Friday, August 12, 2016

Things To Do in Miami County, Ohio: Charleston Falls Nature Preserve

As a child, I remember visiting the Charleston Falls Preserve, located in Miami County, Ohio. As an adult, I wanted my children to love the place as much as I did, so I began taking them there to walk the trails, see the falls, and check out the cave.

Note: I did a very brief post about Charleston Falls in 2012.

Charleston Falls Preserve is the most-visited Park District property in Miami County, and for good reason. This preserve boasts over 216 acres of prairies and forests, over 3 miles of hiking trails, and observation decks to view wildlife. Throughout the preserve, you can spot uncommon plants like wild columbine (pictured below), walking fern, and rock honeysuckle.

The best part of Charleston Falls preserve, in my opinion, is the waterfall. During the rainy seasons (late spring/early summer), it's fast and flowing, whereas in the winter, there are beautiful icicles adorning the edges of the gorge.

Charleston Falls in the summer.

Often referred to as a "Mini Niagra" because of it's rock strata, the falls drop 37 feet into a small stream below that eventually finds its way to the Great Miami River.

The wildlife at Charleston Falls is diverse. I have seen ducks and ducklings, hawks, deer, and chipmunks. The different types of birds here make it a haven for bird watching and bird enthusiasts.

Charleston Falls in early spring.
There are various habitats found at the Charleston Falls Preserve, including Redbud Valley and the Thorny Badlands. In the fall, the preserve is filled with explosions of vibrant colors as the leaves begin to change.

If you're thinking of stopping by Charleston Falls Preserve, don't forget to check out the limestone cave before you go. Also, be aware that some of the trails feature very uneven terrain and steep drop offs. Because of this, you're advised to dress appropriately and keep children close by and well-supervised.

Whether you're looking to have a picnic, walk the trails, or involve yourself in some of the nature programs, Charleston Falls Preserve is the place to do it.

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