15 Amazing Waterfalls in Alabama

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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There is just short of 80,000 miles of rivers and streams in Alabama.

The water helps to enhance the scenic nature of the state, with waterfalls particularly adding to the natural beauty away from the towns and cities.

With a huge number of lovely day trips available for families wanting time out in the fresh air, Alabama is somewhere that offers much to visitors.

Hikers will find a wide range of trails to follow and, along the way, the water courses abound.

In some circles, Alabama is described as the ‘’land of a thousand waterfalls.’’

If you want to discover some of them, here is a list of 15 Amazing Waterfalls in Alabama.

1. Thompson Falls, Marshall County

Thompson Falls, Marshall CountySource: Lane Leopard / Facebook
Thompson Falls, Marshall County

Three lovely waterfalls descend into a deep gorge on Mink Creek in Arab.

Thompson Falls is close to Lake Guntersville and is at its best after heavy rainfall because the flow is certainly seasonal; springtime is the best season to guarantee a good flow of water.

You can park fairly close to the natural start of the hike, which is well suited to active people.

The falls begin not far down the trail under an old concrete bridge.

The further stretch of the trail takes you to the base of the first falls; continuing on, you will come across the second and third.

2. High Falls, Geneva County

High Falls, Geneva CountySource: Gabriel Quiles / shutterstock
High Falls, Geneva County

On the Tennessee River to the south of Lake Guntersville, these lovely falls are just 35 feet high but a stunning 300 feet across.

They are not always in full flow, but when they are, they make a great photograph.

The pedestrian bridge above the falls is a good vantage point and is just a short walk from the parking lot.

You can wade in the crystal-clear water in the creek above the falls when it’s not too deep, but it is important to take care.

The surrounding rocks can be slippery so don’t go too close to the top of the falls.

3. Welti Falls, Cullman County

Welti Falls, AlabamaSource: Jens Lambert / shutterstock
Welti Falls

It is not especially easy to get to these Central Alabama falls, but the effort is worth it.

Once you get directions, you can park near a bridge and start down the trail, which takes you along Brindley Creek towards Forest Ingram Lake; the falls are just below the lake.

You should take care because the rocks can be slippery when there is a decent flow of water.

As a picnic site, it has few equals, but make sure you take your rubbish away with you so as not to spoil this pristine natural environment.

4. DeSoto Falls, Fort Payne

DeSoto Falls, Fort PayneSource: Ronnie Howard / shutterstock
DeSoto Falls, Fort Payne

DeSoto Falls are among the most popular in Alabama both because of the stunning views available and because the falls are over 100 feet high.

A short, paved road takes you to a viewing point overlooking the falls and you then descend some steps to see the main waterfall at its best.

The state park itself is nearby, featuring several small waterfalls, with plenty of activities available as well.

Try kayaking or fishing for a great day out, but make sure you begin by visiting the falls.

5. Little River Falls, Gaylesville

Little River Falls, GaylesvilleSource: James Deitsch / shutterstock
Little River Falls, Gaylesville

Few could better the setting of Little River Falls, high up on Lookout Mountain close to Fort Payne.

The falls themselves are 45 feet high with a good flow throughout the year.

They are a great place for a family day trip.

The falls mark the beginning of Little River Canyon within the National Preserve of the same name.

You will find picnic tables in nice shaded areas and are allowed to swim in the canyon swimming hole.

At every turn, there is a landscape that you will want to photograph.

6. Upper Caney Creek Falls, Bankhead National Forest

Upper Caney Creek Falls, Bankhead National ForestSource: Jason Patrick Ross / shutterstock
Upper Caney Creek Falls, Bankhead National Forest

Caney Creek Falls and Upper Caney Creek Falls are regarded as among the most beautiful in the state.

Bear in mind that you need to walk a little along the three-mile track, so it is not suitable for young children.

It is fine for older kids, as well as dogs.

You have to descend to reach the amphitheater and the falls, so take care.

After heavy rain, there are at times two steams of water pouring off the ledge.

You can swim in the pool below the falls – an incentive for every hiker.

7. Turkey Foot Falls, Sipsey Wilderness Waterfalls, Mount Hope

Turkey Foot Falls, Sipsey Wilderness WaterfallsSource: James Deitsch / shutterstock
Turkey Foot Falls, Sipsey Wilderness Waterfalls

The Sipsey Wilderness has many hiking trails and endless camping opportunities.

As a result, the wilderness’s 25,000 acres has become very popular with those enjoying the outdoor life.

In the east of the wilderness – in terrain typical of Bankhead National Forest – you will find Turkey Foot Creek.

Within minutes of the designated recreation area, you will begin to hear the sound of crashing water that drowns out even the shrieks of happy children.

It is not so much its size as the overall setting that is so wild and impressive.

8. Kinlock Falls, Sipsey Wilderness, Lawrence County

Kinlock Falls, Sipsey WildernessSource: gwhitephotography / shutterstock
Kinlock Falls, Sipsey Wilderness

Kinlock Falls require a little road trip, as they are located in the west of Sipsey Wilderness.

Once you are there, it is just a short walk to the falls.

Within minutes, you can be dipping your feet in the cool water at the base of the cascade.

It is also a hiking trail if you want to go further, with plenty of flora and fauna to enjoy.

If your aim is the falls, simply walk 40 yards from the road to relax and enjoy them.

Always remember to take your rubbish away with you.

Access is available all year round and dogs on a lead are fine.

9. Yellow Creek Falls, Cherokee County

Yellow Creek Falls, Cherokee CountySource: John East / Facebook
Yellow Creek Falls, Cherokee County

You can paddle in a kayak to reach these picturesque falls that flow over rocks into the Weiss Lake.

Passing an old stone bridge, you reach a beach where you can leave the kayak and take a short hike to these 100-foot high falls.

The water descends into a pool where you will be tempted to swim – it is allowed.

It makes sense to pack a picnic and eat before or after you swim.

The round trip will take around four hours, including the swim, so with an early start, you can be back for a late lunch – but why hurry?

10. Noccalula Falls, Gadsden

Noccalula Falls, GadsdenSource: JNix / shutterstock
Noccalula Falls, Gadsden

This area was home to the Cherokee so there is history as well as natural beauty at Noccalula Falls, an impressive natural cascade measuring 90 feet.

Cherokee legends speak of this place and you will see a statue of a young Cherokee girl there.

Those venturing further will find caves in which Civil War soldiers left carvings.

Visitors will enjoy the pioneer village and picnic area with a few interesting historical places to investigate.

All in all, a fun day out for families.

11. Cheaha Falls, Talladega National Forest

Cheaha Falls, Talladega National ForestSource: Lisa Parsons / shutterstock
Cheaha Falls, Talladega National Forest

Mount Cheaha is Alabama’s tallest mountain.

It is found within Cheaha Forest, where you will also find a creek bearing the same name flowing down the mountain, and its 30-foot waterfall.

It is along the Chinnabee Silent Trail, just three-quarters of a mile from the parking area on Talladega Scenic Byway.

If you have the time, there is plenty to see, but if you just want to relax and listen to the power of the water, Cheaha Falls won’t disappoint.

12. Chewacla State Park, Auburn

Chewacla State Park, AuburnSource: Rob Hainer / shutterstock
Chewacla State Park, Auburn

This waterfall has been created by Chewacla Dam in the east of Alabama.

At 30 feet high, it is big enough to be impressive despite being manmade.

The State Park covers almost 700 acres, with the 26-acre lake ideal for boating, fishing, and swimming.

Eight hiking trails offer the opportunity for walkers as well as cyclists to explore the region.

With Auburn so close, the park is a popular day trip with locals, though there is a fee involved.

Camping facilities allow visitors to stay a little longer if they wish.

13. Dismals Canyon Falls, Franklin County

Dismals Canyon Falls, Franklin CountySource: BJ Ray / shutterstock
Dismals Canyon Falls, Franklin County

Despite the dubious name, these falls are well worth a visit.

The property is privately owned and there is an entrance fee, but those who pay up are rewarded by some interesting terrain and two waterfalls.

This is the beginning of the Appalachians and temperatures here can be lower than elsewhere in the state.

Few seem to notice, such is the beauty of Rainbow Falls and Secret Falls, together with the fauna and flora you won’t find elsewhere.

14. Peavine Falls, Pelham

Peavine Falls, PelhamSource: Cornelius Hayes / shutterstock
Peavine Falls, Pelham

These falls are just half an hour out of Birmingham in Oak Mountain State Park.

At 65 feet high and fed by spring water, they make a most impressive sight, and, not surprisingly, they make a great day trip from the city.

A number of trails head towards the falls, which are at their best in spring or after heavy rain.

If you have been hiking, the cool water is most refreshing, either in the shape of a shower under the falls or a swim in the pool at its base.

15. Falling Rock Falls, Shelby County

Falling Rock Falls, Shelby CountySource: JNix / shutterstock
Falling Rock Falls, Shelby County

Shelby County is just 30 minutes from Birmingham.

The hidden cave behind the falls is a great place to explore and take a photograph with a difference, but take care on the wet rocks.

The cascade is best seen in the spring or after heavy rain, when you will hear the water before you see it.

It is not really a family day out unless the children are teenagers, but dogs under control are permitted.

The walk is not especially exacting.

It is important to take care close to the top of the falls where it can be slippery.

15 Amazing Waterfalls in Alabama:

  • Thompson Falls, Marshall County
  • High Falls, Geneva County
  • Welti Falls, Cullman County
  • DeSoto Falls, Fort Payne
  • Little River Falls, Gaylesville
  • Upper Caney Creek Falls, Bankhead National Forest
  • Turkey Foot Falls, Sipsey Wilderness Waterfalls, Mount Hope
  • Kinlock Falls, Sipsey Wilderness, Lawrence County
  • Yellow Creek Falls, Cherokee County
  • Noccalula Falls, Gadsden
  • Cheaha Falls, Talladega National Forest
  • Chewacla State Park, Auburn
  • Dismals Canyon Falls, Franklin County
  • Peavine Falls, Pelham
  • Falling Rock Falls, Shelby County