Waterfalls near Louisville

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Waterfalls are all over the Louisville area. Hike trails to find beautiful waterfalls for exploring and playing with your kids. 

waterfalls around Louisville

There are waterfalls in Louisville and in the areas around us. Explore these with your family for an active local adventure. 

We love exploring waterfalls around Louisville. This summer, we have made a commitment to hike and find a waterfall each week. This activity earns us tons of steps for exercise and we learn things along the way. We look for animal tracks, critters hidden under rocks, in water, or in the trees, and we learn about the history of the places we explore. 

During summer 2020, families are seeking new idea for things to do and waterfalls in Louisville have become really popular. Remember, social distancing recommendations are still in place to maintain social distance on the trails and at the waterfalls.

Additionally, many of these waterfalls around Louisville have markers for areas that are off-limits because they are not safe to explore beyond those points. Please adhere to the posted regulations at each location and be safe while having fun!

Adhere to all signage regarding property rules and guidelines as well as Project WIN water advisories

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Let’s explore waterfalls around Louisville

Tioga Falls – Near Fort Knox, this is great for a day trip. You can picnic along the trail, near the waterfall, or at the trail entrance. It’s also near Bridges to the Past so you can explore that trail as well if you are feeling really active! This area is very busy on summer weekends, we recommend going on a weekday if you can. It is a two mile walk (roundtrip) with many steep/rocky sections. Prepare to get wet at the waterfalls for the full experience!

Tioga Falls

Tioga Falls

Cove Springs – Cove Springs is in Frankfort, KY, so definitely doable for a day trip to find waterfalls near Louisville. It has three miles of trails and waterfalls! You can picnic there, and there are bathrooms. Along the way, there’s learning opportunities with interpretive signage. 

waterfalls near Louisville

Cove Spring

Buttermilk Falls – Located in Brandenburg, KY, Buttermilk Falls Park has a 2.5 mile-long trail with many streams (Buttermilk Falls Trail). There’s also a shorter trail (Emmert Falls Primitive Trail) that leads to Emmert Falls (off-shoot trail, unpaved). People have given tips online and one is that it is really kid friendly and even stroller friendly since most is paved or gravel.  

Buttermilk Falls

Emmert Waterfall at Buttermilk Falls

Nine Penny Branch Nature Preserve – Here’s a story about it that you might find helpful. This nature preserve is in Charlestown, IN on Tunnel Mill Road. The trail is a 1 mile loop with many small waterfalls. Click here for a map and directions. 

Nine Penny Branch

Clifty Falls – This waterfall near Louisville makes for a fantastic day trip to Madison, IN. Here is a map so you can plan your visit because there are many trails – you should probably decide on a plan before you go! There are four falls on the map so you can choose your trails and parking accordingly. Hoffman Falls is the highest and it is on trail 4.  

Clifty Falls State Park

Clifty Falls State Park

Fairmont Falls – This waterfall is in Jefferson Memorial Forest in Fairmont Falls Park right in Louisville, KY. Click here for a map. Limited access so contact the park before heading out. 

Blackacre – Blackacre is in Jeffersontown, KY ready for family fun. People think of the animals at Blackacre and that is for sure fun for families. But, they also have trails. If you enter the Waterfall trail near the nature center, you will be closest to the waterfalls. I suggest hiking other trails and getting a bit tired or hot, then making your way to the waterfalls on the eastern side of the trails and hanging out there for a bit. You will be able to exit close to the waterfalls by the nature center and Sunrise Meadow area.  

waterfalls near louisville

Blackacre

Blackacre

Karns Natural History TrailsHorseshoe Falls and Buddha’s Belly in Indiana. Great photo opportunities and exploring. Hanover College has some more information on it and here is a map

Harrods Creek – This park is nestled in Prospect, KY and has waterfalls to see that are small waterfalls.  

Harrods Creek Park

Saunders Springs – Hidden just past Fort Knox, we discovered Saunders Springs Nature Preserve. It is packed full of nature trails, a beautiful fishing lake teaming with turtles, and a pretty waterfall near Tranquility Trail. A map of the Preserve is located near the Welcome Center to guide you in your travels and there are picnic tables and benches scattered around for picnicking.

waterfalls near Louisville

Saunders Springs

Big Rock Park in Cherokee Park is a fun spot for families to play in the water and has small rushing waterfalls (not a big waterfall to get under). But, it has great swimming hole and some rope swings. Bring small fishing nets to try and catch tiny fish! Here’s a map, see Big Rock all the way on the bottom right and this map via Google

Big Rock Park

Big Rock Park


If you want to explore further, check out this Facebook group that’s all about waterfalls and the natural beauty of Kentucky. 

There’s also a fantastic map of SO MANY waterfalls around Kentucky. Here’s the link

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We have many ideas for summer fun! Click here for more. 

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