Top 10 Waterfalls in Kentucky

Published on October 13th, 2021

Beautiful blue grass, rolling hills, and horse country — Kentucky has earned a name for itself among travelers whether they’re heading out by RV or not. But many people don’t realize that this heartland state has another thing going for it: a whole set of incredibly scenic and powerful waterfalls, for those in the know who know how to get to them.

Top 10 Waterfalls in Kentucky

1. Broke Leg Falls

2. Torrent Falls

3. Anglin Falls

4. Flat Lick Falls

5. Bad Branch Falls

6. Dog Slaughter Falls

7. Eagle Falls

8. Cumberland Falls

9. Yahoo Falls

10. Seventy Six Falls

Visiting Waterfalls in Kentucky

If you’re looking for a whole different side of Kentucky, we’ve got you covered: Here are the top 10 waterfalls in the state and all the details you need to know to find them.

1. Broke Leg Falls

The cascades of Broke Leg Falls Scenic Area Kentucky

Its name may be slightly morbid, but don’t worry: this gorgeous 60-foot cascade is accessible via a short trek on a moderately-trafficked out-and-back trail that runs less than half a mile altogether. That said, this rugged forest setting does involve some steep, rocky sections that may be damp with the waterfall’s spray, so it’s always a good idea to wear proper hiking boots and pay attention to your footing. Additionally, this area underwent some serious destruction as the result of a powerful tornado back in 2013, and debris and other obstacles may be present. Well-behaved, leashed dogs are also welcome to hike here!

Things to do near Broke Leg Falls: Set amidst the beautiful wilderness of eastern Texas about an hour and a half outside of Lexington, Broke Leg Falls isn’t far afield from other must-see natural preserves, such as Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Paintsville Lake State Park and more. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider to make your journey a comfortable and convenient one.

2. Torrent Falls

Torrent Falls
Image via acebook.com/torrentfalls

As its name suggests, Torrent Falls is a torrential cascade located along the Middle Fork of the red river, tumbling some 165 feet from its source to the waters below. Part of the wider Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Torrent Falls even has its very own camping cabin that can be reserved for a sweet and simple night or three in the deep woods, surrounded by nothing but the flowing rivers, the ringing hills, the singing birds and the beautiful greenery that surrounds and holds it all.

Things to do near Torrent Falls: Natural Bridge State Resort Park has so much to offer visitors, including two of its very own on-site campgrounds with electric RV sites. The park also boasts more than 20 miles of hiking trails that are also great for running, bird-watching and wildlife spotting, and from May to October, you can participate in regular Hoedowns, where you’ll learn some traditional Appalachian dance for just a few bucks per person. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider.

3. Anglin Falls

Water trickles over rocks after tumbling over Anglin Falls in central Kentucky

An ever-popular waterfall for its perfect combination of ease of access and away-from-it-all surroundings, Anglin Falls is approached via a two-mile round-trip hike just an hour south of Lexington, and while the trail does undulate up and down a bit, its 300 or so feet of elevation gain make it friendly enough even for older kids and beginning hikers. The fall itself is a thin but pretty stream that pours over a delicately carved rock ledge into the pool below, standing about 75 feet tall and really shining after a nice heavy rainfall. Along with the waterfall, this hike is known for its proliferation of wildflowers in the spring and early summer as well as ample opportunities for bird watching.

Things to do near Anglin Falls: Despite its close proximity to major population centers, this waterfall is tucked away into a beautiful natural setting that really makes you feel as if you’ve left the city behind. That said, nearby Berea offers basic resources as well as a few unique must-sees (we recommend the Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea), and, of course, you can find great RVshare rentals in the area, too.

4. Flat Lick Falls

Beautiful Flat Lick Falls near Gray Hawk, Kentucky.

Set apart in its own designated Recreation Area, Flat Lick Falls is found, conveniently enough, along Flat Lick Creek, and plummets about 30 feet from the rock ledge it falls over to the waters below. This is one Kentucky waterfall that offers pretty reliable flow no matter what time of year you visit, and indeed the surroundings are extra beautiful with a fresh dusting of snow. Plus, the surrounding wilderness is filled with caves, overhanging rock ledges, and plenty of other scenery you’ll definitely want to explore; good thing the whole wilderness is criss-crossed with hiking trails.

Things to do near Flat Lick Falls: This recreational area is tucked at the edge of a much larger wilderness, so the outdoor recreation opportunities here truly are endless. Small nearby towns like Gray Hawk and Maulden have you covered on the essentials, and Lexington is just a 90 minute ride away. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider.

5. Bad Branch Falls

Bad Branch Falls
By DanaK~WaterPenny – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34012330

Another Kentucky waterfall boasting its very own nature preserve, Bad Branch Falls is an impressive cascade, falling some 60 feet along the face of an imposing and beautiful rock wall. It’s all in the context of a larger gorge that’s been carved into the landscape over eons of time and geological activity, from the formation of the ancient Appalachian mountains to the glacial runoff that swept this place after the last Ice Age. The path to this stunning falls isn’t for the faint of heart, though; traveling about six miles all told and seeing more than 1,600 feet in elevation change, Bad Branch Trail is a hike in the truest sense of the word. That said, we’re sure you’ll agree it’s all worthwhile once you arrive at this one-of-a-kind destination.

Things to do near Bad Branch Falls: Nestled into the gorgeous hills that straddle the Kentucky-Virginia border, Bad Branch Falls is fairly far afield of any major population centers — but we think that’s a feature, not a bug. Nearby towns like Whitesburg and Cumberland have you covered on essentials, and we’ve got you covered on accommodations with these local RVshare listings.

6. Dog Slaughter Falls

Dog Slaughter Falls in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Southern Kentucky

If you can ignore the gruesome name, Dog Slaughter Falls more than makes up for its somber moniker in ebullient natural beauty; although it stands only 20 feet tall, this cascade pours with a strong flow into a gorgeous rock pool below, which is a popular place to take a dip during the dog days of summer (sorry for the pun; we had to). Located off the Cumberland River as part of the larger Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, the best way to access this waterfall is along the Sheltowee Trace trail, which runs for hundreds of miles from Tennessee through Kentucky, but which connects Dog Slaughter Falls and Cumberland Falls in the space of just three miles.

Things to do near Dog Slaughter Falls: Cumberland Falls State Resort Park offers dozens of miles of hiking trails, opportunities for water sports enthusiasts, and, of course, some of the best views in the entire southeastern United States, particularly if you’re into rainbows being thrown off of flowing cascades. An RV is the perfect way to stay and play as long as you like; here are some local rigs to look into.

7. Eagle Falls

Eagle Falls at Cumberland Falls State Park

Yet another stunning cascade in this same set of square miles, Eagle Falls is almost directly across the river from Cumberland Falls (which we’ll get to in just a second), all of which is part of the larger expanse of Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. This cascade stands about 44 feet tall and tumbles over an overhanging rock ledge, creating a beautiful splashing effect on the waters below. The trail to this waterfall runs one and a half miles each way (for a round-trip total of three miles), and includes some fun extras like a stream crossing and a few boulders to scramble. You’ll definitely want to bring a bottle of water and some solid hiking boots, but if you’re up to the challenge, you’ll certainly be rewarded when you arrive.

Things to do near Eagle Falls: While waterfalls may be the main draw to Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, they’re far from the only attraction! This park is chock full of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, and also offers a well-appointed visitors center for those looking for more information. Here are some area RVshare rentals to consider for your stay.

8. Cumberland Falls

Mighty Cumberland Falls, on the Cumberland River in Kentucky, is sometimes called “The Niagara of the South.”

You knew we were coming to it — because if there’s one waterfall in Kentucky you have to see, it’s Cumberland Falls, the cascade Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is named for. Nicknamed the “Niagara of the South,” this waterfall isn’t the tallest you’ve ever seen, but at 125 feet wide, it’s definitely an impressive sight… and that’s before you take the lush surrounding foliage into account. This waterfall has an extra-special feature for those who visit at after the sun goes down: thanks to the unique angle of the moon on the splashing curtain, this is one of the few places in the world where you can see a nighttime rainbow, also known as a moonbow. The falls can be easily seen from a viewpoint or hiked to on a strenuous trail; it’s all up to how much effort you want to put in.

Things to do near Cumberland Falls: Once again, we’ll tell you that Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is an incredible place to spend a weekend, or even a week — especially if you’re after a once-in-a-lifetime whitewater rafting adventure. The nearest moderately sized town, Williamsburg, has all the vacation essentials you need — and, of course, some excellent RVshare rentals.

9. Yahoo Falls

Yahoo Falls, Big South Fork Recreation Area, Kentucky

With a name like Yahoo Falls, how can you miss it? Tucked away into the Big South Fork National Recreation Area, this cascade lives up to its exciting name: standing approximately 113 feet high, this is one of the tallest waterfalls in the state of Kentucky, and one whose flow varies significantly depending on when, exactly, you show up. From a slight summer trickle to a big, wide-open rush of water right after a heavy spring rain, Yahoo Falls, which is sometimes also called Ywahoo Falls, is well worth the four-point-two mile hike it takes to get there, even with its 600 feet of steep elevation change.

Things to do near Yahoo Falls: While the falls themselves are the main attraction, there are plenty of other beautiful natural attractions to see in this area, such as the nearby Yahoo Arch. Campgrounds are also available nearby, though we’re talking about primitive sites without electricity; still, these RVshare vehicles will ensure you’ve got all the creature comforts you could ask for deep in the heart of the Kentucky woods.

10. Seventy Six Falls

seventy six falls kentucky
Image via YouTube

If you follow the Cumberland River far enough west, it snakes out into a vast, lake-like serpent of water surface — at the southern edge of which you’ll find Seventy Six Falls. Don’t be fooled by its name: this cascade actually plunges about 90 feet, not just a paltry 76; it shares its moniker with a local city. Best of all, this is one of the most easily accessible waterfalls on our list: all visitors have to do is drive right up, not ten minutes out of the downtown heart of the Seventy Six community. A picnic area with shelter and seating can also be found nearby.

Things to do near Seventy Six Falls: South-central Kentucky is full of small southern towns whose friendliness and charm can only be described as big. And, if you’re willing to drive just another hour and a half west, you’ll be close to one of the most incredible natural landscapes not just in Kentucky, but in America and the world as a whole: Mammoth Cave National Park. Here are some local RVshare rentals so you can stay and explore as long as you want.

Planning an RV Trip to Kentucky

While the waterfalls surely aren’t the only draw to the Bluegrass State, we hope you’ll agree they’re impressive — and whatever brings you, we hope you’ll consider an RVshare rental for your trip.

Along with the rigs themselves, we’ve also got you covered when it comes to finding the best Kentucky campgrounds, planning visits to state parks, and even exploring Kentucky’s world-famous Mammoth Cave National Park. We’ve also written a guide to Louisville, for you city slickers and sluggers.

Enjoy your trip — and do go chasing waterfalls!

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