Overall Rating: 5/5 stars
Swim Rating: Swimming Not Allowed
Hike Time/Length: Negligible
Hike Difficulty: Easy
Fee: None to visit falls, but there is a fee to go into the ‘park’ (includes petting zoo and train, more for little kids than anything).
Noccolula Falls is one of the best waterfalls to visit in the state of Alabama, though it is rain dependent. The area itself is better to visit just for the history and memorials in the park than even seeing the waterfall itself. If you do some research online, there are plenty of videos from 2015 where there were heavy rains and a decent portion of the park was flooded; the falls looks fantastic but also slightly terrifying. The picture above was taken back in 2012; as long as there isn’t a drought, this is about the typical flow of the falls.
You’ll hear different opinions from different people on how great (or not) the falls is, especially with the recent (Sept. 2016) drought in the area, but this is one of my absolute favorite waterfalls. The waterfall is named after a Cherokee Princess named Noccolula. You can find more about the legend here. Around the falls are a few memorials; there is also a trail to the right side of the falls that follows down further along the creek that the falls feed into.
The address for this park is 1500 Noccolula Rd in Gadsden, AL. Much to many adventurers chagrin, swimming is forbidden. The current here is very strong and very dangerous. I cannot stress enough, and could I never condone doing the opposite, don’t even try to swim here. There is also no safe way to get under the falls, so please do not try that either. It’s just not worth it, no matter if in flooding stage or regular flow.
Have fun and be safe!