Hayden Falls might be one of the best kept secrets in the Columbus, Ohio area since many people wouldn’t expect to find such a beautiful waterfall in a scenic gorge tucked away in a heavily populated area. Over hundreds of years Hayden Run carved a small but impressive gorge on its way to the Scioto River, dropping 25 feet to form Hayden Falls. The amount of water flowing over the falls varies greatly throughout the year, it can be a roaring torrent in the spring or after a hard rain, completely dried up in midsummer, or frozen solid in the winter.
Living within walking distance of the falls, I have photographed them often and during all seasons of the year. The best time to photograph the falls is in the early morning or late evening when the sun is lower in the sky especially in late spring and summer otherwise the bright sky above the falls will make your exposure difficult. I recommend using a polarizing filter to help remove reflections from the water and wet rocks, and using a tripod will allow you to make longer exposures to give the water a silky flowing look. My favorite time to photograph here is in fall when colorful leaves cover the rocks and swirl around in the splash pool at the base of the falls. In winter you’ll have the whole place to yourself, and it’s a great time to photograph the falls especially when snow is covering the rocks. If it’s cold enough, the falls will be partially or completely frozen which will allow for some interesting and unusual compositions. The falls are very popular in the warm summer months so serious photographers will want to arrive early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
Hayden Falls is in Hayden Falls Park, part of Griggs Reservoir Nature Preserve and located at 4335 Hayden Run Rd., Dublin, OH. 43017 close to the intersection of Hayden Run Rd., and Frantz Rd. The falls are very accessible via a wide stairway from the parking lot to the bottom of the gorge that connects to an elevated boardwalk going out to the base of the falls. More information can be found here.