What better way to connect with nature than to take a hike and and enjoy the natural beauty Alabama has to offer. Did you know that Alabama has a place called the “Land of a Thousand Waterfalls”? As you might imagine, you can find easy hiking trails near you that also lead to incredible waterfalls!
Looking for an awesome experience outdoors this weekend?
We’ve compiled a list of hiking trails with nearby waterfalls in each region of the state. Now, you don't have an excuse not to visit any of these trails and falls. 🙂
Hiking Trails Near Huntsville with Waterfalls
Huntsville may be known as the Rocket City, but the town has lush and picturesque natural spaces too. Hiking trails, parks, rivers and a few waterfalls abound around the town as well.
Monte Sano Nature Preserve
Located 2 miles from downtown Huntsville, the Monte Sano Nature Preserve offers more than 22,000 miles of hiking and biking trails. It has a number of trails you can take depending on the level of difficulty you want or the the type of nature you want to enjoy. If a waterfall is what you are looking for, you can take the Wildflower Trail or the Alms House Trail and see firsthand the beauty of Fagan Creek Falls.
Fagan Creek Falls (Land Trust Falls)
Fagan Creek Falls is located within the Land Trust of North Alabama. It may not be a large or tall falls but it looks great after a rain.
Lost Sink Trail
Located in Keel Mountain Preserve, the Lost Sink Trail is around 15 miles or 25 minute drive to Hunstville. It is a 2.8 mile moderate trail that features the Lost Sink Falls.
Lost Sink Falls
About a mile up the trail, you will see Lost Sink Falls. Best to see after a rainfall, it’s a cool end to a really scenic hike!
Neversink Pit is located approximately 53 miles away from Huntsville. It may be a 1 hour drive from Hunstville, but the view is definitely worth the trip. It is not your typical hiking trail as only experienced climbers are allowed to rappel down it. But, there is another way that you can just walk in. Just be sure to get a permit first. Check out our trip guide for the details.
With the waterfalls as your background, you can rappel down 162 feet. That view while rappelling down makes Neversink Falls one of the most photographed falls in the state, maybe even the country.
Thompson Falls and Trail
Located 36.8 miles from Huntsville, Thompson Falls is a great destination near Guntersville. With three falls cascading down a gorge, it’s pretty picturesque.. It is also a very short hike down a road. Do a good deed and pack out a little trash, as the road heading in has trash dumped in a few spots.
Hiking Trails near Birmingham with Waterfalls
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama and is considered one of the primary medical and financial centers in the country. Plus, there are great outdoor destinations nearby!
Moss Rock Preserve and Waterfall
Moss Rock Preserve is a 349 acre preserve of forest systems, streams, waterfalls, and trails located in Hoover, Alabama. It is only 8 miles away from Birmingham and a 13 minute drive. It offers 12 miles of hiking trails, making it perfect for a family with kids, beginners and experienced climbers. The beautiful Moss Rock Waterfall in the middle of the trail adds beauty to the preserve.
Peavine Falls Trail
Peavine Falls Trailhead is located in Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, which is about 20 miles from Birmingham. There are two trails that can lead you to Peavine Falls - the White Trail and the Blue Trail. Either one can take you the the 65 foot tall, multi-drop Peavine Falls. The water flow varies with rainfall pretty substantially, but it should be flowing any time of the year.
Black Creek Trail
The Black Creek Trail is a 1.7 mile trail near Gadsden, Alabama which will take you to the magnificent Noccalula Falls. The path will first lead you through the Black Creek Gorge then work its way down to the Noccalula Falls. Of course, you can also skip the hike and just see the waterfall from the sidewalk up above, but where’s the fun in that?
The Noccalula waterfall looks best during cool weather or rainy season because of the volume of water making a 90-foot drop. It is one of the most visited falls in the state. If you have time, check out the zoo and other features of the park too.
Bankhead National Forest
The William B. Bankhead National Forest is one of Alabama’s 3 national forests. It is located just 45 miles from Birmingham and covers 181,230 acres of nature. It offers multiple recreational activities with more than 100 miles of hiking trails and camping grounds and numerous streams, rivers and of course, waterfalls. Not just one, but a lot, making it the ultimate waterfall destination with falls along seemingly every creek.
Seeing Sougahoagdee Falls is a bit of a hike as you have to walk 4.5 miles to see it. But the hike is pretty level, and I’m telling you, it is worth it. It is a 30 foot tall drop surrounded by lush ferns and greenery. The best part? The trail takes you past four other waterfalls in wetter months! Talk about hitting 5 falls with one stone. 🙂
Mize Mill Falls
Mize Mill Falls is east of the Sipsey River on Cranal Road. It is 20 feet tall and cascades down into a rocky basin. It is easy to get to as it is just a 10 -15 minute hike. It is not a clearly marked trail though but you can hear its beautiful sound as soon as you park on the road, so just follow the sound to reach it easily. The descent into the canyon is a little tricky, so check out our trip guide for our recommendation on the best way to get there.
Deer Skull Falls
Deer Skulls Falls is actually two falls. One is about 10 feet tall that drops to a deep pool. The other one is a around 15-20 feet tall which ends in a shallow pool. The canyon on the way to this one is almost as scenic as the waterfalls themselves.
Ugly Creek Falls
Still in the Sipsey Wilderness area, the Little Ugly Creek Falls is located just above Deer Skull Falls. It may be a bit of a climb and involves creek crossings, but don’t worry, the view of the fall alone more than compensates for the hike.
Eagle Creek Falls
Still in the Sipsey Wilderness, Eagle Creek Falls provides a beautiful gradual cascade that falls into a small pool. The hiking trail is unmarked so you will have to rely on finding the creek first, and it will lead you this picturesque falls. Take a look at our trip guide for more detailed directions.
Caney Creek Falls
Many consider Caney Creek Falls and Upper Caney Creek Falls among the most beautiful falls in Alabama. Located just outside the Sipsey Wilderness, it is a 1.5 hour drive from Birmingham. The 3 mile hike towards the falls is longer but pretty easy so it is not surprising that these falls have become favorites among visitors. The falls are surrounded by moss covered rocks and lush greenery making it picture perfect. So while you’re there, don’t forget to snap pictures with your kids, your dogs, and the gorgeous scenery.
Holmes Chapel Falls
Just off of Mount Olive Road, Holmes Chapel Falls offers an easy trail accessible to all including kids and dogs. Easy trail, stunning view -- need we say more?
Turkey Foot Falls
Another easy hike within the Sipsey Wilderness is the Turkey Foot Falls. It may be a small falls but the view is as stunning as the others. Plus, you can see Mize Mill Falls on the same hike!
There is no marked trail to get to this picturesque fall but because so many people enjoy and visit it, the path has become worn and easy to follow. The hike is approximately 1.7 miles. See our trip guide for the easiest way to find the Parker Falls and to see Parker Cascades as well.
Coal Mine Branch Falls
Coal Mine Branch Falls is located near Bushy Creek, still in Bankhead. It's actually a series of drop on Coal Mine Branch, but it tends to dry up quickly in the summer so timing is important when visiting the falls. It might be a bit of hike but trust me, it’s worth it.
Kinlock Falls is located in Hubbard Creek in Bankhead National Forest. Measuring 20 feet wide and 30 feet tall, it is one of the most popular falls in the area and a favorite of the locals. You can swim, picnic, kayak, or ride a tube in the natural slip-and-slide --- name it, you can do it here. The waterfall is just off of the road Since it’s such a popular spot and close to the road, it gets a lot of visitors that don’t respect the beauty of the area. So, do everyone a favor and pack some trash out when you leave!
Hiking Trails Near Montgomery with Waterfalls
Montgomery is the capital city of Alabama. It is the second most populous city next to Birmingham. It has a proud history --- the order to fire the first shots in the American Civil War were signed here, a lively art scene --- host to the Shakespeare Festival and home to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and Performing Arts Center, and luscious parks as well.
Talledega National Forest
This national forest covers 392,567 acres of natural wealth and wilderness. Hiking, biking, camping are just some of the activities you can do here. Further, Talladega National Forest is home to several waterfalls in Alabama. Here they go:
Cheaha Falls is a magical falls that can be found along the Chinnabee Silent Trail, a three quarter mile hike from the national forest’s parking area. It has a 30 foot drop with a large pool at the bottom making it an ideal area to soak up the sun and swim.
Salt Creek Falls
Marvel at the beauty of Salt Creek Falls and enjoy swimming in the large pool below it. Take care hiking to it, the cliffs that surround the falls make getting down a bit dangerous. The hike to the falls is downhill so expect a harder climb back up.
Hiking Trails near Auburn with Waterfalls
As a line in the poem The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith suggests, “Sweet Auburn, loveliest village on the plain…”, Auburn indeed is a beautiful city. It is also one of the fastest growing cities in the US and is home to Auburn University. War Eagle is the famous battle cry of Auburn University. It has become their greeting, the name of their golden eagle and the title of their fight song.
Chewacla State Park
Located just south of Auburn, the Chewacla State Park occupies 232 hectares of pure nature. Trails for both hikers and bikers, swimming areas, fishing areas and camping grounds are available in this park. Take either the Mountain Laurel Trail or the Deer Rub Trail and be taken right to Chewacla falls. It is easily accessible, making it a popular trail for everybody.
At the center of it all is the lovely Chewacla Falls, a 30 foot tall falls that cascade down directly from the Chewacla Lake. The spillway dam pictured above is pretty as well, and the falls below it are a unique spot so close to town.
Hiking Trails near Decatur with Waterfalls
Nicknamed “The River City”, Decatur is located along the Tennessee River. And while it may not be a destination city, the nearby waterfalls make this part of the state great for a visit!
Wilson Dam Waterfall
Derek captured a great shot in the picture above! Located near Muscle Shoals, just below Wilson Dam along Tennessee River, the name of this spot is a bit misleading. The name was actually given due to its proximity to the dam but is on a small creek below it. It is around 48 miles from Decatur or less than an hour drive. Once there, you can’t help but wonder at the falls dropping from a high wall adjacent to the dam. You can visit this anytime as strong flows are expected throughout the year.
Lane Leopard submitted this great capture of Welti Falls. Just 45 miles away from Decatur, Welti Falls can be found in Cullman, Alabama. It can be reached through a half mile hike. This one is on private property however, and I’ve read conflicting stories about whether or not it’s still open to visitors.
Mardis Mill Falls
Also known as Graves Creek Falls, Mardis Mills Falls is located in Blountsville, Alabama, about 57 miles from Decatur. It is a small waterfall measuring just 15 feet tall but is 35 feet wide. The water falls into a pool that can be used for swimming, making it a popular hangout for both locals and visitors.
Hiking Trails near Tuscaloosa with Waterfalls
Tuscaloosa, located in west central Alabama, is the fifth largest city in the state. It is often regarded as one of the most livable cities in America due to the quality education it offers --- University of Alabama can be found here, along with economic growth and impressive health care services.
Falling Rock Falls
Located in Montevallo, Falling Rock Falls Trail Head is just 55 miles from Tuscaloosa. It is a 90 foot drop with a pool at the bottom, a great way to beat the summer heat. Though as with all falls, this is better to see after a rainfall. It is an easy hike perfect for bringing both your kids and dogs.
Unfortunately, Davis Falls appears to be closed to the public. It is just 14 miles from Montevallo and close to Tuscaloosa as well.