8 Kentucky Waterfalls You Have to See

kentucky waterfalls

From Flat Lick Falls to Cumberland Falls, Kentucky has stunning landscapes of rolling hills, wooded forests, and glassy lakes. They are located near resorts and have picnic areas, fun activities, and bird and wildlife viewing. The falls in Kentucky create the perfect atmosphere for relaxation and scenic views. 

Kentucky is home to a vast array of beautiful waterfalls. With its popular hiking trails and abundant natural resources, the state offers an abundance of breathtaking views. 

Most of the falls have been well kept in large nature reservation parks that stretch across the state of Kentucky. Here are some of the best falls in Kentucky:

Cumberland Falls

As a result of its size and beauty, Cumberland Falls is the only waterfall in Kentucky that attracts tourists from all over the world. It’s a waterfall that flows along the Cumberland River in McCreary County, Kentucky. It is located at the Daniel Boone National Forest near the city of Corbin.

Along the way, you’ll get stunning views of the Cumberland River, beautiful wildflowers, gorgeous rock formations, and extraordinary views of nature and landscapes. Cumberland Falls, the grandest of Kentucky’s picturesque waterfalls, is as spectacular as they get. Famously termed the “Niagara of the South,” this spectacular waterfall is about 69 feet tall and 125 feet wide. The 3,600 cubic feet of water that pour over the waterfall produces a powerful noise and an incredible sight. 

The forest has a resort, the Cumberland falls state resort park. It’s an ideal location for a mini getaway. Perfect for families, friends, couples, and solo adventures to enjoy nature in a serene setting. The park has several options for guests in terms of lodging and accommodation. Whether you’re an indoor or outdoor person, you’re sure to find something of your liking. With 25 cozy cabins and nearly 50 campsites, it’s perfect for those who love the great outdoors and enjoy being immersed in nature. 

The park has recreational and educational activities related to history and nature appreciation efforts at both sites. There’s so much for guests to do at the park, including visiting the waterfall, birdwatching, camping, fishing, gem mining, horseback riding, picnics, and swimming. 

A spectacular site at Cumberland is the moonbow—a lunar rainbow that appears on both sides of the full moon. It is caused by the mist of air from the falls. This is rare, with it being one of only two places in the world with a moonbow, making it worth a visit. 

Eagle Falls

Eagle Falls is a remarkable waterfall with amazing views of Cumberland Falls and the river. It is located in the Daniel Boone National Forest, Big South Fork National River, and Recreation Area. They are both parts of the Cumberland Mountains in Kentucky. The hike to Eagle Falls is long and somewhat strenuous, but the magnificent views make it worthwhile!

Hikers spend a large portion of the trek along the cliff edge. Trail 9 forms a loop once you bridge a seasonal stream, and a spur will lead you to the river. In times of high water, the trail’s lower segment could be submerged. The 3-mile loop trail takes you to the 44-foot-tall Eagle Falls, offering majestic views of the overhanging cliffs, the gorge, and the giant Cumberland Falls. 

The most impressive of the many waterfalls is the crystal waterfall that flows through a hole in the ceiling of the cave. As you approach Eagle Falls, you will see an impressive 45-foot drop that plunges straight into the Cumberland River. These waterfalls are best described as a narrow strip of water, easily accessible via steps from the parking lot. Eagle Falls Trail offers one of the best waterfall hikes in Kentucky. It is ideal for escaping the bustling city life and becoming one with nature. 

Broke Leg Falls 

Regarded as “The Splendor Of Menifee County,” Kentucky. Broke Leg is a gorgeous waterfall in a canyon that has been noticeably ripped apart by a tornado. Broke Leg Falls are located in the Daniel Boone National Forest between Wellington and Ezell in Menifee County. It has several falls that flow through a scenic gorge and are accessible via a 0.5-mile round trip trail with moderate traffic.   

In 2012, a significant F-3 tornado ripped across the park, one year after a celebration of its rehabilitation. This drastically altered the landscape, and the debris is still present. 

Even while the area has been cleaned so that visitors may see the major falls, most routes are still blocked. This leads to unsettling sights like a barred-off walking bridge over a creek and a deluge of downed trees. Despite the wreckage, the falls and surrounding areas still offer amazing views. 

The falls have been a well-liked stopping point for tourists for over a century. It’s one of the oldest tourist destinations in Eastern Kentucky. This magnificent waterfall, supplied by Broke Leg Creek, is located on the outskirts of the Appalachian town of Frenchburg. 

It plunges 60 feet into a densely forested gorge with a picturesque canyon covered in several small trees’ remains. Visitors who choose to face the arduous descent into the gorge will discover a sizable rock shelter that resembles a cavern buried behind the falls. It’s the perfect hiking ground for highly adventurous people. 

Jenny Wiley State Resort Park Falls

Known as the “Star City of east Kentucky,” Jenny Wiley falls are located in the city of Prestonsburg. Surrounded by the Appalachian mountains and Dewey lake, this fall offers nothing but breathtaking views and beautiful surrounding scenery with lovely hemlock trees. It’s the perfect place for nature lovers to visit. 

It takes a modest 1-mile hike to reach the falls. The hike should take about 25 minutes to complete. The narrow trail is ideal for bird and nature viewing, rock climbing, and hiking. The most appropriate time to visit is from March to October. While taking the hike, it is best to be wearing shoes and pants that are waterproof or can get wet. Once you reach the top and see the view, it’s well worth the hike!

The Jenny Wiley Falls is located in the eastern part of Kentucky. They can be found at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, a popular tourist destination and one of the most popular places to get married in Kentucky. The falls are open year-round, making them an excellent place for families to visit during any season!

The park has nearly 50 private rooms at the May Lodge, located right by Dewey Lake. It is an amazing area with tall pine trees and great views of the mountains. For campers, there’s a 121-site camping ground with utilities, buildings with bathrooms, and a dumping station. 

For a more unique experience, the camp offers boat campsites on actual water! These cost only $10 a night. In terms of activities, guests can indulge in picnics, outdoor theatre, biking, bird viewing, a beach, canoeing, fishing, hiking, swimming, and so much more. The park also has a beautiful dining place—the Music Highway Grill. It serves local meat and offers a breathtaking view of the mountains. 

Yahoo Falls

This seasonal waterfall is located in Whitley’s Great South Fork National Recreation Area. Yahoo Falls is near the recreation trail. It is said to be Kentucky’s tallest waterfall, falling 113 feet into a pool. You can stroll up to the falls’ base and go behind them for a fascinating viewpoint. And to top it off, the falls drop in front of one of the biggest rock houses in the park. 

Yahoo Falls is undoubtedly a favorite among people who enjoy waterfalls. Families with young children who may not often have the opportunity to bring them along will appreciate the proximity of the Falls and the length of the walk. It’s also a fantastic option for trail runners who enjoy having an exciting destination.

Yahoo Falls is an ideal site for hikers and outdoor lovers. It’s a gorgeous area with several trails and paths that lead all around and behind the waterfall. Many options are available, ranging from quick, easy treks like the Yahoo Falls path to lengthy, physically demanding multi-day excursions and backcountry camping. 

Several animal species have migrated to the area, such as white-tailed deer, bobcats, gray foxes, and elk. These are just a few of the larger creatures in the park that are known to inhabit the area, providing plenty of opportunities for wildlife watchers. You’ll get to experience the unique wildlife and fauna of Kentucky state. 

What many visitors like most about Yahoo Falls, in contrast to nearby Cumberland Falls, is that it’s less busy. Since it’s not as much of a tourist attraction, it offers a more peaceful, calming, and serene experience for nature lovers. It’s best to visit the fall during spring when it’s in full force. During summer, it trickles a bit, as most waterfalls do; however, it’s still possible to enjoy hiking and the incredible scenery during this time. 

Flat Lick Falls 

At least not all falls require a challenging hike! Flat Lick falls is one of Kentucky’s lesser-known waterfalls, but it still amazes guests with astonishing views and close caves. The falls are located in the scenic Flat Lick Falls Recreation Park, 7 miles south of McGee; they’re the dominant attraction for tourists and visitors. 

Flat lick falls can be reached by taking a 0.4-mile loop trail close to Mildred. This trail’s primary purpose is hiking, bird watching, and peaceful nature trips. Anyone can enjoy the short waterfall hike to Flat Lick Falls at any age and physical ability. It transports you to a different planet right in the middle of Kentucky state. Guests are also interested in seeing the caves and exploring the overhangs. 

The trail leads you past, intriguing rocky areas, a wide range of plants, and ultimately to the peak of the waterfall, which should be carefully crossed. Given the abundance of spectacular views and beautiful fauna, it’s not surprising that this hike is regarded as one of the best in Kentucky.

Jackson County is also part of the 56 000 acres of Daniel Boone National Forest. It is a great natural attraction with exquisite views. It features the falls, S-Tree Camping grounds, Turkey Foot Camping site, and hiking trails. 

Be ready to take photos of the fall’s breathtaking views, which you’ll see during the hike. By continuing to hike down the dirt road, you’ll get an epic view of the waterfall as it plunges into a splashing pool within the rocks and forest. 

While taking this short waterfall trek in Kentucky, you can inhale the fresh air while listening to the falls’ roar and gazing into the azure waters.

The best time to see Flat Lick Falls is right after it has rained or the snow has melted. Though there’s not much of a waterfall to witness during the driest parts of the summer, the hiking trail is still delightful.

Anglin Falls 

A perfect little hiking trail that leads you to a tranquil waterfall, Anglin Falls is a hidden jewel. It’s a 75-foot waterfall sourced from Anglin Creek and is part of the John B Stephenson Memorial Forest and State Nature Preserve. It’s a moderate hike, which can be completed by kids and adults. 

The hike is about a mile long, with two creek crossings that lead you to the majestic waterfall. It flows down over huge rocks into a pool of water. While taking the hike, you’ll be able to take in a mesmerizing view of the cliffs, natural atmosphere, and nature. You’ll find yourself amid a breathtaking landscape, and amazing views will keep you in awe—Tempting you to revisit again and again!  

The trail’s modest ascent offers hikers a dramatic vista of the Falls. Rocks and roots are present close to the falls. During the rainy season, the region offers stunning views of cliffs and a relaxing waterfall. The trail also continues above the falls; however, if you choose to travel farther along this section of the trail, please use caution as there is always a possibility of falling over any cliff. 

Like most waterfalls, spring is the best time to visit, as you’ll be able to see the falls at their full force. Spring is ideal since the snow from winter would have melted, giving the lakes and waterfalls an abundant supply of water. During this time, the trail is more lively and beautiful as wildflowers and other vegetation blossoms around the area. 

Bad Branch Falls

As its name suggests, Bad Branch State Nature Preservation Park has unexpected twists and turns, making for a strenuous hike. This is because of its location within the pine mountains. The falls are neatly nestled at the center of the reserve, south of the mountains. They flow down sandstone cliffs into a spectacular rocky gorge. This creates an exceptional scenic view. 

The area is filled with rivers, streams, and several types of plants and species. This nature reserve has one of the best clusters of rare flora and fauna. There’s a variety of habitat formations, which are a great example of Kentucky’s nature preservation efforts and wide range of biodiversity. It takes roughly a mile of hiking to reach the falls. 

During the hike, visitors walk along a trail that used to be a timber path made in the 1930s. You enjoy lush forests and succulent greenery as you make your way to the waterfalls. Visitors also get to view the mountains and hemlock trees. You can hear the lovely, tranquil sounds of the falls even before reaching them. Along the path, it’s possible to see rare plants and flowers. The hike up is an experience that involves all your senses. 

The hiking trail is moderately difficult, with a few elevations and rocky areas to walk over. People who can walk a mile can complete it. At a steady pace, it takes about 2 hours to arrive and is well worth the scenic views and awe-inspiring falls. The 60-foot-tall waterfall located in Letcher County is part of the 2,639-acre Bad Branch Falls State Nature Reserve in Kentucky and is well worth a visit! 

FAQs About Waterfalls in Kentucky

Q: What is the biggest waterfall in Kentucky?

A: The largest waterfall in Kentucky is the Cumberland Falls, located in McCreary County. The falls stretch 125 feet wide and tumble 68 feet over a rocky ledge into the Cumberland River below. It is known as one of the most beautiful scenes in Kentucky, due to its unique moonshine-like characteristic during a full moon. It also offers miles of hiking trails, great fishing spots and even whitewater adventure for those seeking an adrenaline rush.

Q: How many waterfalls are there in Kentucky?

A: There are approximately 200 waterfalls located throughout the state of Kentucky. The most popular are Cumberland Falls, Little Shepherd Trail, Canoe Creek Waterfall, and Verona Falls. These waterfalls offer visitors breathtaking views and unique experiences to explore the natural wonders of Kentucky.

Q: Where are the most waterfalls in Kentucky?

A: The majority of the waterfalls in Kentucky are located in the eastern and southeastern regions of the state. The state’s highest concentration of waterfalls is within McCreary County, where Cumberland Falls, Little Shepherd Trail Waterfall, Upper & Lower Canoe Creek Waterfall, and Verona Falls are all located. Other counties with multiple waterfalls include Clay County, Menifee County, and Pulaski County.

Q: What is the #1 tourist attraction in Kentucky?

A: The number one tourist attraction in Kentucky is Mammoth Cave, National Park. Located in central Kentucky, the park offers visitors a unique experience to explore its more than 400 miles of subterranean passages and natural caves. Visitors can also take advantage of the many outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and much more. The park is home to an abundance of wildlife and scenic views, making it the perfect destination for all kinds of travelers.

Q: What is the most beautiful town in Kentucky?

A: The most beautiful town in Kentucky is Berea. Located in the Bluegrass Region of central Kentucky, Berea offers visitors a unique combination of natural beauty and historic charm. Visitors can explore its picturesque Victorian Main Street, meandering trails through awe-inspiring forests, award-winning wineries, and rustic farmsteads. The town also boasts an array of cultural attractions, including galleries, boutiques, museums, and music venues. With its charming atmosphere and plethora of activities, it’s easy to see why Berea has been rated as one of the prettiest towns in America!

Q: What is the best month to visit Kentucky?

A: The best month to visit Kentucky is in May. The rush of spring blossoms brings an explosion of color to the landscape, making for some of the country’s most breathtaking scenery. The weather is warm and pleasant, perfect for outdoor activities such as fishing, camping, and hiking. Plus, with a variety of festivals and events taking place throughout the state during the month of May, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

Q: What is the most scenic part of Kentucky?

A: The most scenic part of Kentucky is the Red River Gorge. Located in the heart of Daniel Boone National Forest, this ruggedly beautiful landscape features soaring cliffs, cascading waterfalls, lush forests, and winding trails. This geological wonderland offers unmatched views of the surrounding Appalachian Mountains, making it a favorite destination for hikers, climbers, and nature lovers alike. With its breathtaking beauty and serene atmosphere, it’s no wonder why the Red River Gorge is considered one of the most scenic places in Kentucky!

Q: What is the most visited city in Kentucky?

A: The most visited city in Kentucky is Louisville. It serves as the state’s cultural and economic center, home to a diversity of attractions from sports venues to museums. The city is renowned for its lively nightlife and vibrant music scene, drawing visitors from around the world. The city also boasts a number of iconic landmarks such as Churchill Downs, the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, the Louisville Zoo, and historic neighborhoods like Butchertown and Old Louisville. With its wealth of activities, there’s no wonder why so many make Louisville their destination when they visit Kentucky!


These are just a few of the many breathtaking waterfalls in Kentucky. They’re located in peaceful, secluded parks and beautiful environments. From lakes to mountains, wildlife, and lovely hiking trails, you’ll surely enjoy some epic adventures. Not only do visitors get to witness the beautiful falls, but there’s also a chance to see beautiful, well-preserved flora and fauna. We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about them as much as we did!

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