An Autumn Adventure in Yellow Springs
By Meg Berno

An Autumn Adventure in Yellow Springs

Road trip to Yellow Springs! After seeing this adorable college town filled with free-spirits and artisans, it’s no wonder more and more people are heading to this outdoorsy destination ready for adventure!

My mom and I recently traveled to Yellow Springs on a gorgeous Ohio fall weekend for one of our “gallivanting” experiences. An easy 45- minute drive from Columbus, we rolled into town and immediately were excited by the charm of this historic community.

There were street musicians, incense burning in the stores, creative jewelry and clothing that begged to be tried on – all in a fun, eclectic atmosphere. We shopped for a bit and then headed to nearby Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve for some breathtaking views of the rushing water, waterfalls, and fall leaves.  I wished I had my hiking boots – all the more reason for a return trip!

The signage in the area was very helpful, and it didn’t take long before we found the historic Clifton Mill – one of the largest water-powered grist mills still around. Built in 1802, the mill is probably best known for its holiday lights display that’s been going on for the past 20 years. Visitors enjoy more than 3.5 million lights covering the gorge, the mill, and all the surrounding trees and bridges. We decided it was a must-see this holiday and are planning to return.

After taking in the views on the deck, we couldn’t leave without buying some blueberry pancake mix from the mill and snapping some pics of the 1830 blacksmith shop across the street that still stands complete with the horse trough in front.

By this point, hunger was setting in.  While the Clifton Mill has a restaurant, we were nearing the 5 p.m. Sunday closing time, so we drove back into Yellow Springs to eat in the oldest bar in Ohio!

A teacher of Ohio history, my mom loved eating at Ye Olde Trail Tavern! According to the plaque on the wall and the friendly staff, the cabin was built in 1827, and is also the second oldest restaurant in Ohio next to the Golden Lamb in Lebanon (also a favorite of ours). The Tavern was used as a stage coach stop between Columbus and Cincinnati. The low ceilings made us think that everyone must have been shorter back then!

After a tasty dinner, we had to stop and get dessert at Young’s Jersey Dairy off of Route 68. We ate our ice cream as families climbed aboard hayrides, petted goats, posed for pictures by pumpkins, and navigated the corn maze – talk about a perfect fall day!

The community is big on anything outdoors – mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, and more.  Our next trip will definitely include more time at John Bryan State Park and Glen Helen Nature Preserve. We also saw signs for the Tecumseh Land Trust – preserved agricultural lands including an entire field of sunflowers that will make for stunning photos come spring!

For more fall getaway ideas, visit

About the Author

Meg Berno is a freelance writer and Marketing Coordinator with the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau. Meg graduated from Miami University with a degree in Strategic Communications. Outside of work, Meg enjoys photography, writing and finding new places to explore in Ohio.