The best places to see fall colors in Northeast Ohio that are Instagram-worthy

Posted at 3:00 PM, Sep 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-25 15:00:56-04

Fall—the coveted time of the year when trees of all shapes and sizes put on a colorful show for a limited time. In Northeast Ohio, there's no shortage of parks to take in the beauty of fall. As our region gets closer to approaching the peak of fall, we've narrowed down the best places to see fall colors so you can stop searching and just start enjoying this magical season.

RELATED: This is when you should expect to see an explosion of fall colors in Northeast Ohio

The Holden Arboretum

Mention where to find fall colors and The Holden Arboretum is probably on the list. It's practically an outdoor playground featuring cultivated gardens, trails, the Murch Canopy Walk and the Kalberer Family Emergent Tower that stands 120 feet above the forest floor. Visitors can stand tall among the trees and get a true sense how fall changes the Northeast Ohio landscape.

How to get there: 9550 Sperry Road Kirtland, Ohio 44094

View from the Emergent Tower at the Holden Arboretum.
View from the Emergent Tower at the Holden Arboretum.

Virginia Kendall Ledges

Probably hands down one of the best views to see fall colors. Located in the Akron-area, the Virginia Kendall Ledges span about two miles. The overlook is perched atop the nearly 100-foot tall ledges, making it a perfect view of tree skyline dressed in autumn colors.

How to get there: 701 Truxell Road, Peninsula 44264

Difficulty to reach: Easy

Virginia Kendall Ledges.

Rocky River Reservation

Spanning several cities, the Rocky River Reservation's massive shale cliffs rise above the sycamore and cottonwood trees. The variety of trees offers a mix of fall foliage to see. Trails twist and turn through the valley's floodplain forests and meadows. The reservation includes a nature center, marina and stables. The Berea Falls are an urban waterfall treasure and since it's surrounded by trees, it's ideal to see the changes of the season. The Fort Hill Stairs ascends about 90 feet above the east and west branches of the Rocky River, providing an optimal view of fall foliage.

How to get there: Rocky River Nature Center: 24000 Valley Parkway North Olmsted, Ohio

Difficulty to reach: Easy

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Fort Hill Stairs at The Rocky River Reservation.

South Chagrin Reservation

Hike the Buckeye Trail along the streams and ridges along the Chagrin River. In the summer months, visitors will find swimmers cooling off under the waterfalls but in the fall, it's about capturing the fall colors. The South Chagrin Reservation provides hikers trails that are at different heights.

How to get there: South Chagrin Reservation- South of Chagrin River Road in Bentleyville

Difficulty to reach: Easy to medium

South Chagrin Reservation.

Blue Hen Falls

A favorite among visitors who want to see one the most beautiful waterfalls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Hikers can't help but be dazzled by the deep reds and orange colors of the trees during the fall season. Getting there is fairly easy as it's on a trail with a wooden footbridge crossing Spring Creek, eventually leading you to the sandstone and shale waterfall.

How to get there: 2001 Boston Mills Road, Brecksville

Blue Hen Falls.
Blue Hen Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Wade Park

Wade Park is a nature oasis in the bustling heart of Cleveland's University Circle. The park, which contains the Wade Park Fine Arts Garden, is home to a number of sculptures from the Cleveland Museum of Art. View the museum and the colorful trees in all their glory from the steps of the Euclid Avenue entrance.

Wade Lagoon during the fall season.

Chapin Forest Reservation

Best known for its distinctive rock formations like the Sharon Conglomerate ledges and majestic forests, Chapin Reservation offers some of the best views in Lake County, which can also be found along Lucky Stone Loop Trail.

How to get there: 9938 Chillicothe Road, Kirtland, Ohio.

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Chapin Forest Reservation Fall Overlook.

Whipps Ledges

Navigating through the crevasses carved out by glaciers offers visitors more than just a walk on a trail. Located in Hinkley Township, the park contains nearly 20 miles of trails for both walkers and horseback riders. Small caves, rock climbers and fall colors are just some of the sights one will see while hiking in this 2,803-acre park.

How to get there: 2001 State Road Hinckley, Ohio 44233

Difficulty to reach: Easy to medium

Whipps Ledges during the fall.

Tinker's Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook

The creek is the largest tributary that feeds water into the Cuyahoga River so it provides a variety of natural wonders. The creek drops 220 feet over the course two miles. Catching it during a high rainy season gives visitors a view of the steep, walled gorge. In the fall, the overlook reveals autumn's kaleidoscope of colors.

How to get there: Bedford Reservation: 18753 Egbert Road. More directions here.

Difficulty to reach: Easy to medium

Tinker's Gorge Historic Scenic Overlook

Buttermilk Falls Scenic Overlook

Located downstream from Blue Hen Falls, the 30-foot cascade is surrounded by trees sporting every fall color you can imagine. The wooded deck provides visitors a unique view of the geology of the North Chagrin Reservation.

How to get there: North Chagrin Reservation: Cleveland Metro Park Drive. Info on driving directions here.

Difficulty to reach: moderate

Buttermilk Falls.