One of the world’s greatest rivers, the Mississippi slowly meanders through Louisiana before discharging into the Gulf of Mexico.
Almost 20% of the State is water, but because Louisiana is fairly flat, there are few spectacular waterfalls despite its volume of water.
Water is more likely to cascade with a small overall drop over a variety of lengths rather than to fall vertically into a pool or creek below.
That said, Louisiana is a fascinating place to explore, and when you are traveling around to enjoy its environment, here are 15 Amazing Waterfalls in Louisiana that you may come across.
1. Clark Creek Natural Area, Baton Rouge
This area covers 700 acres. Within it, there are up to 50 waterfalls that vary in height from 10 feet to 30 feet. They are seasonal and not named individually, but if you love waterfalls and are in Louisiana, this is where you should head first.
Hugging the state line between Louisiana and Mississippi, Clark Creek Natural Area is around three hours north of New Orleans. Some parts of the area are purely for experienced hikers and the enjoyment that a family with young children would get is strictly limited to the early stretch along the main trail.
The trails are not paved, although there are steps in places. However, at times, you will need to climb up ropes and rocks. Elsewhere, you may be trudging through mud and water.
If you head from Baton Rouge, you meet the first waterfall on the main trail after just a few minutes and a second comes shortly afterward. The water is cold but also refreshing. Families will get little fun going any further, although there are three other falls on that route. None of the five have been given specific names – they just come under the umbrella name of Clark Creek Falls.
Good footwear is essential and if you are intending to hike the whole length before returning to your car, the map that has been produced is invaluable. You should certainly carry plenty of water with you on a hot day.
2. Tunica Hills Trails, Tunica Hills Wildlife Management Area
Tunica Hills provides a challenge to experienced hikers.
The watercourses are seasonal and at times you would never know that water flows here.
Steep ravines are a feature of Trail A and the Bayous – thought to be named after the Choctaw word ‘’bayuk,’’ meaning slow stream – are sandy and often dry.
The hikes are great fun but if you hope to see watercourses, you will need to be very selective as to the time you visit or keep checking for news.
3. Woodriff Falls, West Feliciana County
One of the most appealing things about these small falls is that the water tumbles down from an overhanging shelf.
The result is that there is a cave behind the water, allowing visitors to enter a cool area and get a very interesting photograph.
The county of West Feliciana is located in the central part of Louisiana, on the state boundary with Mississippi.
It is a pleasant rural area and the Woodriff Falls add to the appeal of walking in the region.
4. St Mary’s Falls, Sicily Island Hills
The trail where you will find St. Mary’s Falls is a little steeper than others in the State.
The signposting is good and wooden bridges are in place to cross ravines.
These days, you are unlikely to come across many people, but surely, years ago they were popular or these bridges would not have been built? The trail is a loop which passes St. Mary’s Falls – the only cascade on the loop, so make sure you stop and enjoy the water.
It provides a good chance to cool off on a hot day.
5. Rock Falls, Catahoula Parish, Sicily Island Hills
Rock Falls is the largest named waterfall in Louisiana but the drop is just 20 feet.
Compare that with the giants, even in the USA, and it deserves nothing more than ‘small’ as a description.
It is found on the Big Creek Nature Trail, where there may be other small waterfalls on a seasonal basis or after heavy rains.
The trail is open all year round but take care going down to the base of the falls because the path is steep.
At times, you may hear the water before you see it because the trail takes you above the gorge at the same height as the top of the falls.
6. Hodges Gardens State Park, Florien
A manmade lake was opened here in 1954; subsequently, water has been pumped from it to create Hodges Gardens, with its lovely waterfall, pools, and fountains, as well as geysers.
The water from this 225-acre lake also irrigates the gardens before reaching the waterfall and ultimately being recycled back into the lake.
The water pump only operates from sunrise until sunset each day, but while the falls are in action, they are certainly worth seeing.
7. Kisatchie Falls, Kisatchie National Forest
This cascade is one of only a few Class II Rapids in the state of Louisiana.
They are close to the Bayou Kisatchie Campground in a forest, which covers 600,000 acres.
It is a natural environment that has been largely unaffected by its popularity with hikers and campers.
Not only is springtime the best season to see the waters at their best, but it is also the time when the wild azaleas are in bloom.
While you are there, make sure you visit the Wild Rock Cave.
8. Little Bayou Pierre Cascade, Natchitoches
While Little Bayou Pierre Cascade near Gorum in Central Louisiana has only a five-foot drop down a series of rocky shelves, it makes a good photograph.
The water flow gradually decreases the further down it travels.
Little Bayou Pierre goes from calm water to a Class II rapid; the result is excellent sport for kayakers and canoeists, especially during spring.
The best view of the cascade from land is from a bridge crossing the Bayou, which can be found by taking the Mora Road.
9. Odum Falls, Natchitoches
With a limited number of waterfalls in Louisiana, it is a shame that one of them is not accessible to the public.
This is because it is located in a US military base.
This is unfortunate because it is a genuine steep fall of water that is at its best in the spring or after periods of heavy rain.
Rainfall is fairly consistent throughout the year, so there is the chance of a good flow even in the summer.
The problem is, you won’t know, because you are not allowed in to see the Odum Falls.