The Appalachians run through the eastern half of Kentucky, known as the Bluegrass State, so it’s no surprise that the best waterfalls in the state may be found there. You may not realize it, but Kentucky is known for its gorgeous landscapes. Kentucky has several natural landscape aspects that are unique to the state, such as valleys, mountains, and forests. Kentucky has 48% forestlands, some with spectacular waterfalls that must be seen to be believed! We’ve produced a list of the top ten waterfalls in Kentucky for you to visit the next time you’re in this fascinating state.
Cumberland Falls – The Moonbow’s Home
Situated in the Daniel Boone National Forest, Cumberland Falls, often dubbed as the ‘Niagara of the South’, spans 68 feet high and 125 feet wide. What sets it apart? It’s one of the few places on Earth where one can witness a mesmerizing moonbow, a nocturnal rainbow, during full moon nights. It is the only location in the state, and perhaps the entire Western Hemisphere, where the moonbow phenomena may be found.
Yahoo Falls – A Hidden Gem
Heralded as Kentucky’s tallest waterfall, Yahoo Falls is an astonishing 113 feet tall. Surrounded by pristine woods and sheltered by a natural rock house, it’s a serene spot for those wishing to escape the world’s clamor.
This seasonal waterfall is located in the Big South Fork National River Recreation Area in Whitley City and is accessible by a 4.2-mile out and back trip, with an additional 0.75 mile along the same route going to Yahoo Arch.
Visit the waterfall in the spring because the dry summer months diminish the flow and make the walk less worthwhile.
When visiting Yahoo Falls, attempt to catch views from above, below, and behind it to get a full panoramic perspective of the falls and its beautiful environs. This is a fantastic weekend getaway from Nashville and other parts of Tennessee!
Eagle Falls – A Hiker’s Reward
Eagle Falls, nestled on the banks of the Cumberland River, is a treat for avid hikers. The moderately challenging trail rewards visitors with a stunning view of Cumberland Falls from the opposite bank and, of course, the awe-inspiring beauty of Eagle Falls itself.
Eagle Falls is a hidden gem that offers guests a spectacular experience. This waterfall, accessible via a somewhat difficult hike, exemplifies nature’s power and beauty.
The water falls 44 feet into a calm pool surrounded by high cliffs and rich foliage, providing a tranquil and isolated area to explore Kentucky’s natural marvels.
Dog Slaughter Falls – Nature’s Poetry in Motion
Despite its unsettling name, Dog Slaughter Falls is a vision of beauty and serenity. The gentle trail leading to it meanders alongside the creek, offering hikers moments of reflection. The 15-foot cascade pours gracefully over the ledge, embodying nature’s poetry in motion.
Explore the 3.9-kilometer out-and-back track near Corbin, Kentucky. It takes an average of 55 minutes to accomplish this moderately difficult route. Because this is a popular hiking and walking region, you will most likely come across other people while exploring. The route is available all year and is a great place to come at any time. Dogs are permitted but must be kept on a leash.
Flat Lick Falls – A Canvas of Colors
Located near Gray Hawk, Flat Lick Falls is an evolving spectacle throughout the year. Come autumn, and it transforms into a canvas painted with russet, gold, and auburn, while winter occasionally graces it with crystalline ice sculptures.
This roughly 30-foot cascade in Daniel Boone National Forest’s Flat Lick Falls Recreational Scenic Area has a magical quality about it. Perhaps it’s the rich vegetation, neighboring caves, and woodland backdrop, or perhaps it’s the ease of access. Hikers of all ability levels can enjoy the vista thanks to a half-mile walking circle. There’s also a paved path leading to an overlook with a wheelchair-accessible observation platform.
Seventy Six Falls – Beyond the Cascade
Seventy Six Falls is a 90-foot waterfall located in Albany, Clinton County, on Lake Cumberland. Seventy Six Falls is surrounded by a park maintained by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and is thought to have been called after the local settlement of Seventy Six or the number of breaks, or tiny falls, on Indian Creek.
Situated near Albany, this 76-foot waterfall isn’t just a visual marvel. Its vicinity offers activities like boating, camping, and fishing, making it an ideal locale for outdoor enthusiasts yearning for more than just scenic vistas.
Creation Falls – The Red River Gorge’s Jewel
An emblem of Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, Creation Falls captivates with its layered rock backdrop and emerald plunge pool. Accessible via the Rock Bridge Trail, this spot is a favorite among families, photographers, and nature enthusiasts alike.
The trail to the falls is roughly one and a half miles long and moderate in difficulty. The walk itself is beautiful, with a view of the “Rock Bridge” arch for which it is named. If hikers desire to extend their outdoor trip, there is also an access point to other routes in RRG.
Bad Branch Falls – A Biophile’s Dream
Amid the 2,639-acre Bad Branch State Nature Preserve, this 60-foot waterfall is a haven for biodiversity. The preserve is home to over 40 rare species, making it not just a visual treat but also a significant location for ecological conservation.
The Bad Branch State Nature Preserve protects the falls. The trip to the falls is steep and slow (2 hours), so be careful, walk carefully, and be aware of what’s beneath your feet. The view is breathtaking, but it is not worth an injury.
The somewhat difficult trek is a lot of fun because of the wildlife you might observe along the way and the lovely forest surrounding you. There aren’t many amenities here, so bring your water bottles and munchies!
Broke Leg Falls – Rising from the Ashes
Once devastated by a tornado in 2012, Broke Leg Falls stands today as a testament to nature’s resilience. The rejuvenated surroundings and refurbished amenities make it a beacon of hope and a reminder of the regenerative power of nature.
Broke Leg Falls is a small roadside waterfall in Frenchburg. The waterfalls plunge 60 feet into a steep canyon. You can reach the bottom of the falls by taking a flight of concrete steps down below. A path even leads behind the falls, which is the finest site for photos!
A wooden bridge spans the creek while the water pours below, but tread carefully. It can become slick.
As you descend the gorge, you will be treated to a spectacular vista of the falls surrounded by rock formations.
Anglin Falls – A Whispering Cascade
Hidden in the John B. Stephenson Memorial Forest State Nature Preserve, Anglin Falls drops over 75 feet, producing a soothing whisper as it descends. The trail leading to it is adorned with wildflowers, especially in spring, making the journey as delightful as the destination.
Along the trip, there are wonderful views of Anglin Falls, and once near the falls, there are beautiful cliff lines and natural surroundings to admire.
Anglin Falls is open all year, however it tends to dry out in the summer, so it’s better to visit in the spring when the winter snow melts. Even better to visit after a rainfall.
Kentucky’s waterfalls are not just natural attractions; they are the heartbeats of the regions they grace. They tell tales of time, resilience, and the undying spirit of nature. Each cascade, whether thundering down mountainsides or whispering through hidden glens, invites travelers to pause, reflect, and marvel at the wonders of the natural world.
Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a photography enthusiast, or simply a lover of nature’s symphonies, Kentucky’s waterfalls beckon with the promise of beauty and tranquility. So pack your hiking boots, ready your cameras, and set out to explore the waterfall wonders of Kentucky. The Bluegrass State awaits.