If you’re looking for an enchanting natural escape, Alabama’s beautiful waterfalls are the perfect destination. With several cascades dotting the state, there is a waterfall hike suited to every adventurer. This guide provides an overview of some of the best waterfalls in Alabama, complete with tips on making the most of your visit.
So pack your hiking boots and get ready to explore nature’s finest work. Here are 34 waterfalls in Alabama that we know you and your crew will love. This state offers miles of rivers and streams to explore.
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BETHEL SPRING FALLS
First on our list is a newer addition to Alabama’s waterfalls: Bethel Spring Falls. This beauty is located east of Huntsville in the Bethel Spring Nature Preserve. The preserve spans a whopping 360 acres and is home to several different trails. The falls themselves are located at the end of a 0.4-mile trail.
The best time to visit Bethel Spring Falls is during the spring or early summer when rainfall is high, and the water flow is at its peak. However, the falls are on top of Paul’s Cave, making a fun stop even when the water is low.
CANEY CREEK FALLS
We moved to William B Bankhead National Forest for the next stop on our list: Caney Creek Falls. Caney Creek Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in Alabama due to its easy accessibility and natural swimming hole. The segmented look of the falls makes for a beautiful photo, and you can even walk behind the falls for an up-close view.
Caney Creek is located near Double Springs, and the hike to get there is a 1.7-mile round trip. The hike is considered easy to moderate. In the winter, the thin layer of ice that covers the falls makes for a stunning scene.
Next up is Cheaha Falls, which can be found in Talladega National Forest. Cheaha Falls is a relatively short cascade, but it’s one of the most picturesque waterfalls in Alabama. The falls flow over a rock wall that is covered in moss and ferns, creating a fairytale-like setting.
The hike to Cheaha Falls is done through the Chinnabee Silent Trail, which can be accessed through Cheaha State Park. The 3.3-mile round trip is considered easy, and birdwatchers will be delighted by the variety of feathered friends that call the forest home.
Chewacla Falls should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for a truly scenic day trip. A 26-acre lake is the highlight of Chewacla State Park, ideal for a refreshing swim on a hot day. As for the falls, you can reach them by following the Deer Rub Trail near the parking lot. The 0.1-mile round trip is considered very easy.
Chewacla Falls is a great destination for families, as there are plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. In addition to hiking and swimming, the park also offers picnicking, camping, and fishing.
COLD WATER FALLS
At 80 feet wide and 42 feet tall, this man-made marvel is one of the largest waterfalls in Alabama. Cold Water Falls is a horsetail waterfall, which means that the water maintains contact with the bedrock at all times. The result is a smooth, glass-like appearance. The man-made fall was constructed with over 2,000 tons of sandstone and today sees more than 4.3 million gallons of water flow each day!
It is located in the middle of Little River Canyon National Preserve on the grounds of Spring Park near Tuscumbia. The park is known for its beautiful 51-jet fountain below the waterfall. The fountain shoots water 150 feet into the air, making it a must-see attraction in its own right. There are also activities for kids, such as a train ride, roller coaster, and carousel.
We traveled to DeSoto State Park for our next waterfall: DeSoto Falls. This impressive waterfall is known as a plunge waterfall, which means the water falls over a ledge into a pool below. DeSoto Falls is one of the tallest plunge waterfalls in Alabama, coming in at 104 feet.
You’ll also find another waterfall along the two-mile trail, albeit smaller. Named after the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, legend has it that armor and other artifacts belonging to de Soto’s men have been found in the area. If you’re lucky, you might just find your own piece of history.
DEVIL’S DEN FALLS
Don’t let the name fool you; Devil’s Den Falls is one of the most beautiful falls in Alabama. This tiny 10-foot waterfall is also located along the Chinnabee Silent Trail in Clay County. The 0.6-mile hike round trip to the falls is considered easy at first but increases in difficulty as you get closer to the falls.
The trail is rocky and steep in places, but the views are more than worth it. Kids love jumping from the rocks into the pool below, so be sure to bring your swimsuit if you’re visiting with little ones. There’s also a bridge to cross before arriving at the falls, providing a stunning view of the surroundings.
FALL CREEK FALLS
The lesser-known Fall Creek Falls is a great spot for a picnic or a little fishing in Houston, Alabama. The falls flow over rocks and into a small pool, making for a serene setting. Not to be confused with the Fall Creek Falls in Tennessee, this falls is much smaller but no less beautiful.
The hike to Fall Creek Falls is easy, and it’s a great spot for kids since the trail is short and level. Usually quiet, there aren’t many people around, making it the perfect place to unwind and enjoy nature.
FALLING ROCK FALLS
Falling Rock Falls is located in Montevallo near the city of Birmingham. The waterfall flows over a rock wall and into a small pool, making for a beautiful sight. It’s better to visit after a rain when the waterfall is flowing at its strongest.
You can also see the falls from the bottom, which is an equally pretty view. The top is considered slightly dangerous since there is no railing, but the views are worth it. Be careful bringing kids as they might want to explore and could easily get hurt.
GRACE’S HIGH FALLS
The Little River Canyon National Preserve is excellent to view several waterfalls, including Grace’s High Falls. This waterfall is the tallest single-drop waterfall in Alabama, coming in at 133 feet.
While driving through the park, you’ll see a sign for the waterfall and you can park in the small lot. The hike to the falls is only 0.7 miles, making it an easy walk for most people. Once you arrive at the falls, you can opt to hike into the canyon, which is much more strenuous but provides a unique experience.
This waterfall is slightly different in that it is located on private property. However, the property owners are very welcoming and allow people to visit and view the waterfall. The hike to get there is very short, with a slight incline.
The property has a bunch of boulders and rocks, which make for a great place to explore. Look for a cliff with a small waterfall, and you’ve found Griffin Falls. You’ll find this hidden gem on Highway 69, north of I-59.
For those who want more adrenaline with their waterfall experience, High Falls is the place to be. This waterfall is located south of Lake Guntersville and is only about 35 feet tall. However, it spans 300 feet, making it one of the widest waterfalls in the state. The powerful flow of the water makes for an impressive sight, but you must also be careful as you get close to the edge.
The falls are formed by Town Creek and are surrounded by an arch of rock cliffs, the result of hundreds of years of erosion. Finally, a pedestrian bridge that crosses a gorge provides stunning views of the waterfall and the gorge below.
HOLMES CHAPEL FALLS
A slightly tougher hike to accomplish, Holmes Chapel Falls is near Bankhead National Forest. You’ll find the waterfall quite easily since it’s right next to the road. The only problem is that the road is very rugged and there is no clearly defined parking area, so you’ll have to be careful not to damage your car.
The waterfall is near moss-covered rocks and is a sight to behold. You can view it from the top or the bottom, where a sandstone bowl has formed. The bottom is generally preferred, as you can explore all around and get a better view of the waterfall.
We return to DeSoto State Park for our next waterfall, Indian Falls. This waterfall is only about 25 feet tall but is still a natural beauty. It’s located just below the park store and parking lot, so it’s easy to find. You’ll want to take the path across the Azalea Cascades boardwalk to get the best view of the falls.
The rocks have formed a natural shelter, making it a great place to take a break from the heat.
King’s Shower is one of the most popular waterfalls in the state, and for a good reason. It is different from most waterfalls because it is located underground. You’ll find the waterfall in Tumbling Rock Cave, which is a great place to explore, even if you don’t want to see the waterfall.
You’ll need to know the basics of spelunking, which is the exploration of caves, to navigate through the cave. Once you find the small waterfall, you can enjoy the beauty and head back out to see the rest of the cave.
Bankhead National Forest has a lot to offer in terms of waterfalls, including Kinlock Falls. This waterfall is on the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River, where you might spot endangered species. The Black Warrior salamander comes to mind, so it’s important to be respectful of the area and not disturb any wildlife.
Swimming is a popular activity here, so come prepared to get wet. You can even climb the falls using a rope left there by other visitors. Thanks to its low height, it’s not a difficult climb. Note that there is no cell phone service in the area, so be sure to have a paper map with you or download an offline map before you go.
In North Alabama, The Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve is a 700-acre preserve home to Lacefield Falls. This waterfall is one of the most popular in the state and is regularly visited by photographers. The best time to visit is in the spring when the wildflowers are in bloom or after a rainfall when the water flow is at its strongest.
This park has 18 miles of hiking, so it’s good that Lacefield Falls is located near the entrance. The terrain can get quite rough, so be sure to wear proper shoes. You can also bring your dog as long as they are on a leash.
LITTLE RIVER FALLS
Next up, we have Little River Falls. Located off highway 35 in the Little River Canyon National Preserve, this waterfall can be seen from the road. A bridge in Gaylesville, Alabama, goes over the river and offers beautiful views of the falls.
This is a great spot for picnics, as the area has several picnic tables. You can also go kayaking or fishing in the river or take a swim in one of the many swimming holes. Just be careful, as the currents can be strong. There have been many drownings over the years, so never swim alone.
You can access the trail to get there after parking your RV or car in the designated area. It’s a 0.75-mile hike to the falls, so it’s not too strenuous. Once you pass under the aforementioned bridge, the falls will be right in front of you.
MARDIS MILL FALLS
Mardis Mills, or Grave Creek Falls, is another Lake Guntersville State Park waterfall. It’s located on North Sauty Creek and is one of the most popular swimming holes in the state. The cool and refreshing water makes it a terrific place to beat the heat.
A short hike leads you to the swimming hole, surrounded by cliffs. Although not very high at 10 feet, it is very wide, creating a lot of force. This makes it ideal for swimming but also means that you need to be careful.
You might know this entry under its former name of Little Fall. Martha’s Falls is located in Little River Canyon, not too far from the town of Adamsburg. It’s an incredibly popular swimming spot in the summer, as the pool at the bottom is quite large.
You’ll have to take a short but steep hike down to get there. Bordered by cliffs, the waterfall is quite impressive. Thrill-seekers can even jump from some of the higher rocks into the pool below.
One of the easiest waterfalls to access in the state is Nectar Falls. It’s located right off the parking lot, less than 100 feet from the parking lot, making it ideal for those who don’t want to hike. While it’s not the most spectacular waterfall in Alabama, it’s still worth a visit. You’ll find it off of Alabama Route 160 on the south side.
The cascade drops about 30 feet in total as the water flows over the rocks. After rainfall, the waterfall can be quite impressive as the water flow is increased.
If you’re looking for a unique waterfall experience, Neversink Falls is the place for you. This waterfall cascades into a sinkhole 16 stories deep. Only experienced cavers should attempt to rappel into the hole as it is extremely dangerous. The waterfall is located in the Neversink Preserve, mostly known for the 162-foot open-air pit.
This adventure is off the beaten path, located near the small town of Fackler.
NOCCALULA FALLS PARK
This next waterfall offers so much more than just a pretty cascade. Noccalula Falls is located in Noccalula Park and Botanical Gardens, making it the perfect place to spend a day. In addition to the waterfall, there are hiking trails, a petting zoo, and an authentic pioneer village. Here, you can learn about the area’s history and see how early settlers lived.
The waterfall itself is 90 feet tall and flows into Black Creek. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state. There is also a suspension bridge to cross and a camping ground if you want to make a weekend of it.
Remember Kinlock Falls from earlier? Parker Falls is located just upstream and is part of an extensive trail system. There are at least eight falls and numerous swimming holes to explore. It is a popular place to spend a few days, especially if you enjoy hiking and being in nature.
The Sipsey River will be your guide as you explore this beautiful area. Many falls are only a short hike from the parking lot, making them easily accessible.
Oak Mountain State Park is a must-visit while in Alabama, and Peavine Falls is one of the main reasons why. This 65-foot-high waterfall is located on the top of the double oak mountain and offers stunning views. Many hiking trails in the park make it easy to find your way to the falls.
A pool of water at the bottom of the falls is a popular swimming spot in the summer. However, climbing down can be difficult, so make sure you’re up for the challenge before making the trek.
PISGAH GORGE FALLS
Secluded and beautiful, Pisgah Gorge Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in the state. A trio of waterfalls awaits you, each more beautiful than the last. You’ll find them cascading over ancient rock formations into a deep pool of water. But first, you’ll need to prepare for a 1.5-mile hike through the woods.
The falls are located in Pisgah Gorge, below the towering Appalachian Mountains. The area is also home to various plant and animal life, making it a great place for nature lovers.
Dismals Canyon, an 85-acre, privately-owned nature conservatory, was designated as a National Natural Landmark — and it’s where you’ll find the really cool Rainbow Falls.
In addition to Rainbow Falls, you’ll also find a trail through the canyon, cabins, campsites, swimming, canoeing, a country store, and more.
The most amazing part of this area is what happens here at night. The canyon lights up with tiny, bioluminescent creatures called Dismalites! They require a certain habitat to survive, and Dismals Canyon is one of the only places they call home on earth. Guided night tours allow visitors to see the unique insects.
SALT CREEK FALLS
If you find yourself near the Talladega Ranger District, make sure to stop by Salt Creek Falls. Here, you’ll find a picture-worthy cascade tumbling over jagged rocks. The best part? It’s a super short walk from the gravel parking lot. However, getting down to the water hole for a swim can be a bit more difficult.
The water isn’t deep enough to jump into, but it’s still a great spot to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
The Secret Falls, sometimes called Hidden Falls, are just that — a hidden gem. They’re located in Auburn, close to the Chewacla State Park. The falls are quite small but extremely beautiful, making them worth the visit. As one of the less-known waterfalls, you may have the place to yourself.
SHORT CREEK FALLS
Does anyone fancy extreme kayaking? Then you’ll want to check out Short Creek Falls. This waterfall is located on Short Creek and is only accessible by kayak or canoe. It’s a popular spot for whitewater rafting and kayaking, especially during the spring when the water is high.
The falls tumble into Lake Guntersville in rapids that reach up to Class IV. So, if you’re not an experienced kayaker, it’s best to leave this one to the professionals.
Another trio of waterfalls, Thompson Falls, is located near Lake Guntersville. The falls are on a short, easy hiking trail, making them great for all ages. Although the tiered falls aren’t the tallest on our list, they’re still quite stunning. And the fact that you have three of them to enjoy makes the trip even better.
TURKEY FOOT FALLS
You can head to Turkey Foot Falls after a good meal at Sipsey River Picnic Grounds in Bankhead National Forest. A 0.3-mile hike will take you to the base of the falls, where you can enjoy views of the cascade.
WALLS OF JERICHO FALLS
The Walls of Jericho is a huge hiking ground in Jackson County with several different trails to follow. Sometimes dubbed “The Grand Canyon of the South,” the area is full of natural wonders, one of which is Jericho Falls.
The falls are hidden in limestone cliffs and can be reached by following one of the Wall of Jericho trails, which takes you across a log bridge, two creeks, and much more. The journey is well worth it for the views of this impressive waterfall.
YELLOW CREEK FALLS
Finally, we have Yellow Creek Falls, another gorgeous cascade standing at 100 feet tall. The waterfall ends in a pool that’s perfect for a refreshing swim on a hot day. It is located in the Yellow Creek fish camp, so you can make a day of it and go fishing too. You can also arrive by boat if you stay at the nearby campsite.
When chasing this waterfall, be careful, as the rocks can be quite slippery.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO ALABAMA
- YOUR ALABAMA VACATION
- MONTGOMERY: 23 Things To Do In Montgomery AL
- ORANGE BEACH: 31+ Things To Do In Orange Beach, AL That The Locals Love
- HUNTSVILLE: 41+ Things To Do In Huntsville AL For A Weekend Getaway
- MOBILE: 12 Surprising Things To Do In Mobile AL
WHERE TO STAY IN ALABAMA
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