East Vail Falls, Colorado

In June 2020, when we were still figuring out what to do with Covid, my husband and I decided to drive from Las Vegas to Michigan. We planned our path to see some waterfalls in nearly every state we travelled through.

East Vail Falls in June 2020

Most waterfalls were planned, but East Vail Falls was a bonus waterfall. As we were driving along I-70, I think I was looking at Google Maps and noticed that there was a waterfall near Vail. In Colorado, I assume there are more waterfalls than are advertised because of the terrain. I read that the waterfall in Vail was relatively simple to get to, but required parking in a special place.

From the I-70 exit, I followed the directions on Google Maps, and it indeed did lead us to East Vail Falls, which was much taller than I expected. While landowners in the area don’t mind walking to view the falls, they do request that there is no parking directly in front of the falls, so we turned around and parked in area along Gore Creek. It’s about 1/4 mile hike (one-way) from that parking area to the falls, and it’s all on paved, flat road.

If you want to get a closer look, you do have to walk uphill, but it’s not required to view the falls. The falls are tall enough that the best views may come from the road, especially if you have a camera lens that can zoom in. If you’re driving along I-70 and need a break, this is definitely a fun stop.

Directions:

  1. This one is pretty easy if you’re along the right path. If you’re driving along I-70 and heading through Vail (really East Vail), take Exit 180.
  2. Turn on Big Horn Road and head south. You will be driving adjacent to Gore Creek.
  3. Look for the Gore Valley Trail parking, which will be near the intersection of Big Horn Road and Bridge Road. You can park here, though there is also a lot of parking nearby. Park somewhere around here, though, and then walk to the falls.
  4. To walk to the falls, cross Gore Creek over Bridge Road.
  5. Turn left onto Lupine Drive and walk to the East Vail Falls trailhead. I don’t include walking closer on the trail to view the falls in the distance below.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: ~200′
Length of Hike: 0.5 miles round-trip

Where in the World is East Vail Falls?

Three Falls, Indiana

In northern Indiana, there is a cluster of waterfalls that can be pretty surprising, since you may not think of waterfalls when we mention Indiana. In Kokiwanee Nature Preserve, there are three waterfalls. In Salamonie State River Forest, I saw two waterfalls, but as I’m searching now, there are apparently three falls, as the trail is now called the Three Falls Trail.

I visited in May 2017, and I think I was in luck as it had rained recently. Some of these falls weren’t very big, so at other times you may not find a whole lot of water flowing. That was the benefit…the consequence was that some of the trails were very muddy. This trail, specifically, was distinctly muddy. The trail is very clear to follow, though I believe it was consistently downhill in the mud. The two waterfalls I viewed required a bit of care to visit because they were rather slippery. When I was recording the waterfalls, I wrote down that the hike was of moderate difficult, I think because of these issues.

One of the falls was flowing very well. The other fall had some water flowing over, but nothing to make it a wildly memorable waterfall. The nice thing about visiting the falls is the other waterfalls in the area. Ross Run Falls is also nearby.

Directions:

  1. From Lagro, Indiana (off of US-24), head south on IN-524.
  2. IN-524 will veer left, and then will veer right. Stay on IN-524.
  3. Turn left onto County Road 100 S, which will lead you into Salamonie River State Forest.
  4. Just over a mile on 100 S, you’ll find the parking area for the Three Falls Trail on the left.

Accessibility: 6/10 (moderate)
Height: 10′ each
Length of Hike: 0.4 miles round-trip

The first waterfall I encountered in Salamonie River State Forest in May 2017

The second waterfall in Salamonie River State Forest

Where in the World is Three Falls?

Aberdulais Falls, Wales

Aberdulais Falls in May 2018

My husband and I visited a number of waterfalls when we visited Wales in May 2018. Some of the falls we found on a strenuous 8 mile hike. Others, like Aberdulais Falls, were rather easy to visit. I think we did pass the parking lot and realized that we needed to turn around.

We stayed in Neath as there were waterfalls nearby and Brecon Beacons National Park isn’t terribly far away. Aberdulais Falls is the closest waterfall to Neath that we visited. Once you find the parking area, there is an entrance fee to enter the park. It is part of the National Trust and there is a nice café and gift shop. There is also a lot of history at Aberdulais Falls, as I believe the waterfall was used as a source of hydroelectric power/milling.

As of writing this, Aberdulais Falls National Trust is temporarily closed. When I head to their website, it mentions being closed for essential maintenance. A reopening date isn’t listed, so keep checking the website and google if you’re interested in visiting.

Directions:

  1. From Swansea or Neath, hop on the A465 heading northeast.
  2. Take the A4109 exit toward Seven Sisters/Blaendulais/Tonna.
  3. At the roundabout, take the third exit onto Main Road/A4109. Aberdulais Falls is on the left.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 13′
Length of Hike: roadside

A wider view of Aberdulais Falls

Where in the World is Aberdulais Falls?

Quakertown Falls, Pennsylvania

Quakertown Falls in April 2015

Right along the border of Pennsylvania and Ohio you can find Quakertown Falls. I visited Quakertown Falls in 2015 and after that it may have been closed for a time. From what I have read, in 2021 there were some improvements made to help with safety, and also to ensure you can legally visit the falls.

I can understand why there might be some concerns. I remember this falls being tricky to photograph because the cliffs/rocks around it are rather steep, and one could easily slip and hurt themselves if they’re not careful. I haven’t been there since these improvements were made, so I can’t comment on if it’s “safer”, but the private property issue has at least become clearer, with the waterfall now being “officially” accessible.

There are 6 easy waterfalls to find in the area around Quakertown Falls. Visit this map I’ve put together to see the other falls I’ve visited in the area: Pennsylvania Waterfalls. There is also another waterfall, Lanterman’s Falls in Youngstown, Ohio, just a few miles away.

Directions:

  1. From New Castle, PA, head west along US-224 toward Ohio.
  2. About 1/2 a mile from the Ohio-Pennsylvania border on the right side of the road, you’ll come to a parking area with room for a few cars.
  3. The falls will be found from that parking area.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 30′
Length of Hike: roadside

Where in the World is Quakertown Falls?

The Sinks, Tennessee

I haven’t posted in a while, and need to start posting more. I am hoping to be able to visit more waterfalls this summer. I haven’t seen many waterfalls in the past few years, partly due to surgeries, partly due to Covid, partly due to laziness!

It’s wild to think that I visited The Sinks six years ago this month! I took a weekend trip into Knoxville, Tennessee, and headed into Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Little River Gorge Road has many waterfalls that are very easy to view from the road, some of them I didn’t even expect to find! I think when looking at the map recently, there were others I could have visited in a short amount of time. Whiteoak Flats Branch Falls and Meigs Falls are both nearby.

Even in February, the drive was beautiful. The weather may have been unseasonably warm, as I remember when I left Michigan, it was very warm for a February day. In Tennessee, I believe that was also the case. Some of the waterfalls on this road don’t have designated parking areas…you just pull onto the side of the road. With The Sinks, there is a designated parking area and there are some trails that start from there. While The Sinks isn’t a tall waterfall, it’s definitely a good stop in an area with many waterfalls.

Directions:

  1. I took US-321 from Knoxville into the park. Once you’re on the Lamar Alexander Parkway, it’s pretty difficult to miss the entrance. There are signs everywhere!
  2. After entering the park, about a mile or so in, you’ll have a choice to take a right toward Cades Cove (which will lead to a number of waterfalls, including Abrams Falls) or a left toward the other park entrance and Gaitlinburg.
  3. Take a left, and drive about 5 miles along the beautiful winding, curvy road, and you will notice a parking area for the Sinks on your right.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 30′
Length of Hike: roadside

The Sinks in February 2016

Where in the World is The Sinks?

Mariaville Falls, Maine

At then end of July, my partner and I flew into Bangor, Maine for a birthday weekend. We landed in Bangor around noon, and I had looked for a waterfall near Bangor if we had time to go waterfall hunting. Mariaville Falls seemed like the easiest option, and it honestly was. It was a relatively short drive from Bangor, and it also wasn’t too far from Bar Harbor, where we were spending the night.

The Mariaville Falls Preserve is taken care of by the Frenchman Bay Conservancy. The drive in is on a very narrow road that has room for one car. Once you’ve reached the parking area, it’s pretty smooth hiking. It is very well taken care of and the trail to the falls is very clear and easy to follow. I believe they were blue markers/paint. From the parking area, you head north and follow the West Branch of the Union River.

There were a few ups-and-downs, but the hike is relatively flat and the 1.8 mile round-trip hike is manageable. This would be a good hike for kids. It wasn’t extremely warm, but the hike through the forest definitely felt cooler than standing in the sun. Even though the waterfall isn’t very tall, it’s definitely a worthwhile hike near Bangor.

Directions (copied from the Frenchman Bay website):

  1. From Route 1A north in Ellsworth (the Bangor Road), go north and turn right onto Mariaville Road at Ellsworth Business Park at Boggy Brook.
  2. Keep bearing right on Mariaville Road (Route 180) for 8.3 miles until you reach the junction of 181 (just past the Beech Hill School) on the right.
  3. Take 181 and go for 9.7 miles to the wooden FBC preserve sign on the left. The access road to the trail begins at the sign. The parking area is located at an old gravel pit near the river.
  4. As I mentioned, follow the trail and stay close to the river.

Accessibility: 9/10 (Easy)

Height: 10′

Length of Hike: 1.8 miles round-trip

Mariaville Falls at the end of July 2021

Where in the World is Mariaville Falls?

Hestavaðsfoss, Iceland

As many European countries open up to vaccinated travelers, I figured it would be worth it to showcase the beauty of the country. Iceland is a stunningly beautiful country, and before Covid-19 appeared, I would hazard to say its beauty was overwhelming the country. For a country of 300,000 people, there were an insane number of visitors. And it’s understandable…in addition to the beauty, it’s easy to get around and communicate in Iceland. Now that travel is popping back up, it could become that way, but I’m hoping Iceland keeps some of its isolated charm.

There is what is referred to as the Golden Triangle in Iceland, which is where most tourists visit. If you can get outside of the Golden Triangle to the north or east of Iceland, you can find some of that isolated charm. Skógafoss is still close enough to Reykjavík that it isn’t wildly isolated, but it is honestly quieter than some of the waterfalls in the Golden Triangle. Skógafoss is a really beautiful waterfall that can be seen from the Ring Road, and the village/town around it is definitely interesting.

When I first visited Iceland in 2012, I didn’t know that there were other waterfalls above Skógafoss. There is a trail (Fimmvorduhals) that continues along the Skóga River for about 25 kilometers or so, and there are many drops along the River. I didn’t go the whole way, but if you hike up the 500 steps to the right of Skógafoss, you’ll get a great view of the Atlantic, but if you continue for just a short distance you’ll stumble upon Hestavaðsfoss.

At 30′ tall or so, Hestavaðsfoss isn’t as mesmerizing as Skógafoss, but it has a completely different “look”, and so is worth the hike, I believe. The climb up the stairs isn’t too bad, honestly, and I’m someone that doesn’t care for heights.

Directions:

  1. Just over 150 kilometers east outside of Reykjavik along the Ring Road (Iceland Road 1), you’ll come to the village of Skogar. If coming from Reykjavik, it will be on the left/north.
  2. There will be a sign indicating the turn to Skogafoss. Turn left onto that road. Head to approved parking areas for Skogafoss.
  3. Once you’ve visited Skogafoss, look for the trail/steps on the right of Skogafoss that lead uphill. Follow that path and then go a bit further from the viewpoint to see Hestavaðsfoss.

Accessibility: 6/10 (Moderate)

Height: 30′

Length of Hike: 0.6 miles round-trip

Hestavaðsfoss in July 2017

Where in the World is Hestavaðsfoss?

Juneau Creek Falls, Alaska

Juneau Creek Falls in June 2021

I had the chance to visit Alaska again this June (inexpensive airline fares, only complicated by limited rental car availability). I took my partner and my sister’s family of five, for a total of 7 people! We started out in Anchorage and then headed south to Girdwood. I was trying to figure out something to do one day, and Juneau Creek Falls popped up as being not that far away.

We packed everyone up and headed to the Resurrection Pass Trail Head along AK-1. It was just under an hour drive from our AirBnB in Girdwood. We parked our van at the parking area, and started along our journey. There were four adult, two teenagers, and a 3 year old!

The hike isn’t terrible, it’s just much longer than advertised. Many websites report this hike as a 7-8 mile hike (round-trip), but it rings in at 9+ miles round-trip. There is some up and down portions, but it then levels off as you approach the falls. It isn’t extremely clear where the trail veers off toward the falls, but luckily, there are multiple paths that will get you to a viewpoint of the falls.

The falls are much larger than they appear. I’m guessing they are about 100′ tall, and maybe 20′ wide. Even standing rather far away, you can feel the spray from the falls. My nephew, who is extremely “brave”, did figure out a path down to the base, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s a very steep and rather large drop-off.

The return hike is somewhat easier because you tend to know how the hike is going to go, and it’s mostly downhill from there. The test was my 3 year old niece. I wondered how she would fare on what turned out to be a 9 mile hike, but she was a champ. That’s a relatively good indication that it isn’t extremely strenuous…maybe just moderate in difficulty due to the length of the hike.

Directions:

  1. AK-1 is a rather long road in Alaska, so you’re looking for the piece on the Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage and Girdwood. You can set your GPS to Cooper Landing or to Resurrection Pass Trailhead South Parking. The parking is further to the west.
  2. Once you reach the parking area, you can start your journey. The path is very well kept, and is relatively quiet, though there were mountain bikers that passed us.
  3. I would recommending downloading maps on your phone so that the phone GPS can guide you to where the falls are. There is a campground north of the falls, and so if you’ve reached the campground, you’ve passed the falls.
  4. The falls will be to the right of the main trail. As I said, there are a few side-trails that lead to the falls, and they are all relatively equal in difficulty/safety.

Accessibility: 6/10 (Moderate)

Height: ~100′

Length of Hike: 9 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Juneau Creek Falls?

Williamsport Falls, Indiana

A waterfall in Indiana
Williamsport Falls in June 2020

I’m getting to write about the last waterfall stop on our road trip from Las Vegas to Michigan a few months after it started. Winter break has now arrived, and so I have some time to write about a few waterfalls before the next semester starts.

Williamsport Falls is definitely a popular waterfall, though it would be even busier if it were near a busy city. It’s found in western Indiana about 1.5 hours northwest of Indianapolis. It’s directly in the town/village/city of Williamsport. Once you find the parking area for the falls, you can view this impressive 90′ pretty quickly from above.

You can also hike down to the base of the falls, which we decided not to do since we had been traveling and hiking for a few days before this, and we just kind of wanted to get home. The view from above was more than adequate, and it was rather busy at the base. This was in early June, though the weather was a bit warm and humid in this area, which encouraged others to find an interesting water source…why wouldn’t you choose a tall waterfall?

Directions:

  1. From I-74, take exit 15 onto US-41 north.
  2. Continue along US-41 north for 15 miles or so.
  3. US-41 does a few twists and turns. In Attica, you will veer/stay left on US-41.
  4. After 2 miles, you’ll turn left onto S River Road. S River Road will turn into S 3rd Street right before you turn onto E Monroe Street.
  5. Turn right onto E Monroe Street and continue for about 0.7 miles. The parking area will be to the right behind some buildings along E Monroe Street. There was very clear signage to find the falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (Easy)

Height: 90′

Length of Hike: roadside

Where in the World is Williamsport Falls?

White Alloe Creek Falls, Missouri

White Branch Falls in early June 2020

I had previously flown into Kansas City to visit some waterfalls in eastern Kansas and outside Kansas City, but I did not see this waterfall pop up in my searches from years ago. As we were traveling cross-country, I searched for Missouri waterfalls, and this falls appeared. I did a bit of research and found out the falls are in the Parkville Nature Sanctuary northwest of Kansas City.

The falls are often referred to as the Parkville Nature Sanctuary waterfall. I have been informed that the falls are on White Alloe Creek, so I decided to refer to them as White Alloe Creek Falls, which is a bit easier to communicate.

When we arrived at the parking area for the nature sanctuary, it was warm and humid. Luckily, the path was mostly shaded, and the hike is relatively short. It’s just under 1 mile round-trip and is on mostly level ground. Even then, we were still sweating a lot. But once you near the waterfall, it definitely cools down a bit. The waterfall isn’t tall, but it is definitely a beautiful waterfall. It’s a pleasant surprise, one that I would definitely direct people to for a day hike in the Kansas City area.

Directions:

  1. From I-635, you want to end up on MO-9, heading northwest.
  2. Continue on MO-9 into Parkville. You will need to turn right to stay on MO-9.
  3. In between 12th Street and 13th Street (on the right), you will find parking for the Parkville Nature Sanctuary.
  4. After parking, you will find signs that direct you the falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (Easy)

Height: 20′

Length of Hike: 0.9 miles round-trip

Where in the World is White Alloe Creek Falls?