Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, Yellow Springs

4.8
#2 of 7 in Things to do in Yellow Springs
Wildlife Area · Nature / Park
Registered as a National Natural Landmark in 1968, Clifton Gorge encompasses a 2-mile stretch of the Little Miami State and National Scenic River, just east of John Bryan State Park.

Geologically, it is an outstanding example of interglacial and post-glacial canyon cutting. At one point, the river funnels through a deep, narrow channel, which was apparently formed by the enlarging and connecting of a series of potholes in the resistant Silurian dolomite bedrock. In other sections of the gorge, cliff overhangs have broken off forming massive slump blocks scattered along the valley floor.

The shaded, north-facing slopes provide a cool, moist environment for northern species including hemlock, red baneberry, Canada yew, arbor-vitae and mountain maple. This is one of the most spectacular sites in the state for viewing spring wildflowers including the rare snow trillium.

Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve is located in Greene County on State Rt 343, .25 mile west of Clifton at the east end of John Bryan State Park.

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Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
224 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Went on a sweetest day hike with the wife day was perfect temps in the low 60’s the leaves were beautiful the cool air was nice and the smell of the forest was wonderful there was quite a few people.....  more »
  • This is a great place to hike, but I met many people who agreed that the paper map does not really show if you can take the North Rim Trail to the South Gorge and then "loop" around back to the...  more »
  • We parked at the Jackson Street parking lot and there was plenty of parking. We went mid day on a Friday. There was a nice path along the gorge with beautiful views along the way called the Narrows...  more »
Google
  • Absolutely stunning! Peaceful, serene and beautiful. Mother nature did an excellent job. We walked the trail for 2 miles and then went back. We stopped into the Nature Center as well. Definitely bring water because there isn't anywhere to get some. The nature center has bathrooms and is great for kids. It's free and there are a few reptiles and bees. There's lots to touch, see and explore.
  • Fun hike. Could use some better signage but you can't get too lost. Very nice picnic areas with very clean outhouses.
  • A beautiful gorge with unique features. Trails are tough due to erosion caused by heavy rains. Lots of knobby rocks and roots. Worth the effort if you are up to it. Wear sturdy shoes.
  • Beautiful place to visit. But I don’t understand people when it says no pets it means no pets including your dog. I don’t want to watch where I step while I am on a trail meaning I don’t want to step in dog poop . This is why I gave it a 4 star. Apparently you don’t enforce it. I love dogs I have several of them but I don’t take them when their rules specified no pets.
  • Great trails, not difficult, but fun anyway. The views are wonderful! We started at the top of the gorge at the North end. The trail offers nice views of the gorge, including the narrows. After the narrows there is a trail that takes you down to water level. I recommend that. We followed that water level trail past a slump rock cave (which you are allowed to enter), and a refreshing waterfall. Past that, there are a couple of trails that take you back up to the top, where you can follow the rim trail. We stayed along the water past the first upward trail, then took the second one (about a half mile farther down the trail) up. It's across from a footbridge that crosses the water. We didn't cross over because the second footbridge that leads back across was closed.

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