Hike the North Rim of the Little Miami River

2.7 miles 250 ft gain  - Loop Trail

Added by Dan Barr

Hugging the banks of the Little Miami River and clinging to towering limestone cliffs, John Bryan State Park is western Ohio's must-see state park. 

Starting at the lower parking lot, follow the signs that direct you to the trails near the shelterhouse. Within 0.2 of a mile the trail forks; follow the left fork heading east along the Little Miami River. This is the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati Stagecoach Trail, which for 1.3 miles winds its way along the banks of the Little Miami, and rises above it in several places for some beautiful views of the river valley. Along the trail on your left, towering limestone cliffs 40-50 feet tall take up the entire view, several of which have metal eyebolts mounted into the cliffs to allow for rock climbing to take place.

At the end of the Stagecoach Trail, Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve begins (no dogs permitted). From here, turn left up hill through a gap in the cliffs to reach the North Rim Trail, a 1.4 mile trail that follows the edge of the cliffs of John  Bryan, with beautiful views of the park during the growing season, and even more spectacular views once the leaves fall in autumn. Follow the North Rim Trail west to head back into John Bryan State Park.

The North Rim Trail eventually returns to the Stagecoach Trail, making for a loop hike just shy of three hours that takes about an hour to complete at a good pace.

Afterwards, head into the nearby town of Yellow Springs and grab a cool beer at Yellow Springs Brewery! (305 N. Walnut St., Suite B, Yellow Springs, OH).  

Read More


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Favorite in the Area!

My family has visited this trail so often! Includes a beautiful view down into the gorge and begins/ends in the tiny town of Clifton! One of my favorite memories of this trail was hiking it into Clifton and going to see the Historic Clifton Mill Lights at Christmastime! Saved us from parking in a super crowded area and let us go on a great evening hike!

Following the stream

I come here often with family and friends, its one of our go-to hikes in the area. Its really pretty, although we prefer to start at the Clifton Gorge parking lot (not the one in Clifton, the one slightly towards Yellow Springs) and descend the stairs and follow the stream towards John Bryan. We usually get to the bridge and turn around from there, either taking the North Rim trail back up (to make to a loop) or just following our path back the way we came. Can be a super crowded area if Cedarville University is in session, especially if it is the moving in/out weekends or parents/alum weekend. If you don't like crowds I absolutely recommend you take a minute to look over the academic calendar and make sure you're not near one of those weekends!

Stay Nearby

2630 Croft Road

Cj Brown Dam And Reservoir Dam Site (Oh)

Overview C.J. Brown Reservoir is located in west-central Ohio, two miles northeast of Springfield; thirty-five miles northeast of Dayton, and forty-five miles west of Columbus.Recreation There are ...

Waynesville, Ohio

Caesar Creek Lake

Overview Caesar Creek Lake is located in southwest Ohio, centered between Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus. Visitors flock to Caesar Creek Lake for its great fishing, boating, Visitor Center and tra...

Brookville, Ohio

Dayton Koa

Nearby Adventures

  • Rock Climb at John Bryan SP

    If you are new to climbing, someone who really enjoys toprope climbing or if you live in west central Ohio and are looking to climb somewhere within a reasonable driving distance, John Bryan State Park is a great option. Equipment is not provided ...

  • Hike Clifton Gorge

    The entirety of this hike is within the Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, a protected park with strict restrictions on off-trail travel with pets prohibited.Starting at the parking lot off of Jackson St, follow the trail northwest allow the nar...

    2.6 miles 200 ft gain

  • Visit the Tecumseh Sunflower Field

    If you're driving along US 68 towards Yellow Springs, Ohio in early September, you just may be lucky enough to come upon the Tecumseh Sunflower Field in full bloom!  You only have about two-three weeks where the flowers will be bright, happy and a...

  • Hike the Gorge Trail at Indian Mounds

    Cedarville, Ohio is known for its expansive farmland, but in the Indian Mounds Park you'll find several unique features, such as the cavern located on the Gorge Trail!  This cave is formed out of the side of a cliff and is perfect for easy explora...