Falls. If you’re looking for a longer hike, you can read about our visits to crowd favorites: Hocking Hills or Cuyahoga National Park.

A view of the Scioto River in Dublin Ohio through a stand of trees.
You can see the Scioto River through the trees as you walk down the stairs.

No matter how you got here today, we’re glad you stopped by! And, as always, we appreciate you sharing our content to your social media. Let’s get the word out that Ohio is a great place to live and visit!