For the fourth year in a row, Chris and I made a autumn day trip to Yellow Springs to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage. Chris did a little bit of research before we left and we decided we would hike Glen Helen rather than going to John Bryan, which we’ve done every other time we’ve gone down to Yellow Springs. I was hoping to do a combination of things rather than hiking for hours so I did like that Glen Helen had a couple loops that you could hike without committing too much time and energy. The weather was absolutely perfect, 80s and sunny, which was very much like the weather last year when we went.
When we first pulled into the parking lot, we had to pay $5, which was unusual to our experience but for a place like this that is non-profit, it was absolutely worth it. We also got a brochure and map, which ended up being extremely handy since we were wanting to go to a particular part of the area.
Upon our first few steps onto the trail, I was in awe of how bright and beautiful the autumn leaves were. I even said to Chris that I would be happy if that was the only beautiful thing we saw all day. Fortunately, it wasn’t. I think if we had gone this coming weekend, we would still have had colorful foliage to look at, but I am glad we didn’t risk it and went when we did. My favorite part of our hike was quite possibly the smell of the leaves beneath our feet. There’s something really comforting about that smell.
The goal of the hike was to visit The Cascades, which we did! It is a small waterfall running over rocks with a bridge overhead but I think the fall colors really made it. It was really beautiful and I could have sat and stared for much longer but we knew there were other things we wanted to see on the trail as well. I couldn’t believe that we had been here before and missed these.
After leaving The Cascades, we walked past the White Oak Tree and Helen’s Stone, which was very grand, but I’m sure it has seen better days. Beyond that, we came to the Yellow Spring, which gives the town its name. Many years ago, people used to bathe in the yellow spring to benefit from its “healing powers”. Chris and I made sure to take a gulp before moving on (and we were definitely not the only ones). It was actually really refreshing on such a hot Sunday. I’m not normally a superstitious person, but this I believe in. If you’re curious to read about this from someone older and wiser, check this out.
We then came upon The Old Dam, which was pretty neat and then The Grotto, another pretty little waterfall. The rock formation below is known as Pompey’s Pillar. It just so happened to be a Pokemon gym also, for those who are into that sort of thing. We finished the trail out on a wooden walkway before climbing the stone steps, which showed just how out of shape I am.
After hiking in Glen Helen, we headed into town to explore. Since we’re becoming more familiar with the area, we have some favorites and made sure to pop in to have a look around. There’s a cool, mid century modern antique shop called Atomic Fox, which always has some great stuff, including a dish set that reminded me of my sweet Grandma. Someday I hope to come prepared to go home with something (with a truck, preferably). We also really love to look around a comic book store called Super-Fly Comics + Games. I’m definitely not super into comic books by any means but I still like to flip through the books and look around at all the other silly items they have in stock.
After a few more stops, we decided to just walk around the residential area so we could enjoy each other’s company some more and soak up the sunshine (while also avoiding the bizarre dead squirrel that was lying right in the middle of the sidewalk. Alas, this blue house really caught my eye. I would absolutely love to live in it, especially with that big, beautiful tree in the front. Chris and I even joked about retiring in Yellow Springs one day.
On our way out of town, we had to stop at Peifer Orchards. Last year when we visited (see here), the sunflowers were in full bloom and it was absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, this year the flowers bloomed much earlier and were all dead and brown when we drove past. However, we still were able to enjoy some kettle corn, apple chips, and apple cider slushies (not my cup of tea but Chris likes them) before finally hitting the road to head back to Columbus.
No trip to Yellow Springs is complete without a stop to an antique mall. The first time we ever went to Yellow Springs, we stopped at Heart of Ohio Antique Mall and loved it (see here). The second time, we stopped at the antique mall one exit up and it just wasn’t quite the same. We were both in agreement that we wanted to walk the halls of the Heart of Ohio again and it was just as fun as the first time. It takes FOREVER to walk through the whole place, especially if you are looking for something in particular (which we were). By the end of the two hour excursion, we walked out exhausted but the proud owners of a cast iron skillet. Are we old or what?
Next year, we will definitely be visiting again, whether it’s a day trip or overnight and I am so excited to continue to explore and discover the wonderful town of Yellow Springs, OH.