Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, Yellow Springs

#2 of 7 in Things to do in Yellow Springs
Wildlife Area · Nature / Park
Registered as a National Natural Landmark in 1968, Clifton Gorge encompasses a 2-mile stretch of the Little Miami State and National Scenic River, just east of John Bryan State Park.

Geologically, it is an outstanding example of interglacial and post-glacial canyon cutting. At one point, the river funnels through a deep, narrow channel, which was apparently formed by the enlarging and connecting of a series of potholes in the resistant Silurian dolomite bedrock. In other sections of the gorge, cliff overhangs have broken off forming massive slump blocks scattered along the valley floor.

The shaded, north-facing slopes provide a cool, moist environment for northern species including hemlock, red baneberry, Canada yew, arbor-vitae and mountain maple. This is one of the most spectacular sites in the state for viewing spring wildflowers including the rare snow trillium.

Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve is located in Greene County on State Rt 343, .25 mile west of Clifton at the east end of John Bryan State Park.

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Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
226 reviews
  • Definitely worth your time to go see. I would recommend an hour at least. If you walk the trails allow all day. Overviews are gorgeous.  more »
  • The Clifton Gorge is right next to the John Bryan State Park, so link in your hiking with the great connected trail there as well. Fall is great to avoid mosquitoes  more »
  • Absolutely stunning! Peaceful, serene and beautiful. Mother nature did an excellent job. We walked the trail for 2 miles and then went back. We stopped into the Nature Center as well. Definitely bring water because there isn't anywhere to get some. The nature center has bathrooms and is great for kids. It's free and there are a few reptiles and bees. There's lots to touch, see and explore.
  • Fun hike. Could use some better signage but you can't get too lost. Very nice picnic areas with very clean outhouses.

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