The Top 10 Waterfalls in Indiana

Published on September 29th, 2021

The Hoosier State is known for its car races, friendly faces, and its love of basketball — but it should also be on the map if you’re looking for some of the best waterfalls in the midwest. From north to south, Indiana has plenty of incredible cascades to explore, if you only know where to look… and we’re here to help you find them.

The Top 10 Waterfalls in Indiana

1. Salamonie River Falls

2. Kokiwanee Falls

3. France Park Waterfall

4. Silver Cascades

5. Cataract Falls

6. McCormick’s Creek Falls

7. Rock Rest Falls

8. Big Clifty Falls

9. Little Clifty Falls

10. Hoffman and Tunnel Falls

Visiting Waterfalls in Indiana

Without further ado, let’s dive into these incredible Indiana waterfalls — at least the ones that allow swimming, that is. 🙂

1. Salamonie River Falls

Waterfall at Salamonie State Park

Tucked into the landscape known as Salamonie River State Park, Salamonie River Falls is a beautifully flowing cascade whos surrounding lands were first preserved back in the 1930s; the eroded land was continuing to dissolve, leading to the decision to set the park aside for posterity. Along with the waterfall itself, this beautiful wilderness also offers several hiking trails, a fishing hole, and a lakeside pavillion perfect for picnics and gatherings. These 850 acres of land also include an old stone quarry amongst the lush green trees that characterize the landscape.

Things to do near Salamonie River Falls: Only a short drive from the smaller town of Wabash and a slightly longer drive from the metropolitan center of Fort Wayne, Salamonie Falls is an easy waterfall to get to for a wide range of Indiana residents and visitors. There are also some excellent RVshare rentals and campgrounds to consider for your adventures in the greater Fort Wayne area.

2. Kokiwanee Falls

Water flowing of the limestone edge at Acres Kokiwanee Preserve Kokiwanee Falls

Just across the way from Salamonie Falls, on the other side of the Salamonie River, Kokiwanee Falls awaits in the land trust of the same name. This waterfall is also fed by the Salamonie River, as are its nearby cousins, and the nature preserve that contains them offers several different hiking trails for visitors of a wide range of ability and fitness levels. The trail to the waterfall specifically is considered moderate in difficulty level, and traverses about a mile and a half round trip, seeing approximately 120 feet in elevation gain along the way. While it’s by no means super steep, you’ll definitely have a few little climbs to contend with, and as always, you want to wear good, strong shoes when you’re in the moist environment surrounding a waterfall!

Things to do near Kokiwanee Falls: Once again, this gorgeous forest gem is located only about an hour outside of Fort Wayne, which is home to an excellent children’s zoo, art museum, and botanical conservatory (among so many other things to see and do). Once again, here are the RVshare rentals and campgrounds in the area you need to know about.

3. France Park Waterfall

Long exposure of the Waterfall at France park near Logansport Indiana located in Cass county

As its name suggests, this scenic waterfall is tucked into France Park, which is located on the north side of the Wabash River just outside of the town of Logansport in north-central Indiana. The waterfall is robust and lovely, toppling over the carved rock face behind it in the midst of a stunning landscape that was historically used as a rock quarry. Although not the largest park in the state, this preserved wilderness offers about seven miles of hiking trails, and also has a disc golf course for those looking to throw a round or two. Although you can’t swim at the waterfall proper, a nearby lake offers plenty of opportunities to get your feet (and other body parts) wet.

Thing to do near the France Park Waterfall: France Park isn’t very far afield from other preserved wildernesses worth seeing, such as Tippecanoe River State Park or the Salomie State Park Recreation Site (which we just mentioned above). The town of Logansport has everything you need to craft a killer vacation, including some awesome RVshare rentals.

4. Silver Cascades

Maidenhair Falls, a small waterfall in Indiana's Shades State Park, plunges over a rock ledge with a recess cave behind.

Shades State Park is another gorgeous preserved Indiana wilderness with plenty of beautiful sights and sounds to offer — especially at Silver Cascades, the crowning jewel of this 3,000-acre preserve. Jetting strongly over the rock ledge behind it, which has been gracefully carved by the water and weather over time, Silver Cascades is found along Sugar Creek, which does also boast another beautiful waterfall, Maidenhair Falls, further down its length. The park has plenty of other noteworthy sights and Instagram-worthy photo opps, including Lover’s Leap, Devil’s Punchbowl, and Canoe Island.

Things to do near Silver Cascades: Shades State Park — and therefore Silver Cascades — is tucked into the western reaches of central Indiana, not too far from the Illinois border. This area offers other preserved wildernesses to explore, such as Turkey Run State Park and Lake Waveland. It’s also just over an hour’s drive from Indianapolis, the biggest city in the state — and also home to some excellent RVshare rentals and area campgrounds.

5. Cataract Falls

Whitewater pours over rock ledges at Indiana's Upper Cataract Falls with beautiful, colorful fall foliage.

Short but broad, multi-tiered and absolutely breathtaking, Cataract Falls is tucked inside the Cataract Falls State Recreation Area, and is actually separated out into Upper and Lower sections. They all tumble along Mill Creek, surrounded by dense vegetation that displays beautiful changing colors come autumn, and have some of the highest water flow volumes of any waterfall in Indiana despite their short stature. (The Upper Falls are 30 feet tall, whereas the Lower Falls are only about 15). The park does charge an entry fee, so prepare for that when you enter, and the falls are about a mile apart from each other. Some locals know the Upper Falls as Cataract Falls and the Lower Falls as Cataract Cascades — but no matter what you call them, they’re plain old beautiful.

Things to do near Cataract Falls: There is a very small nearby unincorporated community called Cataract, as well, but all of this beauty is only an hour away from Indianapolis (pending traffic, of course). So whether you’re looking for a small-town vibe or a big city adventure, this part of the state has you covered — plus, there are some great RVshare rentals and campgrounds to stay in during your visit.

6. McCormick’s Creek Falls

Water cascades over rocky ledges with the woods displaying autumn colors at McCormick's Creek State Park in Indiana.

Given its beauty, it’s no surprise that McCormick’s Creek Falls is preserved and set apart by McCormick’s Creek State Park, which offers many incredible hiking trails to wander down, but none as beautiful or impressive as the one that ends at the foot of this cascade. Running just over four miles all told and and seeing a little under 400 feet in elevation gain along the way, the trail is considered moderate, and well-behaved, leashed dogs are also welcome. The park also features a Tesla charging station, an on-site inn, developed restrooms with showers, and, of course, a whole lot of beautiful scenery.

Things to do near McCormick’s Creek Falls: Just outside of the small town of Spencer and not far at all from the larger population center of Bloomington, McCormick’s Creek Falls is relatively easy for a wide range of  Indiana residents and visitors. There are plenty of other preserved wildernesses interspersed across this area, such as the Morgan-Monroe State Forest and Owen-Putnam State Forest; here are some local RVshare rentals to consider.

7. Rock Rest Falls

Jennings County, Indiana's Rock Rest Falls flows over a cliff and into a natural woodland amphitheater created by a large expanse of overhanging rock.

Nestled into the Cali Nature Preserve just north of the southeastern Indiana town of Vernon, Rock Rest Falls tumbles over an idyllic rock ledge ito a swirling pool below, offering one of the most serene scenes in the entire state. The fall can be viewed from both above and below, and is a favorite hidden gem amongst locals, who may or may not be willing to tell you how to find them. (Fortunately, Google knows just where they’re located.)

Things to do near Rock Rest Falls: There are many beautiful natural landscapes in this area to explore, such as nearby Muscatatuck Park or the Crosley Fish and Wildlife Area and Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge just a little further out. An RVshare rental is the perfect way to stay and see it all at your own pace.

8. Big Clifty Falls

Big Clifty Falls gently flowing in Madison Indiana

If there’s a landscape in Indiana known for its waterfalls, it’s Clifty Falls State Park — and indeed, the rest of the falls on our list are all tucked away into this beautiful preserve. Standing a total of 60 or so feet tall, and tumbling down a staircase-like rock ledge before making one giant drop at the bottom, Big Clifty Falls is indeed one of the most impressive in the park, and can be accessed by a variety of hiking trails, all of which feature a decent amount of elevation change — so make sure you’re up for it! For starters, invest in strong hiking boots, and bring along lots of water and snacks. Dogs are also welcome, so long as they’re kept on-leash the entire time — and, of course, cleaned up afterward.

Things to do near Big Clifty Falls: Located just on the north side of the Ohio River, Clifty Falls State Park is only minutes from the Kentucky border, about an hour away from Louisville. It’s also just south of Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge, so there’s plenty more to explore — here are some local RVshare rentals to consider.

9. Little Clifty Falls

Waterfall at Clifty Falls State Park Indiana

Despite its counterintuitive name, Little Clifty Falls — which is accessed by the same hiking trail as its “Big” cousin — stands 60 feet tall, and tumbles down the slope of a hillside rather than acting like a classic cascade. Surrounded by the dense forest characteristic of this area, Little Clifty Falls is especially beautiful to visit in fall or, even better, winter, when it often freezes solid, creating a kind of column of ice that’s certainly a memorable sight for the entire family.

Things to do near Little Clifty Falls: This gorgeous state park has so much to offer aside from its falls, such as the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery and a fascinating historic Railroad Tunnel. Of course, even if you run out of things to do inside Little Clifty Falls, there’s plenty to see in the surrounding area; here are the local RVshare rentals that’ll help you stay and play as long as you like.

10. Hoffman and Tunnel Falls

Waterfall in Clifty Falls State Park

Clifty Falls State Park is like the gift that keeps on giving, particularly for those interested in chasing waterfalls! Hoffman and Tunnel Falls are close-by neighbors that are both accessed along the same short hiking trail; the trail features some unique stair steps that lead into a small and fascinating cave called Brough’s Folly. The 83-foot tall Tunnel Falls, as its name suggests, is located on the far side of that cave; you have to go through the tunnel in order to see them; Hoffman Falls stands slightly shorter at 78 feet tall, but both cut an impressive figure into the already beautiful Indiana countryside.

Things to do near Hoffman and Tunnel Falls: The small nearby town of Madison is a charming example of southern Indiana life, and also features a beautiful and historic bridge over the Ohio, the Milton-Madison Bridge. River tours are also available for those who’d rather see the landscape from atop the water; here are some area RVshare rentals to consider for the trip!

Planning an RV Trip to Indiana

The waterfalls are just the start of the natural beauty to see and experience across Indiana, not to mention the excellent dining and shopping opportunities and cultural attractions in its cities. No matter what brings you to this oft-overlooked midwestern state, we have everything you need to make for an excellent visit.

For starters, as always, we’ve got the best peer-to-peer RV rentals in Indiana available, and we’ve also gathered the details about the state’s best campgrounds and state parks to stay in and explore. Additionally, we’ve written guides to Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, and, of course, the newly designated Indiana Sand Dunes National Park.

Enjoy your trip!

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