Fleming Falls Park & Preserve is one of the newest county parks in Ohio. It’s located just north of Mansfield in Richland County. Fleming Falls features a number of trails that meander through woods, meadows and along the stream. “It’s quite unique in that you can’t visit any other park and hear 15 waterfalls” according to Cheryl Harner, a Richland County Parks Commissioner.
We visited in early October 2022 to explore the trails and check out the new viewing platform overlooking the main waterfall in the gorge below. Even in October there was a nice flow in the stream to enjoy the sounds of it’s numerous smaller waterfalls. The stream is a tributary of the Black Fork of the Mohican River.
According to Richland County History, Fleming Falls got it’s name from John Fleming who constructed a grist mill at the site in the early 1800’s. For many years after it had become a popular tourist destination and even had a streetcar stop built nearby on the old Cleveland Southwestern Railway line that ran from Cleveland thru Mansfield to Columbus. It was later purchased by the Boy Scouts in the 1920’s and subsequently by the Lutheran Synod in America in 1941 when it was renamed to Camp Mowana and used as a church camp and retreat center. In November 2019, the Richland County Park District purchased the property from the Lutheran Outdoor Ministry in Ohio.
Fleming Falls Park Opening September 2022:
Fleming Falls Park has been open to the public since September 10th 2022, however it can only be accessed on weekends from dawn to dusk through at least November ’22 while work continues on safety upgrades and other park improvements.
There is a good size parking lot and porta pot available at the entrance off Fleming Falls Rd with trail maps available at the kiosk when we visited.
Getting To Fleming Falls Overlook:
To access the main falls overlook walk down the entrance path and look for an open grassy area on the left. You’ll notice an artesian well in the meadow where water has been flowing for hundreds of thousands of years. Valued by Native Americans and early settlers this spot was likely chosen for the Fleming Inn because of the artesian waters.
You’ll find a path here that leads down to a 3-way bridge over the stream. Bear left at the bridge and again at the trail fork where there should be signage to the falls overlook.
If you miss the initial path from the artesian well don’t worry, just continue on the main road/path and turn left until you come to a path near the Craft Cabin on the opposite side of the 3-way bridge. Head down the stairs and bear right at the bridge. We’ve provided an edited version of the trail map with highlighted directions to the main falls overlook later in this post.
From the bridge the trail leads to a set of stairs that have been built up the hill where the trail eventually leads to an outdoor amphitheater.
Follow the trail to the road that leads to the viewing platform which has been built for visitors to safely enjoy the view and sound of the main waterfall from above the gorge.
The park roads and most of the trails that can be used by vehicles, including the trails throughout the pine forested areas, are relatively flat and easy. Others are more narrow and have some minor elevation changes although stairs are available for some of the steeper sections.
Both the Pond and Barn View Meadow areas are reachable by using either the road or park trails.
We took the liberty of adding the quickest route to the main falls overlook to the trail map provided by the Richland County Park District.
2276 Fleming Falls Road
Mansfield, OH 44903