John Bryan is the most scenic state park in western Ohio The 752-acre park contains a remarkable limestone gorge cut by the Little Miami River which is designated as a state and national scenic river A portion of the gorge itself is designated as a national natural landmark
The trail itself is very moderate in regards to level of difficulty. However, being a first timer to the Clifton Gorge area, We found the trail system a bit confusing. Many of the trails would zig & zag often times without any transitional markings to inform the hiker of their whereabouts. Although, this shouldn't be a deterrent for anyone. The trails are nice, the scenery is beautiful and regardless of being confused at times. You won't be disappointed.
The John L. Rich trail was absolutely breathtaking! This was our first hiking trip since we've moved here from California in Jan 2015, and the scenery was amazing and bi-passed what we expected. We can't wait to hike the extended 4 mile trail next.
Beautiful hike, We started at the far parking lot in Clifton and did the full hike around the rim and through Clifton Gorge. This was probably the most scenic part of the hike, The western bridge over the river was closed so we did the Stage Coach Trail and then up onto the Northern Rim Trail for a total of about 6 miles. We'll come back and do South Gorge another day. Overall I would rate the route as easy with just a couple mildly strenuous hill climbs. Lots of amazing views with cascades, pools and the occasional small waterfall.
Directions are accurate to site. There are three parking areas. Park in one closest to Clifton township along SR343. The red trail map starts at the nature center while the trail actually begins close to town along SR343. Thats where you peer down into the gorge from the rim. Very nice views. At nature center go down the steps into the gorge. Good out and back walk in the Gorge. Or, where the preserve meets John Bryan State Park you can take a loop trail further (as shown on the map). At the time I hiked the South Gorge trail portion of the loop was closed for repair. Pitt-Cinn trail was open. Very nice day. Recommend eating at Clifton Mill for breakfast before hike or a meal after. Its very nice old mill with waterfall and covered bridge. See Instagram: hikingandexploring for more pictures of this hike.
Google directions are accurate to site. At time of my hike the South Gorge trail portion of this hike was closed for repair (May 2016). Pittsburgh-Cincinnati Stagecoach Trail is open. From John Bryan this trail is a long level well maintained path along Little Miami River. Ends at footbridge across river to South Gorge trail AND the entrance to Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve which I highly recommend to see cliffs and waterfalls.
I love Clifton Gorge! It is a beautiful hike and one of my favorite places to hike. Two things to note: The second footage is closed so you can't actually the loop. It is under maintenance with no estimate to when it will be done. Second, I recommend that you start at the entrance off of Jackson St. You get to see the more narrow portion of the gorge with the waterfall which is the best part in my opinion.