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
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Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who spends her time exploring and learning about the unique history and nature in North East Ohio. She lives with her husband and cat in Wooster where she is also a family portrait and nature photographer as well as grows and cans her own vegetables. When she's not doing that, yoga and embroidery (not at the same time) are other things she enjoys.