Like it does most years, Central Ohio is now switching from one extreme to another.

Like it does most years, Central Ohio is now switching from one extreme to another.

On their way out are the record-setting rains that washed out gardens, picnics and fishing trips for most of April and May. Coming in like a statewide wool blanket is the heat that most places with a summer don't feel until August.

Right now, this switch is proving good for only one thing: Ohio waterfalls are running more powerfully than normal, and they provide a pretty good way to cool off.

To get your feet wet (sorry!), head no farther than Hayden Falls Park in Dublin.

A sturdy wooden boardwalk starts near the parking lot, winds through a high stone ravine and stops before water tumbling more than 20 feet into a deep, rocky pool. The water appears teal even under cloudy skies.

Sitting beneath rock faces on three sides, the lagoon trickles into a stream that eventually runs into Griggs Reservoir. Clear water rushing over smooth stones provides a great summer creek walk when the current isn't too strong.

For a longer waterfall walk, head to Englewood MetroPark. The 3.8-mile Green Trail passes three beautiful falls as it pierces the lush forest and small prairies north of Dayton. Martindale Falls, at the park's north end, cascades over a horseshoe-shaped ring and into a ravine lined with fallen trees and large rocks.

With a little gusto and the right shoes, you can climb behind and stick your head through the shower.

The last stop on any Ohio waterfall tour must be Hocking Hills State Park, epicenter of the region's rugged, rocky terrain. The loveliest and most reliable water features lie along the three-mile trail from Old Man's Cave to Cedar Falls.

Old Man's Lower Falls dumps over impressive sandstone formations into a wide pool accessible from the main trail. Whether you dunk your head or dip a toe, you can sit back and gaze through the spray at towering cliffs that dominate the landscape.