Rockstall Nature Preserve
“There is no better place to find yourself than sitting by a waterfall and listening to its music.” ― Roland R. Kemler
Rockstall Nature Preserve
Rockstall Nature Preserve is a hidden gem. It is one of those beauties tucked away in the hills that many people do not know exists. Thanks to the recommendation from Jennifer Kilbarger, we learned of its existence.
The parking lot is tiny and only has enough room for 3-4 cars. The lot is stone and dirt. There is a quick incline off the road to get to the parking area. If possible, take a taller vehicle, or you will probably bottom out.
When first entering the trail, you may be deceived. It is flat and looks like you are in for a leisurely stroll. This quickly changes. The Rockstall Nature Preserve trail splits near the entrance. No matter which way you choose you will be going downhill. And you know what that means. It’s all uphill on the way back.
We chose the left trail marked Steps To. The trail began to go down very quickly. The trail is natural and there are many tree roots. This trail is a pretty straight shot with some slight turns. It leads directly to the stairs that you will need to take to see the waterfalls.
The steps are very nice. They are not wide but are perfect for one person. The first set heads straight down the hill. Thee is a small break between the next set of stairs. This is where the other trail meets up.
The second set of steps winds around a large rock formation. Along both sides of the steps were countless large white trillium flowers.
Once you get to the bottom, the whole atmosphere changes. You are surrounded by large impressive outcroppings, caves, a stream and waterfalls. It is very serene and tranquil.
We did some research on the Ohio Nature Preserve and it looks as though there are 7 waterfalls. But they aren’t always active. Luckily, we went the day after a large rainfall. The main waterfall was absolutely beautiful.
At the bottom of the ravine, you can hear the water. Across from the steps, there was a small waterfall. To get to the large waterfall you must walk farther in. There is a creek that you will have to cross a couple of times. There is not a bridge, so you will get your feet wet. Make sure that you have on a good pair of waterproof boots, and you should be fine.
The large waterfall sits way back. Once you see it, you may not even notice that there is another waterfall to your right. It sits behind another large rock formation.
To get back to the parking area you must go back up the stairs. And there are a lot of them. We took the trail off to the left to finish the loop. Not far up was another small waterfall that leads down to one of the larger waterfalls.
This trail started heading up pretty quickly. There was a small creek that you must cross on foot and a footbridge a little farther up. The trail was quite muddy and very slippery in spots.
This looks like it would be a pretty good place for birding. We were there in April and spotted a few different species.
Birds we spotted at Rockstall Nature Preserve
· Hermit Thrush
· Louisiana Waterthrush
· Northern Cardinal
· Carolina Chickadee
Rockstall Nature Preserve is a hidden gem. It is a quick hike. We were able to get almost 2 miles in. This includes walking around the ravine. The walk down is easy but be prepared for the walk up.
If you are looking for someplace different that is out of the way and does not attract a crowd. This is it.
The parking lot needs a lot of work. There is very little room and it is difficult to get into if you are driving a car. When visited the preserve, someone parked right up to the trail entrance. This left their truck lengthways along the opposite side of the parking lot behind the cars. This made it almost impossible for cars to get out. Don’t be this person. There isn’t much room, but don’t block other people in.
What You Can Expect at Rockstall Nature Preserve
Please note that park rules and regulations can change at any time. The following information was in effect for Rockstall Nature Preserve as of April 2020.
There are no bathrooms.
Bicycles are prohibited.
This looks like a great place for birding. The running will bring in different types of birds.
There is a footbridge.
We could not find any information regarding concealed carry.
Very noticeable elevation changes.
Parking lot is gravel and very tiny. The entrance is steep. We recommend that you drive a tall vehicle so you don't drag.
There are no picnic tables.
There is no playground.
There isn't any seating along the path.
There is plenty of shade.
There is no shelter house.
Trails are easy to see.
They trails are natural and have many roots. You also have to cross small creeks and runoffs.
There are no trash cans.
There is a creek that runs through the property. There are also several waterfalls.
ADA parking is not available.
Special Features - The waterfalls and massive rock formations.