Discover the Lesser-Known Minnehaha Falls at Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park

Hike Details

  • Parking Location: (41.32884, -81.03881)

  • Trailhead Location: (41.32835, -81.03915)

  • Distance & Type: 0.75 Mile Out-and-Back

  • Elevation Change: +/- 90-Feet

  • Hike Difficulty: Moderate

  • Hike Features: Minnehaha Falls and the ledges

Minnehaha Falls located at Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park.  The Falls cascades through a cut in the rock into a pool below.

Minnehaha Falls located at Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park. The Falls cascades through a cut in the rock into a pool below.


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Note: Trail conditions change over time.  If you discover any inaccuracies with this post during your visit, please post a comment below to let us know.

Minnehaha Falls is one of the park’s two waterfalls. The falls can be best described as flowing down a narrow cut between rocks. The fall’s width is probably no wider than 12-inches as it cascades down the rock face into a pool at the base of the falls. Trail conditions near the top of the falls are sketchy at best and can be dangerous during wet weather conditions or fall with heavy leaf cover hiding some of the deep drops along the top part of Nelson Ledges. The hike is rated as moderate as you need to search for the falls and blaze your own trail at spots, but the hike itself is easy.

The falls viewing area is located near a cliff edge, and getting a full view of the falls involves getting close to the edge. Once you hike to the top of the ledges area near the falls start searching for a tall red Emergency Location pole. This pole is located near the falls viewing area, and you will hear the falls as you walk towards the pole. There are no signs, railing, or fencing near the cliff where the falls are located.

As mentioned earlier, Minnehaha Falls is just one of two waterfalls located at Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park. The other falls, Cascade Falls is located just under a half-mile northwest of Minnehaha Falls. To reach Cascade Falls from Minnehaha Falls, I would recommend hiking along the base of Nelson Ledges for the full experience, however, some of the best views of Cascade Falls are found from the trail above. If hiking the high route above the cliffs, be sure you watch out for smaller openings between rocks that could be hidden by leaves and avoid walking too close to the cliffs.

Trail Walkthrough

  • (41.32884, -81.03881) – Starting at the southern end of the parking lot, cross the road towards the small wooden staircase to enter the ledges area of Nelson Ledges.

  • (41.32835, -81.03915) – From here follow the ledges south running parallel to the road until the path takes you across a footbridge crossing a small creek.

  • Proceed uphill to the upper ledges area. Here is where things can get a little tricky. From here, start looking for a tall, red Emergency Site sign. This sign is located slightly south of the falls, and you will be able to hear the water cascading down the falls from the sign. Watch your step as you maneuver around the deep cracks between rocks.

  • (41.32588, -81.03798) – To get a good view of Minnehaha Falls you will need to stand close to the cliff edge. There are no rails or safety measures in place to prevent falling, be careful near the edge.