St. Louis Canyon Falls, Illinois

Starved Rock State Park is a wonderful state park to see some fascinating geological features and some amazing waterfalls if you show up at the right time! I’ve posted about LaSalle Canyon Falls and Wildcat Canyon Falls already.

St. Louis Canyon Falls in April 2012

There are many parking areas in the park that can lead to different canyons. St. Louis Canyon is unique in that it’s somewhat on the edge of the park. There’s a designated parking area for St. Louis Canyon off of IL-178. Once you park, you hike west and you’ll come to St. Louis Canyon Falls. You can continue on the Bluff Trail to the main parking area, which then leads to an extensive trail system which parallels the Illinois River.

The important thing to make your visit worthwhile. Visit in spring or after a good rainfall. The waterfalls in these canyons disappear after it gets warmer and drier. The area is still amazing, but if you’re looking for waterfalls, timing is important.

Directions:

  1. There are different parking areas in Starved Rock State Park. To most quickly access St. Louis Canyon Falls, the parking are is found directly off of IL-178 south of North Utica. If you reach the Grand Bear Resort, you’ve gone too far. The parking area will be on the left if you’re headed south.
  2. From the parking area, follow the trail into St. Louis Canyon.

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 40′
Length of Hike: 0.8 miles round-trip

Where in the World is St. Louis Canyon Falls?

Wahconah Falls, Massachusetts

Wahconah Falls is not a waterfall that triggers any significant memories. I’ve looked at photos and they don’t click. That might sound odd to mention that, but sometimes I find it useful. I remember the unique, unusual, or difficult waterfalls. Viewing Wahconah Falls wasn’t difficult, since the exhausting hikes, are well…exhausting.

Wahconah Falls in July 2015

Wahconah Falls isn’t far outside Pittsfield, which is in the far west of Massachusetts in the Berkshires. It’s easily accessed off of a main road and there is a designated parking area for the state park. I don’t think there was any cost to view the falls. Once you’re parked, the hike to the falls is short and sweet. I don’t think I hung around long.

I’ve found in New England that some of the waterfalls in July and August don’t flow much, but Wahconah Falls was flowing well in July 2015. In the spring as the snow is melting, you’re likely to be greeted with a more intense waterfall.

Directions:

  1. If you start from Pittsfield, start on Route 9 heading out of the city east. It’s somewhat confusing…
  2. Route 9 is still route 9, but Route 8 will merge into at some point, so it will be Route 8 and 9…
  3. Dalton is to the east of Pittsfield, once you pass through Dalton, Route 8 and 9 split again. Stay on Route 9 heading northeast. Oddly enough, Route 9 will also be Route 8A.
  4. From the split of 8 and 9, it will be just under 2.5 miles to Wahconah Falls Road.
  5. Turn right onto Wahconah Falls Road and you will come to the parking area for the falls.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 40′
Length of Hike: 0.4 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Wahconah Falls?

Seneca Falls, Pennsylvania

I’ve published over 800 posts about waterfalls, and this past year I realized that I probably should have combined some of the waterfalls together as they can be viewed together. It becomes a bit tedious to write about these when I come back to some waterfalls 10 or 12 years later, and I could have just combined some into one.

The waterfalls in Ricketts Glen are tricky, though. There’s a trail and it leads you past 20+ waterfalls. So I now have written about a significant number of individual waterfalls in Ricketts Glen. I guess that indicates that Ricketts Glen is a spectacular place to visit to see waterfalls. There are only a few other locations…Silver Falls State Park in Oregon pops into my head…where you can see so many waterfalls at once.

So here’s Seneca Falls. It’s really impressive that so many different types/shapes of waterfalls can be found in Ricketts Glen State Park. This one isn’t tall, but it has two distinct drops: a cascade and then a wide plunge falls. So if you haven’t visited Ricketts Glen, head out there. Bring bug/tick spray since this seems to be where I’ve run into most of the ticks (in eastern Pennsylvania).

Directions:

  1. From your starting point, get to the area around Red Rock, PA.
  2. Turn onto PA-487, heading north. Go to the entrance to Ricketts Glen and turn right into the entrance.
  3. Follow the signs to the Falls Trail. You can access the Falls Trail using the Lake Rose parking area or Beach Lot #2 parking area, though you’ll be starting on different creeks. Start your hike on the loop by connecting into the Falls Trail.

Check out my note from Sheldon Reynolds Falls about precautions to take in Ricketts Glen.

Accessibility: 5/10 (moderate)
Height: 12′
Length of Hike: 4 miles round-trip

Seneca Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Seneca Falls?

Nelligan Creek Falls, Michigan

This past week, my husband and I headed “up” to the Upper Peninsula in what is usually a yearly trek. I’ve visited many of the larger waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula, so I’ll admit I’ve started searching for some of the lesser known waterfalls. Some of the waterfalls that are reported in Michigan are smaller, so I’m not going to hike miles to see these falls. So they have to fall into the category of easy to hike to.

The upper portion of Nelligan Creek Falls in June 2022

Nelligan Creek Falls falls into the category of easy to get to. No hike is required as the waterfall is right off the road. Honestly, the falls aren’t anything spectacular. The drop is about 6′, but it’s difficult to see both pieces of the falls. I was more impressed with the drive to the falls. It’s on a dirt road, but easy to drive. Nelligan Creek is stunningly beautiful as you drive up the road. The land it passes through is flat for the first half-mile that you can see. Then it disappears into the forest and then reappears as a waterfall!

Directions:

  1. On MI-28/US-41, Nelligan Lake Road is what you’ll be searching for. If you’re headed west, it’s just past the town of Michigamme. There is a sign for Craig Lake State Park at the end of the road.
  2. If headed west, you’ll turn right onto Nelligan Lake Road. You’ll then drive 0.9 miles to the falls.
  3. The falls are on the right and there will be a small pull-off. There is no hike required.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 6′
Length of Hike: roadside

Where in the World is Nelligan Creek Falls?

Minneopa Falls, Minnesota

What some waterfalls look like really depends on the time of year. There are some waterfalls you should only visit in the spring, and then there are other waterfalls that have a more reliable flow year-round. I’m not sure if Minneopa Falls “falls” into the spring category, but based on what I saw in October 2011, I would suggest visiting in late spring (since it’s Minnesota)!

There was very little water flowing over the falls, so little that it’s hard to tell in pictures that there is water. It would be a very impressive waterfall when water is abundant. A similar issue was to be had at Minnemishinona Falls nearby. Luckily, the state park that the falls is found is really beautiful and calm. I had a great time exploring the prairies and capturing the blue skies. There is a “Bison Drive” across the road from the falls trail.

Directions:

  1. In Mankato, head west on US-169 out of the city.
  2. You will come to a turn onto MN-69/Gadwall Road. Turn on MN-69 and drive to the entrance of the state park.
  3. The falls trail will be to the south of Gadwall Road, so you will turn left and enter the park. There are different portions of the park, so these directions are for the waterfall.
  4. There are parking areas and you want to find the one furthest east, as that will be closest to the Falls Trail. The hike to the falls is very quick.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 39′
Length of Hike: 0.1 miles round-trip

Minneopa Falls in October 2011 with barely any water flowing

Where in the World is Minneopa Falls?

Giant’s Bathtub Falls, Illinois

In Matthiessen State Park, there are a few interesting waterfalls if you show up at the right time. With many of these falls and the ones in Starved Rock State Park nearby, you have to show up after a good rainfall. The two bigger waterfalls in the park are Lake Falls and Cascade Falls. The smaller of the falls is the most interestingly named…Giant’s Bathtub Falls. I wish more waterfalls were creatively named as such.

Giant’s Bathtub Falls isn’t very tall, but the benefit is you get to stumble upon it while looking for the other falls. I visited in April 2012, and I remember it being unseasonably warm. It was still very enjoyable to visit Matthiessen and Starved Rock state parks. There should be enough interesting stops between the two parks to make it worth a visit!

Directions:

  1. Exit I-80 and head south along IL-178 toward North Utica (a small town).
  2. Keep heading south on IL-178 past the entrance to Starved Rock State Park. The entrance to Matthiessen State Park will be on your left (if you’re heading south).
  3. Head to the parking area, and then start hiking in the Dells Area. As mentioned above, the trail system is a little bit odd and complex, so just try and wander around. It’s pretty difficult to get completely lost.

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 8′
Length of Hike: 1.2 miles round-trip

Giant’s Bathtub Falls in April 2012

Where in the World is Giant’s Bathtub Falls?

Hickory Nut Falls, North Carolina

I thought I would have written about Hickory Nut Falls right after visiting, but I guess I haven’t, and now I get to write about the falls. North Carolina has a LOT of waterfalls especially in the western portion in the Appalachians. As you go further east, there are fewer and fewer waterfalls as the land doesn’t change in elevation as much.

Hickory Nut Falls in March 2017

Hickory Nut Falls isn’t necessarily at the edge of the waterfalls, but it is one of those that seems a bit afar from the waterfall hotspots (though after looking at Google Maps, there are other falls in the area). So I made sure to head to Hickory Nut Falls before turning to the west to see the other falls. Why visit Hickory Nut Falls? You’d likely be visiting if you’re checking out Chimney Rock State Park. Chimney Rock is a 315′ granite monolith that “stands out”. Interestingly, there is a waterfall here too, and it’s rather tall.

It is reported that Hickory Nut Falls is a 351′ drop. It’s not a 351′ plunge waterfall, but instead a horsetail falls that gradually falls. There is a hike to get to the falls and it isn’t difficult. I remember getting to the falls and realizing because the drop is so large, I don’t know if you can really get a sense of how big the drop is. I don’t know if you can see all of the falls, either. There wasn’t much water flowing when I visited…enough so that I could tell there was a waterfall, though after a good rainfall might be the best time to visit.

Directions:

  1. Chimney Rock State Park is found off of US ALT-74, which is an oddly numbered road, as US-64 switches to ALT-74 and then switches back to US-64. The falls and park are near Lake Lure.
  2. If you’re headed west, you will turn left from US-ALT-74 onto Chimney Rock Park Road and you’ll cross the Broad River.
  3. You’ll then continue uphill toward the parking area for Chimney Rock. Once you park, you can head up to Chimney Rock. You can then also head along the Hickory Nut Falls Trail.

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 351′
Length of Hike: 1.4 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Hickory Nut Falls?

Rifle Falls, Colorado

In June, I went on a road trip (social distancing style) from Las Vegas to Michigan. The first waterfall stop on the trip was Lower Calf Creek Falls. The next stop was in Colorado. The waterfalls we visited had to be easy to get to from the main freeways and also had to be shorter hikes. Rifle Falls fits into both of those categories.

From the parking area, it was an easy hike to Rifle Falls, a fascinating waterfall. A sign near the falls says the waterfall likely formed when minerals built up around a beaver dam (or something of that sort). I don’t know if I’ve stopped at any other falls that may have been formed that way. At the falls, there are multiple different viewpoints. It is one of those that definitely changes as you’re looking at it from the sides versus head-on, and that makes it fun to photograph. It’s definitely a waterfall that’s worth a stop if you’re along I-70 in Colorado.

Directions:

  1. We were headed east through Colorado along I-70 and took exit 87 before Rifle.
  2. We then turned left onto US-6, which follows I-70 into Rifle. Before entering Rifle, we turned left onto CO-13.
  3. CO-13 skirts Rifle and then just north of Rifle, we turned right onto CO-325 heading north.
  4. Rifle Falls State Park is on CO-325, but you veer right and then left before arriving. When you reach the Rifle Gap Reservoir, you veer right, and then when CO-325 splits with Road 226, you veer left again. It’s pretty hard to miss Rifle Falls State Park if you stay on CO-325.
  5. From the parking area, you head north to see Rifle Falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (Easy)

Height: 70′

Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

Rifle Falls in June 2020

Mt. Magazine Cascades, Arkansas

Mt Magazine Cascades Arkansas (7)

Mount Magazine Cascades in March 2011

My experience with Mount Magazine was pretty interesting. I have to admit that I’m not even sure how I ended up at Mt Magazine in the first place. Most of the waterfalls in Arkansas are in the north of the state. Mt Magazine Cascades (and Falls) are closer to the center of the state (though still a bit west). I wasn’t having much luck finding impressive waterfalls further north, so maybe I decided to head to somewhere more unconventional…

Mount Magazine is the tallest point in the state, so it’s not surprising that this could lead to waterfalls. The drive to the state park is up a winding road and it was beautiful. It was rather foggy, though. It made it a bit difficult to see where the falls might be.

I do remember wandering around for a bit. I don’t know if I officially found the Cascades or the Falls found in the “Arkansas Waterfall Guidebook” by Tim Ernst. I believe I led myself astray for a bit, and then somehow stumbled upon some falling water. (I do think I found the cascades, though they weren’t as photogenic as I expected…but that was due to different water levels.) After not much other luck, I called the search awash. It was luckier than some of the other searches I was having in Arkansas, a few of which I just completely gave up.

Directions:

  1. Head to Mount Magazine State Park. You’ll follow AR-309 (Mount Magazine Scenic Byway) to get there.
  2. Turn onto Mount Magazine Road. This will lead you up to the circular road around the summit.
  3. At the Brown Springs Picnic area, follow the trail to the Cascades. (I don’t remember this part very much.)

Accessibility: 8/10 (Easy/Moderate)
Height: ~100′
Length of Hike: 1 mile round-trip

Where in the World is Mount Magazine Cascades?

Lucifer Falls, New York

It’s been nine years since I visited Lucifer Falls (along with a number of other waterfalls in Upstate New York). It was an interesting time to visit the region. As you can tell, all of the snow had melted by that time in early May, but a number of the state parks in the area weren’t at full “capacity”. At Watkins Glen State Park, only a portion of the trail was open as they checked for issues with the trails. Similarly, I think only a portion of the trails at Robert H Treman State Park (where Lucifer Falls is found) were fully open. So while you’ll be able to visit many of the falls in early May, a few may still be inaccessible.

In Ithaca, there are so many impressive waterfalls: Taughannock FallsIthaca Falls, New York, all of the Buttermilk Falls, etc. Lucifer Falls is another one to add to the list. At 115′ tall and found in another beautiful gorge, it’s a truly impressive waterfall. You can  get the sense that at higher flow than what is in the picture below, the waterfall is even wider. You can also get closer to the falls at the right time of year, though I think that was part of the trail that had limited/closed access (or I just decided not to go further since you get a fairly good view of the falls from the viewpoint).

I don’t remember the hike to the falls being wildly difficult, though it was nine years ago. (That’s the downside of writing about a waterfall so long after.) There are a lot of stairs as you get closer to the falls, as you might be able to notice in the picture. The trail does continue on from one entrance to the other entrance. Near the entrance that I would recommend, you’ll also find the smaller Old Mill Falls.

Directions:

  1. Turn onto NY-327 W from NY-13.
  2. Take the road 2.5 miles to the Upper (second) entrance. You’ll have to take a sharp left turn to enter the park.
  3. Drive down to the parking lot. From the parking lot, follow the trail to Lucifer Falls. You’ll be heading east along this trail.

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 115′
Length of Hike: 0.5 miles round-trip (from the Upper Parking Lot)

DSC_0263

Lucifer Falls in May 2009