Our list of the best waterfalls in Kentucky to visit, these trails offer a great place to stretch your legs when you road trip through the Bluegrass State.
Besides roadside attractions, I will go out of my way to see a cool waterfall. There’s just something so special about them, and it usually involves a short hike, which is always a great way to break up a road trip and stretch your legs.
While much of Kentucky is Bluegrass country, the eastern part of the state falls within the Appalachian Mountains, so there are plenty of waterfalls to check out on a trip through Kentucky.
McCreary County alone has over 25 waterfalls! Here are a few of my favorite Kentucky waterfalls!
Best Waterfalls in Kentucky to Visit
Located in Daniel Boone County in southeast Kentucky, Yahoo Falls is the highest waterfall in Kentucky. During seasonal rains, the falls are 113 feet tall but can slow to a trickle at times.
The falls are included in the Daniel Boone National Forest and can be reached on the 1.1 mile Yahoo Falls Loop trail. While the trail is fairly easy, there are some creek crossings and stairs along the way.
From Whitley City, the falls are about a six-mile drive. Go northwest on Highway 700 until you see signs for the falls.
About ten miles northeast of Yahoo Falls, Cumberland Falls is also well worth a stop as you drive through Kentucky. Located in Cumberland Falls State Park Resort, this is the largest United States waterfall south of Niagara Falls.
With a span of 125 feet, it’s often called the “Niagara of the South.”
There is a short overlook trail where you can view the falls or a longer trail to the bottom of the waterfall. This is also one of the few places where you can experience a “moonbow” during a full moon.
From Corbin, Cumberland Falls are a 30-minute drive. Take Highway 25 southwest for 19 miles to the park.
While you’re near Corbin, make sure you stop to check out the very first Kentucky Fried Chicken.
A few miles downstream of Cumberland Falls, Eagle Falls is another beautiful spot along the Cumberland River. Using trail #9 in Cumberland Falls State Park, you can reach Eagle Falls in about 1.5 miles.
While much smaller than Cumberland Falls, it’s an enjoyable hike and sure to be less crowded than Cumberland Falls. Look for the trail just west of the Cumberland Falls viewing area on KY-90.
Other waterfalls in Cumberland Falls State Park include Meadow Creek Falls, Mill Springs, and Greasy Creek Falls. Needless to say, this is a great park for waterfall hunting!
Dog Slaughter Falls
Another Cumberland River cascade is the uniquely named Dog Slaughter Falls. Not too far upstream from Cumberland Falls where Dog Slaughter Creek meets the Cumberland River.
The hike to the falls is just over two miles and follows the creek for a nice, scenic hike.
To reach the trailhead, look for Forest Service Road 195 from Kentucky Highway 90, just east of Cumberland Falls State Resort Park.
Flat Lick Falls
This small waterfall on Flat Lick Creek is a great family outing near McKee, Kentucky. The falls are reached via a ½-mile loop trail that’s partially paved and accessible for strollers, kids and pets.
You can view the falls from above, or hike down and enjoy a swim under the falls if you choose.
From McKee, Flat Lick Falls is about a 15-minute drive along Highway 421 past Gray Hawk.
Located in the John B. Stephenson Memorial Forest, Anglin Falls offers a nice, short hike not far from Berea, Kentucky. This is one waterfall that can be seasonal, so check recent reports before setting off, although you’ll enjoy the hike with or without rushing water.
Less than two miles round trip, the hike is short but can be challenging with a bit of incline as well as uneven footing.
From Berea, Anglin Falls and the forest preserve are about a 20-minute drive southeast.
Broke Leg Falls
While the name isn’t the most encouraging for new hikers, the trail to Broke Leg Falls is less than half a mile out and back. However, the trail can be slippery and muddy, so caution is required.
From Wellington Kentucky, head east on Highway 460 for 1.8 miles to the falls. There are a few viewing areas, and you can still see evidence of the 2012 tornado that whipped through this canyon, and some trails have still not reopened.
Longer hikes are available, below and beyond the falls, but note that the waterfall is seasonal and may not always be running.
For a fun alternative to a waterfall hike, you can paddle up to this waterfall from Lake Cumberland. Named for the nearby town of Seventy Six, this beautiful cascade is created as Indian Creeks meets Lake Cumberland. You can hike to the falls, but accessing them from the water offers a unique perspective.
You can pull right off KY 3062 and check out the overlook. In the summertime, boaters like to congregate in the cove and enjoy the falls.
A Map of the Best Waterfalls in Kentucky
We’ve created this Google Map so you can easily see if one of the waterfalls we’ve mentioned in this post will be along your route when you road trip through Kentucky.
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Have you seen any of these waterfalls? Which is your favorite?
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