Check out these 12 gorgeous waterfalls

Kentucky is home to some of the most breathtaking waterfalls found anywhere in the nation. Visitors can select a trail that suits their needs and hike to a number of waterfalls. Several can be found in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, especially within Daniel Boone National Forest, but there are falls spread across the state. Check out the list below and plan your next adventure!

Cumberland Falls and the moonbow

Cumberland Falls

Kentucky has scenic spots throughout the state, but Cumberland Falls, also called "Niagara of the South," may be the state’s most famous, spectacular waterfall. Located at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, the falls are an 125-foot-wide cascade and a popular photo opportunity, especially during select dates throughout the year when you can see the moonbow. It’s the only place in the state, and in fact, the entire Western Hemisphere, where you’ll find the moonbow phenomenon. 

Fall view of Eagle Falls

Eagle Falls

If you’re looking for a bit of a hike, take the trail to Eagle Falls at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park – you’ll also get a different view of Cumberland Falls. The trail is rugged, as hikers follow the cliff line for much of the trail, but it offers some great views. During high water, the lower section of the trail may be under water, so be careful when visiting. 

View of Dog Slaughter Falls and surrounding greenery

Dog Slaughter Falls

Nearby, there’s also Dog Slaughter Falls, the Bark Camp Creek Cascades, Pine Island Double Falls and Vanhook Falls near London and more throughout the area. Dog Slaughter Falls is a 15-foot-waterfall and a sight to see no matter the time of the year, even during dry summers when other falls disappear. Located at the confluence of the Cumberland River and Dog Slaughter Creek, there are a couple of trails to take to get there. 

Two girls view Yahoo Falls from behind the falls during a hike

Yahoo Falls

Hike to Kentucky’s tallest waterfall – Yahoo Falls – near Whitley City in McCreary County. Located in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, the trail is a moderately easy hike but there are steep metal stairs near the falls. You can walk right up to the base of the falls and even behind for a unique perspective. There’s a network of other trails around the waterfall to extend your hike. 

People play in stream near Princess Falls

Princess Falls

The trail to Princess Falls in southern Kentucky near Stearns and Whitley City is an almost 3-mile-long hike, and is best used from April to September. The trail actually leads to both Princess Falls and Lick Creek Falls, so you get two waterfalls in just one hike! And when it rains, there’s even more smaller scenic waterfalls and rock formations along the trail that follows Lick Creek and parallels Cumberland River. 

View of Flat Lick Falls by @krophotography_

Flat Lick Falls

If you’re looking for an easy hike to a waterfall, check out Flat Lick Falls Recreational Area in McKee. The hike to Flat Lick Falls, a 28-foot-tall waterfall, is only about a half a mile and is good for people of all ages and skill levels. There are several different ways to view the falls, including a paved trail to an overlook at the top that includes a wheelchair accessible viewing platform, as well as a trail leading to the bottom. Pack a picnic to enjoy in the lush greenery of the wooded forest, and check out the rest of the surrounding trails, too. 

View of Copperas Falls from behind the waterfall by @pas812

Copperas Falls

Copperas Falls might be just a trickle of water falling 40 feet, but it’s a favorite for those hiking in Red River Gorge Geological Area. There is a little over three-mile-long moderate trail that follows and crosses the creek, so be prepared for your feet to get wet. Seasoned hikers recommend downloading the route or coordinates before starting the hike. Several interesting rock formations can be seen along the route, and the cave that has formed beneath and behind the waterfall provides a one-of-a-kind view. 

View of 76 falls from Lake Cumberland by @val_cat2

76 Falls

Did you know that there’s a waterfall along Lake Cumberland? Tucked into a scenic cove in Clinton County, 76 Falls may not be 76 feet tall (it’s actually closer to 84 feet tall), but legend says the falls draws its name from an old nearby town called “Seventy Six” in the south-central part of the state. You can find it where Indian Creek spills into Lake Cumberland. In the summer, it’s a popular spot to find houseboats hanging out as well as paddlers and swimmers. 

Fall view of Pine Island Double Falls by @knobridge

Pine Island Double Falls

That’s right, not one, but two waterfalls can be found at Pine Island Double Falls! The 1.4-mile-long trail is accessible year-round, and is heavily trafficked as it’s a popular trail for hiking. Located near London, it’s a relatively short trail but can get very narrow, muddy and is steep in places so hikers should be careful when visiting and download the route before heading out. The falls are best viewed after a rain or even melting snow, otherwise during drier months the falls can slow to a small trickle. 

View of Fulling Mill Falls at Shaker Village by @yeomansworkphotography

Fulling Mill Falls at Shaker Village

You can find Fulling Mill Falls, a popular set of falls to photograph, at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill near Harrodsburg. Technically part of Shaker Village’s The Preserve, the falls can be found by starting at the West Trailhead just north of The Stable and taking the strenuous Shawnee Run 6-mile-loop trail. The Preserve is open daily from sunrise to sunset and you can download the trail map online

Summer view of Tioga Falls by @jenn.burks.52012

Tioga Falls

Located about one mile south of West Point and eight miles north of Radcliff/Fort Knox, Tioga Falls is an approximately 130-feet-tall waterfall where the water flows down in series of drops. The two-mile trail is rough and steep in places and passes by old railroad trestles. The trail is also located in an area that is sometimes used for military training so may be off-limits at times to the public and during some hunting seasons – visitors should always follow the posted regulations. 

View of Creation Falls by @maredaydreaminhiker

Creation Falls

Another beautiful waterfall that can be found in Red River Gorge (RRG) is Creation Falls. Located along the Rock Bridge Trail near Campton in Wolfe County, the hike to the falls is about one and half miles long and a moderate trail. The trail itself is very scenic, with a view of the “Rock Bridge” arch for which the trail is named. There is also an access point to other trails in RRG if hikers want to extend their outdoor adventure.