Top 10 Waterfalls in Alabama

Published on August 24th, 2021

You might not think of waterfalls first thing when you think of sweet home, Alabama, a state that’s blessed with a wide array of natural beauty from sandy shores to dense forests. But make no mistake about it, Alabama has some absolutely stunning waterfalls that are well worth visiting. Here are the ones to put on your next itinerary through the state!

Top 10 Waterfalls in Alabama

1. DeSoto Falls

2. Little River Falls

3. High Falls

4. Thompson Falls

5. Yellow Creek Falls

6. Holmes Chapel Falls

7. Upper Caney Creek Falls

8. Noccalula Falls

9. Cheaha Falls

10. Chewacla Falls

Visiting Waterfalls in Alabama

Here’s what you need to know about making your way to these 10 wonderful Alabama waterfalls!

1. DeSoto Falls

Desoto Falls

Starting out in the northeastern corner of the state, close to where it borders on Tennessee and Georgia, DeSoto Falls is a picture-perfect destination preserved inside DeSoto State Park. At more than 100 feet in height, DeSoto Falls offer a truly breathtaking vista and a noteworthy Alabama destination — they’re the tallest falls in the state. Plus, they’re far from the only noteworthy attraction inside this 3,000+ acre state park (though it’s important to note the park is spread out into two separate sections, with these scenic falls taking up one of their own). Stick around to explore the rest of the wilderness, which contains more waterfalls as well as hiking trails, a plethora of local flora and fauna, and its own RV campground featuring full hook-up sites. Heck yeah!

Things to do near DeSoto Falls: Tucked into the northeastern reaches of the state, the DeSoto Falls are about an hour and a half from Huntsville and surrounded by lots of smaller towns with plenty of southern charm to offer. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider for the trip!

2. Little River Falls

Waterfall - Little River Canyon, Alabama

Just a short way away from the bulk of DeSoto State Park, and only half an hour from the DeSoto Falls themselves, the Little River Falls are nestled into the scenic landscape of the Little River Canyon National Preserve, and further set apart by Little River Canyon Falls Park. A broad, cascading falls of about 45 feet in height with good volume and flow throughout the year, these falls are always worth a visit, and are easily accessible via a short walk from a paved parking area right off a main road. Picnic tables and shaded areas are available, as are some swimming holes to cool off from the sweltering Alabama summer sun!

Things to do near Little River Falls: The rest of Little River Canyon National Preserve is well worth spending some time on, with nearly endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts of every stripe. There are also more waterfalls in this area, including Little Falls, a shorter waterfall less than a mile further south along the canyon. Here are some area RVshare rentals!

3. High Falls

High Falls

Moving westward into the heart of the state, you’ll find yourself at High Falls, a well-known set of cascades whose moniker is a bit of a misnomer… but whose majesty is apparent nonetheless. Although they’re actually only 35 feet tall, they’re a whopping 300 feet across — so although they’re not called “Broad Falls,” they do have some pretty impressive power. Along with the falls themselves, the landscape is also characterized by a graceful stone arch, and an excellent pedestrian bridge viewpoint for the falls is easily strolled to from the parking lot. High Falls Park also offers some lengthier walking trails to meander along if you need a way to stretch your legs.

Things to do near High Falls: Located deep in the heart of northern Alabama, the High Falls aren’t really close to any major metropolitan areas, but they are a mere half-hour’s drive from Lake Guntersville State Park, which offers swimming and boating opportunities as well as a golf course. And, as always, there are some excellent RVshare rentals in the area worth checking out!

4. Thompson Falls

Thompson Falls requires a short hike

The Thompson Falls are considered by some to be the most beautiful waterfall in all of Alabama — and once you visit, it’s easy to see why. Actually composed of a series of tiered waterfalls, these cascades flow gently into the waters of Mink Creek below, all surrounded by beautiful, dense, green Alabama woods. One thing worth noting: at the time of this writing, there is some consternation on the internet as to whether or not these falls are on private property. Some people say they are, but the owner doesn’t mind respectful visitors; others say it’s inaccessible. Use your best judgment and obey any posted signage!

Things to do near Thompson Falls: The small nearby town of Arab has everything you need as far as vacation amenities are concerned, from supply shops to restaurants and places to stay. Of course, those traveling in RVshare vehicles don’t have to worry about booking lodging — other than finding an excellent campground, of course!

5. Yellow Creek Falls

Yellow Creek Falls require a kayak ride!

At about a hundred feet in height, the Yellow Creek Falls are another absolutely stunning Alabama landmark well worth visiting — though it does take a little bit of effort to reach them! You start by heading to Yellow Creek Falls Fish Camp with your favorite kayak or other paddle-able vessel in tow, and then you put in and paddle up the creek toward the rushing cascade. There’s a small beach after you pass under the ruins of an old stone railroad bridge — a sight to behold in its own right — where you can drop the kayak and then take the short hike up to the base of the falls. Swimming in the waters below is allowed, though it’s always important to proceed with caution when you’re talking about so much natural power. Those falls have a kick to ’em!

Things to do near Yellow Creek Falls: If you’re looking for a different kind of wet and wild adventure, take heart: you’re just up the road from Pirate’s Bay Leesburg, a family friendly water park with attractions for everyone along for the ride. Speaking of the ride… here are the best RVshare rentals in the area for those looking to hit the road in comfort and style!

6. Holmes Chapel Falls

Holmes Chapel Falls
Image via YouTube

Tucked deep in the heart of north-central Alabama’s Bankhead National Forest, the Holmes Chapel Falls are accessible using a short hiking trail — and by short, we mean less than half a mile round trip. Despite its brevity, the trail is still considered a moderate one thanks to some relatively steep portions, but most hikers in decent shape should be able to get to the base of this stunning waterfall. Once they do, they’ll be rewarded by this small but mighty cascade, whose flow does heavily depend on the season and the rainfall. Be sure to watch your footing, as some of the trails can be muddy!

Things to do near Holmes Chapel Falls: Bankhead National Forest is absolutely chock-a-block full of incredible outdoor destinations to visit, including lots more waterfalls; Sougahoagdee Falls is just down the road from Holmes Chapel Falls and while it might be better known and bigger, we wanted to include a more off-the-beaten path option. Fortunately, if you travel in an RVshare vehicle, you’ll have plenty of time to see and explore both, and plenty more beyond that!

7. Upper Caney Creek Falls

Upper Caney Creek Falls in the William B Bankhead National Forest of Alabama

Another stunning waterfall to visit inside Bankhead National Forest, Upper Caney Creek Falls is known for its smoothly rushing cascades and the Technicolor turquoise waters waiting below — which are open for swimming in. That’s an especially good incentive given the fact that these waterfalls do require a short hike to reach; it’s only about three miles out-and-back, but that’s a whole lot more involved than simply driving up to the viewpoint and walking a few feet to get a better vantage. Still, those willing to put in the time and effort will be well rewarded; these are widely held to be some of the most scenic falls in the entire state. Bring along a picnic lunch and a change of clothes for after you swim, and plan to make a whole afternoon of it!

Things to do near Upper Caney Creek Falls: This west-central part of Bankhead National Forest is close to the town of Double Springs, which is small enough to be quaint but well-populated enough to have everything you need to make for a great vacation. (Except, of course, for the RV rental — we’ve got you covered on that front!)

8. Noccalula Falls

 Noccalula Falls in Gadsden, Alabama

Some waterfalls are hidden deep in the woods and require a hike or even a kayak ride to approach. Other waterfalls are put on proud display, surrounded by developed amenities to make for a fun day with the whole family. Noccalula Falls falls into the latter camp — while still maintaining the utter natural beauty only a 90-foot-tall waterfall of this stature could. In addition to its destination status, this waterfall also has historical and cultural significance: resting on historical Cherokee lands, this waterfall figures in Native American legend, and those who venture into the park will find caves decorated with carvings inscribed by Civil War soldiers. There’s also a petting zoo, putt-putt golf, picnic areas, and on-site camping. You can’t go wrong!

Things to do near Noccalula Falls: Located just outside of the town of Gadsen, which is well-developed with a population of more than 100,000, Noccalula Falls is a popular vacation destination for both local Alabamans and those from further afoot. Here are the best RVshare rentals in the area you should know about.

9. Cheaha Falls

Cheaha Falls in Cheaha State Park Alabama

Cheaha State Park is so named for Mount Cheaha, which, at just over 2,400 feet, is the tallest point in the state of Alabama — and is also home to these charming waterfalls of the same name, which flow into a creek also called, you guessed it, Cheaha. Standing about 30 feet tall with a couple separate streams of water flow, this falls requires a short and easy walk, a reasonable mile-long stroll from the parking area (two miles round-trip). The area is also well-known for its beautiful wildflowers during the spring and summer months, but do watch your footing as the path can get slippery with mud at times.

Things to do near Cheaha Falls: Cheaha State Park runs right into the larger wilderness expanse that is Talladega National Forest, which offers nigh-endless opportunities for all sorts of outdoors enthusiasts. Plus, all of this is just over an hour from Birmingham, which has plenty of excellent urban adventures awaiting, as well as some great area campgrounds and RV rentals to take to them!

10. Chewacla Falls

Waterfall at Chewacla State Park new Auburn, Alabama

Tucked into Chewacla State Park where the Moose Mill Creek is dammed up to open into a lake reservoir, Chewacla Falls stands about 30 feet tall, and although it’s manmade, it’s still a beautiful sight to behold — and is also surrounded by about 700 acres of worthy wilderness to explore and play in. This state park is popular for hiking and mountain biking as well as water-related sports pursuits. The fishing, for example, is top-notch, with anglers regularly pulling in crappie, bream, bass, and catfish.

Things to do near Chewacla Falls: This state park is just outside the city limits of Auburn, which is perhaps best known for the university of the same name. However, given its college town status, Auburn has plenty of attractions for visitors and residents alike, including manicured green spaces like the Donald E. Davis Arboretum. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider.

Planning an RV Trip to Alabama

Ready to get up close and personal with Alabama’s waterfalls — and its many other charms — for yourself? We’ve got all the details you need to make it happen. Here are the best RV rentals in the state, as well as the best campgrounds to stay in. We’ve also devised guides to the best state parks Alabama has to offer, as well as some of its most populous cities: Birmingham, Mobile, and Tuscaloosa.

The rest is up to you — so get out there and explore. And enjoy it!

 

 

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