Waterfalls in Kentucky are like most things in The Bluegrass State, spectacular! You can find a variety of falls to fit your travel style while you’re in Kentucky. Whether you are looking for a nice waterfall at the end of a dreamy mountain trail or something more accessible, you can find it in KY!
Now when traveling with kids it’s always important to know everything that you can about a destination before you arrive. You want to know the bathroom situation, walk times, nearest town, and more. I’ve got you covered when it comes to these things so let’s get started!
How many waterfalls are in Kentucky?
There are over 1000 waterfalls in The Bluegrass State! And over 900 of those are fully mapped.
What is the biggest waterfall in Kentucky?
Yahoo Falls is the tallest waterfall in Kentucky standing at 113 feet tall! We will talk more about Yahoo Falls in a bit.
Kentucky Waterfalls Map
12 Picturesque Waterfalls In Kentucky That Families Will Love
Cumberland Falls State Park in Kentucky is home to the most popular falls in Kentucky. This stunning waterfall draws around one million visitors each year and for good reason.
The site where the waterfall rests was occupied by various indigenous peoples in pre-modern times, then passed between private owners before being donated to the state and designated as a park.
The park and waterfall are famous for one thing in particular and that is being the only location in the Western Hemisphere where you can see a moonbow regularly. The moonbow is a lunar rainbow that is formed in the same way as a rainbow. This nighttime event becomes a gathering place for photographers and eager travelers alike.
You may be thinking, wow, that sounds great, but can you see Cumberland Falls for free? Yes, you can! The free admission, natural beauty, and historical significance of this waterfall make it one of the very best waterfalls in Kentucky for families.
Here are our top six tips for visiting Cumberland Falls with toddlers!
For those looking for waterfalls in Kentucky that you can swim in, you will want to check out the incredible Eagle Falls. This waterfall can be found in the same park as Cumberland Falls, the Cumberland Falls State Resort Park in McCreary County, Kentucky.
This lovely family waterfall in Kentucky can be reached via a 1.5-mile trail. The Eagle Falls Trail is the only trail that leads you to the falls.
You will follow along the cliff for the majority of the hike and end up with one of the best views of the famous Cumberland Falls. You can expect to spend around an hour and a half hiking the trail.
It’s easy to see why this waterfall has made the list of the best waterfalls in Kentucky. The waterfall tumbles into a beautiful blue-hued pool below and makes for an absolutely stunning backdrop for photos, a picnic, or your afternoon daydreaming session.
A list of family-friendly waterfalls in Kentucky wouldn’t be complete without including Yahoo Falls. This cute little Whitley County waterfall is a dream for those who don’t mind a short hike to see a little slice of Bluegrass paradise.
The slender falls drop a dramatic 113 feet into a small pool below. The opportunities for those looking to see some wildlife on their adventures will be very happy with the trail to Yahoo Falls.
This easy trail will give you the opportunity to see white-tailed deer, bobcats, elk, and other native species. Compared with the hundreds of thousands of people who visit Cumberland Falls, Yahoo Falls wouldn’t be considered a super tourist-y attraction in Kentucky.
However, the Big South Fork doesn’t disappoint and the travelers who love the feeling of getting off the beaten path and exploring the untamed beauty that this world offers are sure to fall in love with Yahoo Falls and everything it offers visitors.
Another McCreary County treasure, Princess Falls is among the best kid-friendly waterfalls in Kentucky. While the trail to reach the falls is a bit longer than some may be used to, it gains very little elevation. This 2.9-mile out-and-back trail is popular amongst waterfall hunters, hikers, and birdwatchers alike.
To reach the falls, you will be hiking on part of the Sheltowee Trace. Once you arrive, you will be greeted by this wide waterfall that tumbles into a picturesque blue-tinted pool beneath the falls.
This pool is perfect for little ones to splash around in and dogs also find themselves right at home as they cool their feet in the cool waters.
This is an easy hike that is great for those who are new to hiking and for families as well. Keep in mind that depending on what time of year you visit and the weather when you visit, you may need bug spray or another form of protection from mosquitoes.
If you are looking for waterfalls near Louisville, Kentucky, you should check out the historic Buttermilk Falls Trail in Brandenburg. The trail to the falls was originally developed in 1996 when 2.5 miles of country road was converted into a hiking trail.
When looking for the best hiking in Kentucky with waterfalls, Buttermilk Falls does not disappoint. The trail will meet up with the Emmert Falls Primitive Trail and at the convergence, you will find the one hundred-year-old Osage Orange Tree.
If you have plans to visit Louisville, taking a day trip to Brandenburg to see Buttermilk Falls is an amazing opportunity to get some fresh air after you have been exploring the city!
On the trail, you will find benches, trash cans, and picnic tables, making your experience in the area even better as you will have everything you need nearby. Of all the waterfalls in Kentucky, Buttermilk Falls is one that families are sure to love!
Flat Lick Falls
Among the best hiking trails with waterfalls in Kentucky, Flat Lick Falls can be found in McKee, KY. This is without a shadow of a doubt the most underrated area in The Bluegrass State. Flat Lick Falls is a true hidden gem that intrepid travelers won’t want to miss!
Way off the beaten path, you will find this waterfall about an hour from Kentucky’s Natural Bridge. The best part about this waterfall is that it can be reached via a super easy 0.6-mile loop trail that only gains around 50 feet of elevation.
This waterfall falls into a circular pool of water surrounded by cliffs and fallen rocks creating a dreamy and fantasy-like setting that is ideal for disconnecting, recharging, and allowing yourself to receive the restorative energy of the forest.
Those traveling with a furry friend will be happy to hear that dogs are welcome at this waterfall as long as they are on a leash. Not only is Flat Lick Falls one of the greatest waterfalls in Kentucky, it is also one of the most exciting things to do in Kentucky with kids!
This waterfall in Clinton County Kentucky is a southern gem that you can find along Indian Creek near Monticello. If you are able to visit Seventy-Six Falls during the summer, you are in for an absolute treat!
The green trees surround the waterfall and the already green-tinted water appears even more green with the sun and green trees reflecting off it, creating a stunning area that is perfect for any Kentucky travel itinerary.
Despite popular belief, the name of this waterfall isn’t given because of its height which is actually eighty-four feet. While the origin of the name may be unclear, one this is for sure, this is a remarkable waterfall.
In fact, it’s one of the coolest waterfalls in Kentucky. With the round arena formed by the rock cliffs, you can rent a pontoon and sit next to the falls and surrounding trees in the summertime to relax and enjoy the refreshing Kentucky air.
Town Creek Falls
You can find Town Creek Fall in Monticello KY. As one of the best waterfalls in Kentucky, you won’t want to miss this waterfall on your Bluegrass State adventures. This waterfall is one of the few waterfalls near Bowling Green.
About an hour’s drive from Bowling Green, Town Creek Falls is one of the lesser-known falls in the state. In fact, it is so far off the beaten path that Town Creek Falls is the unofficial name given by locals.
It’s a shame that people aren’t more aware of this waterfall as it is one of the most interesting and beautiful of all of the falls in Kentucky. Standing at 54 feet tall and 80 feet wide, there are multiple drops that create a simply spectacular appearance for this waterfall.
Anglin Falls is one of the best waterfalls near Berea. A moderate 1.7 mile out and back trail that gains around 300 feet in elevation will lead you to this KY waterfall. The trail is quite popular and takes around an hour to complete.
This is one of the waterfalls in Kentucky that are amazing no matter what season you visit it. The icicles in the winter, the fall foliage, the wildflowers, the greenery, it is simply breathtaking year-round.
On the trail, there are many big boulders and logs to climb over and around. The kiddos will love climbing along the trail as they explore the beautiful Kentucky woods. The path itself is surrounded by green KY foliage and will lead around bends and across wooden boardwalks.
Bad Branch Falls
When you hear about falls in Kentucky, you don’t always hear about Bad Branch Falls. This misty waterfall drops sixty feet to the mossy rocks at the bottom of the falls. The enchanting vibe of this waterfall is something that travelers will want to see for themselves.
As charming and mystical as Bad Branch Falls is, you can imagine how it effortlessly walked its way onto this list of best waterfalls in Kentucky.
This trail will have you hike a little over a mile out and then the same on the way back. The trail takes you alongside an old timber hall road that was built in the early 1900s. While the trail is ranked as moderate in difficulty this is due more so to the cliffs and edges off the trail than the difficulty of the hike itself.
Dog Slaughter Falls
With one of the more intriguing names of all the waterfalls in Kentucky, this waterfall gains a lot of attention. (Not just for its name though!)
Among the best waterfalls near Corbin, Kentucky, Dog Slaughter Falls is a work of art in Eastern Kentucky woods. It is surrounded by dense rhododendron and hemlock and is sure to make you stop and stand in awe.
While beautiful any time of the year, it is a sight to behold in the fall months. The trail to reach the waterfall begins off of Forest Service Road 195. There is another trailhead that begins around two and a half miles from KY Junction 90.
If you don’t have much time for waterfall hunting while you are in the Bluegrass State, you can see three in a short amount of time by visiting Cumberland Falls and Eagle Falls while in the Cumberland Falls State Resort Park and then heading roughly ten minutes east and visiting Dog Slaughter Falls.
Broke Leg Falls
This is another one of the waterfalls in Kentucky that has been given an interesting name that you aren’t likely to forget. Broke Leg Falls can be reached via a delightfully short and easy trail.
Only 0.3 miles out and back and only a 19-foot elevation gain, this trail near Wellington, Kentucky is perfect for those who don’t want to hike that far to reach a beautiful waterfall.
It’s also ideal for those looking for waterfalls near Lexington. A little over an hour from Lexington, Broke Leg Falls has a staircase that takes you alongside the waterfall. Many people also walk behind the waterfall as well!
These Kentucky waterfalls are sure to make your travels through the Bluegrass State full of adventure and excitement. If you are planning a Kentucky waterfalls road trip, remember to keep these stunning natural wonders in mind while you are planning your itinerary.
Kentucky isn’t on everyones radar, you may have even heard about some big reasons to stay far away from Kentucky–however, the Bluegrass State is truly a treasure that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Now that you have had a chance to learn about some of the waterfalls in Kentucky, which will you be visiting first?