Fall at Dundee Falls
Sunday's storms brought (among other things) really great rain, waking up streams and waterways across the area. I had been wanting to explore Dundee Falls with the beautiful fall colors, kept putting it off, at last the storms came through and I knew the falls would be flowing! Bundling up in all my cold weather wear I struck out early Monday morning to spend some time at this hidden gem. From the parking area, a generally quiet area where you might hear birds chirping or an amish buggy trotting down the road, the low rumble of falling water could be heard. Walking closer the volume increased, first from a rumble slowly getting louder until the roar was so loud it was the only thing I could hear, the crunching leaves ceased to crunch as the water sang the song of her journey. With my tripod in one hand and walking staff in the other I was able to navigate through the rushing waters, tugging on my legs to have me join in their journey. Soaked halfway up my calfs, feeling the urgency of the rushing waters, smelling the leaves as they lay, composting, the colors slowly falling from the trees, its as if fall understands such grandiose can only last a short time, it pushes, bursts, creates so much beauty before it all falls. Then, after the colors fade, the paints muddy, the great artist primes the canvas once again, letting the white sit, dry, digging deep to find the inspiration, taking months to mull it over, before it's time to start the painting again.
Wherever you choose to go outside this week, you will not be disappointed, bundle up!
Nestled away among the corn fields of Tuscarawas County is the Beach City Wildlife Area. There's lots to do in this almost 2000 acre natural area, but we're going to focus on one teeny tiny magical section - Dundee Falls.
I had never heard of Dundee Falls until one of my friends posted about it - I was intrigued, but then let it slip from my mind again. Then this summer while Noah and I were taking our Ohio Certified Naturalist Course through the Wilderness Center in Wilmot, we took a field trip to Dundee Falls. It was more beautiful than I imagined. Some more time passed until one morning I couldn't sleep so I decided to watch the sunrise over the rolling hills of the part of Ohio where Wayne, Holmes, Tuscarawas, and Stark Counties all come together. I was not disappointed. As the sun rose it warmed up the dew which took to the sky in ribbons of fog. From there it was just a few minute drive down some twisty unlined back roads to get to the trailhead at Dundee Falls. It's an unassuming parking lot, easy to miss if you're not looking for it, from there take the trail to the right and after a short jaunt you'll be at the first of the falls (considered the upper falls even though it's further south than the others). The sun was just beginning to make its way into the gorge, awakening the birds with a gentle ambient foggy light that appeared to glow from the gorge outward. Following the creek a little ways you can see all sorts of interesting rock formations and slump rocks, the hemlock trees verify the cool climate hidden below. Take the trail on the other side of the falls through the hemlock trees and follow it about 1.2 miles to get to the larger falls (lower falls or northern falls). There you can walk the creek and find beautiful smaller falls as well. It is a one-way trail so you'll have to follow your path back.
Catching a glimpse of the fleeting moments between night and day are like being let in on a secret - like the Earth says "Yes, I see you, come watch how I make the magic."
More info and a map of the area can be found HERE
Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.