Posted in Park visit

Clifton Gorge after the leaves have fallen

There are a number of places where the terrain itself is interesting, but during the summer the foliage may partially obstruct your view. One of those places is Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve. We visited there mid-November, but given our recent melt, it would look similar now.

During the summer the little twigs over the falls would be all leafy.




Telephoto view up the gorge. The Little Miami River is so narrow here that the water flows with great force.
And from a bit farther back…

And here are some views of the Little Miami River downstream. They also show more of the river due to the lack of foliage.

Dolomite walls of the gorge
Standing on a platform at the cliff’s edge, looking down into the gorge
Little Miami River viewed without leaves and weeds getting in the way
This portion of the gorge is not far from the Nature Center
This female, red-bellied woodpecker was munching berries near the nature center.

During our November visit we hiked to the eastern-most end of Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve and emerged into the little town of Clifton, Ohio. The town was named “Cliff Town” toward the beginning of the nineteenth century, but the local folk later shortened this to Clifton. It’s a short walk from the town’s edge to the historic Clifton Mill. Clifton Mill is one of the largest water-powered grist mills still around. Corn meal ground at Clifton Mill fed Union soldiers during the Civil War. During the summer you can enter the mill’s interior and view its inner workings. However we were there in November. Lucky for us, the mill also houses a restaurant. Since we normally eat trail mix, peanut butter crackers, and similar food while hiking, it was a real treat to interrupt our hike for a sit-down meal in a restaurant.

Clifton Mill is renowned for its winter lights display. We were there before Thanksgiving, so we were too early to see it. But our friend, Prachi Datar, stopped by later and snapped some photos with her iPhone. The nighttime photos appearing below are mostly hers, published here with her permission. An additional, nighttime photo was published by Matt Kozlowski under a Creative Commons license.

Sign at edge of Clifton Mill property
Part of the mill viewed from the parking lot
The mill decorated with Christmas lights
This is a model of the mill showing what it looks like from the river; the model was part of their Christmas displays.
Photo courtesy of Moofpocket, license: CC BY-SA 3.0


Mill viewed from across the river

Water wheel of the mill
Water wheel and covered bridge in the distance.
Water wheel decorated with lights
Covered bridge decorated with lights




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7 thoughts on “Clifton Gorge after the leaves have fallen

  1. What an interesting post again. I especially enjoyed and admired first three photos. The water in these photos is unbelievable beautiful. I was very delighted to see the photo from “Water wheel of the mill”. I know that in Finland we have some, but I have never seen them.

  2. I just enjoyed an evening hiking in Ohio with you both! 🙂 Finally getting a chance to catch up with your blog, what awesome posts and gorgeous photos. You certainly give any one interested in Ohio’s nature and parks excellent information to follow. Well done work!

  3. Is that gorge ever pretty! The structure of the mill is attractive too and would be interesting to tour and photograph.Then, with the addition of the lights-WOW- would be spectacular.Thanks for sharing.

    1. Your welcome, Jane. I didn’t realize the mill was so convenient to the nature preserve. Now I want to visit the mill in summer, so I can do the tour of the mill’s interior.

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