Indiana is not known for its natural waterfalls, as it is a relatively flat state with no major mountain ranges or significant changes in elevation. However, don’t let anyone tell you that there are no waterfalls in Indiana. In our portfolio of natural spaces, we have several beautiful waterfalls in Indiana that are just a short drive away, mostly in the southern part of Indiana where the terrain is slightly more rugged.
We set off on a self-guided waterfalls tour and have seen some of the most amazing sights right here, close to home. This is definitely one of those activities that you’ll want to consider getting an Indiana State Parks pass for since several of the best waterfalls in Indiana reside in Indiana State Parks. Almost all of the waterfalls are within properties that require gate fees.
If you’re wondering, “Are there hiking trails with waterfalls near me?” check out our Indiana waterfalls guide.
Waterfalls in Indiana
I’ve seen more waterfalls in the past few weeks than I have in my entire life! When I shared photos of our adventures, my friends from out of town couldn’t believe I was sharing the waterfalls of Indiana.
The great thing about doing a waterfalls tour is that there are so many different types to see. Some waterfalls are super tall with gushing waters, some are just a trickle but set against the most beautiful backdrops, some waterfalls are right off the road, and some are hidden at the end of long and unmarked trails. All are breathtaking in their own ways.
Best Time to Visit Waterfalls in Indiana
Waterfalls change moods with the weather. You can return to the same waterfall at different times of the year and see a completely different scene each time. An amazing sight to behold is a partially or completely frozen-over waterfall in the winter. Keep in mind, however, that some may run dry in the summer.
25 N. Monroe Street, Williamsport, IN 47993
Williamsport Falls Features
Williamsport Falls is part of the Wabash River, which runs through the town of Williamsport. This is Indiana’s highest free-falling waterfall, plunging from a sandstone ledge, making it the tallest waterfall in Indiana. The falls can run dry in periods of no rain or snow and are especially beautiful in the spring when the water flow is highest. Guests love visiting Williamsport Falls because they can swim at the base of the waterfall.
The waterfall drops about 90 feet over a series of rocky ledges and boulders, creating a beautiful cascading effect.
Hiking Difficulty to Williamsport Falls
The waterfall can be viewed from the parking lot but to get the full experience put on some water shoes and take the short five-minute hike downhill to the creek. Walk up the creek to the waterfall where you can swim or explore behind the waterfall.
Parking and Restrooms at Williamsport Falls
Parking is right behind the fire station on a gravel road. There are no restrooms but it is very close to restaurants and shops. We stopped at a CVS 10 minutes away.
2605 N. Cataract Road, Spencer, IN 47460
Cataract Falls Features
Cataract Falls is a beautiful waterfall located in Owen County, Indiana, near the town of Spencer. The waterfall is actually two separate falls located a short distance apart from each other on Mill Creek, and together they make up the largest waterfall in Indiana by volume of water. The Upper Falls of Cataract Falls drop 20 feet, while the Lower Falls drop 18 feet. There is also a scenic covered bridge as the backdrop of the Upper Falls.
Hiking Difficulty to Cataract Falls
The falls can be accessed via the Lieber State Recreation Area, which includes hiking trails, picnic areas, and fishing opportunities. The trails wind through a wooded area and over wooden bridges, offering stunning views of the falls from multiple vantage points.
You can view the Upper Falls from the parking lot. The falls create a stepping-stone effect with giant boulders. After taking it in, take the trail along the riverbank to the Lower Falls. The trail is not flat and can be steep and narrow at times, but it is a doable mile with small children. You can also drive between the two falls.
Parking and Restrooms at Cataract Falls
There is a large paved parking lot at the Upper Falls next to a covered bridge picnic area, park, and restrooms.
McCormick’s Creek Falls
250 McCormick’s Creek Park Road, Spencer, IN 47460
McCormick’s Creek Falls Features
McCormick’s Creel Falls is a gorgeous waterfall surrounded by St. Louis Limestone and has a creek to play in. It’s located within McCormick’s Creek State Park with miles of gorgeous trails and just 20 minutes from Cataract Falls (we did both in one day).
The waterfall is a small cascade that drops about 10 feet over a series of rocky ledges and boulders, creating a beautiful, serene view. The falls are best viewed from a footbridge that spans the creek just downstream from the falls.
Hiking Difficulty to McCormick’s Creek Falls
There is a very tall staircase close to the parking area that leads down to the waterfall. Your shoes will get wet crossing on rocks to the other side to get close to the waterfall.
In addition to the falls, the state park is also home to several other natural features, including the limestone cave formation of Wolf Cave.
Parking and Restrooms at McCormick’s Creek Falls
There is a small lot off the main road at the sign for the waterfall. If it is full, there is more parking about 50 yards away. The park has restrooms.
Falls at Salamonie River State Forest
5400 E. Salamonie Forest Road, Largo, IN 46941
Salamonie River State Forest Falls Features
At Salamonie River State Forest, you can visit three waterfalls in very close proximity to one another. There are rock overhangs to view along the way and varying elevations to explore.
The main waterfall in the forest is the Salamonie River Falls, which has about a 15-foot drop over a rocky ledge. The falls are located in a secluded area of the forest and can be accessed via a short hike along a wooded trail. While hiking the trail, you may also come across wildlife in the forested areas, such as deer and wild turkeys.
Hiking Difficulty to Salamonie River Falls
The trails are marked and there are maps, but it is still common for people to get lost. We weren’t sure we were going the right way, but to get down to one waterfall, we had to basically slide down a very steep hill. It was pretty dangerous with a toddler! The Three Falls Trail is .33 miles but it connects to other trails.
Parking and Restrooms at Salamonie River Falls
There are several parking lots with one right next to the Three Falls Trail. There are restrooms in the park.
Kissing Falls in the Kokiwanee Nature Preserve
5825 E 50 S, Largo, IN 46941
Kissing Falls Features
The romantic Kissing Falls is one of three waterfalls within the Kokiwanee Nature Preserve. It’s only a five-minute drive to the Salamonie River State Forest (we visited both in one day). The waterfall drops about 7 feet over a series of rocky ledges and boulders and creates a beautiful sight.
Hiking Difficulty to Kissing Falls
We cheated and parked near the boat ramp lot which opens up right to Kissing Falls (put Kissing Falls into GPS). The climb to the top of the waterfall and to the others can be dangerous, especially when muddy, but if the conditions are right, you get to walk behind the waterfall and on top of it. You could also hike the full (and much more difficult) 1.6-mile Kokiwanee Nature Preserve Trail from the main entrance.
Parking and Restrooms at Kissing Falls
There is a main lot and the boat ramp lot right next to Kissing Falls. Both are small but there is also street parking. Salamonie River State Forest is 5 minutes away and they have restroom facilities in the park.
Strahl Lake Spillway
1405 State Road 46 West, Nashville, IN 47448
Strahl Lake Spillway Features
This Indiana waterfall is created by the spillway of Strahl Lake, which is a man-made lake in peaceful Brown County State Park. Strahl Lake Spillway waterfall drops about 10 feet over rocky ledges and boulders, creating a beautiful spot for guests to watch a tranquil scene. The waterfall is best viewed from the top of the spillway, where visitors can see the water rushing over the rocks and into a small pool below.
Hiking Difficulty to Strahl Lake Spillway
After an initial 50-step climb from the parking lot, the rest of Strahl Lake Trail 6 is a moderately rugged but generally flat three-quarter-mile loop that takes you around Strahl Lake. There is so much to explore in the state park, including the nature center which can be accessed via a connected path halfway through the hike.
Parking and Restrooms at Strahl Lake Spillway Waterfall
There is a parking lot and restrooms next to Strahl Lake Trail 6.
France Park Waterfalls
4505 W US 24, Logansport, IN 46947
France Park Waterfall Features
The France Park waterfall is created by a small stream that flows through the park and tumbles about 20 feet over a wall of exposed bedrock. Located within France Park, which offers a beach, camping, and even scuba diving!
Hiking Difficulty to France Park Waterfall
A 2.2-mile trail takes you past the waterfall as well as rock formations and a beach. There is also a 4-mile trail above the waterfall to explore.
Parking and Restrooms at France Park Waterfall
There is a parking lot, restrooms, and a picnic area close to the falls.
65 Waterfall Road, Richmond, IN 47374
Thistlethwaite Falls Waterfall Features
Thistlethwaite Falls waterfall is known as the Niagra Falls of Indiana or the Richmond, Indiana Waterfall. It’s a man-made waterfall with a large, shallow base, created by the Whitewater River as it flows over rocky ledges and drops about 25 feet. It’s the perfect place for kids to splash around and skip rocks and it’s certainly one of the most fun waterfalls in Indiana.
Hiking Difficulty to Thistlethwaite Falls
There is a short trail that leads to the top of the falls and a stairway that leads to the base. The trail is part of a larger 3.5-mile Whitewater Gorge Trail that passes a bird sanctuary, several bridges, shale vertical cliffs, and a dam.
Parking and Restrooms at Thistlethwaite Falls
There is parking next to the bridge at the top of the falls. There are restrooms in Springwood Park located across the street.
Big Clifty Falls
2221 Clifty Drive, Madison, IN 47250
Big Clifty Falls Waterfall Features
One of four waterfalls in Clifty Falls State Park, Big Clifty Falls is 60 feet of cascading, rolling water that drops down stair-like rock formations. This is one of the best places to see southern Indiana waterfalls.
Hiking Difficulty to Big Clifty Falls
There is a Clifty Falls overlook by Trail 7. You can put together a combination of several different trails depending on what else you want to see, ranging from moderately rugged to very rugged. The best waterfalls in southern Indiana are found at Big Clifty Falls.
Parking and Restrooms at Big Clifty Falls
There is a parking lot and there are restrooms near the Clifty Falls trails.
Silver Cascade Falls
7751 S 890 W, Waveland, IN 47989
Silver Cascade Falls Waterfall Features
Silver Cascade Falls is a picturesque waterfall found along Sugar Creek in Shades State Park among sandstone cliffs and shady ravines. Silver Cascade Falls is one of two notable waterfalls in the State Park, created from Sand Creek and flowing over a 20-foot drop.
Hiking Difficulty to Silver Cascade Falls
The waterfall can be accessed via a short hike along the park’s trail system, which winds through a scenic wooded area and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can view the waterfall from several vantage points along the trail, including a bridge that crosses over the creek below the falls. Trail #1 is .75 miles and travels through the ravine creek bed to the cascades along Sugar Creek near Canoe Island. This trail passes the famous Devil’s Punchbowl.
Parking and Restrooms at Silver Cascade Falls
There is parking and restrooms next to the start of Trail 1.
Hemlock Falls at Hemlock Cliffs
National Forest Rd, English, IN 47118
Hemlock Cliffs Waterfall Features
This is on our list of waterfalls to conquer this year. Our friends have said that the best time to visit is after periods of lots of rain, otherwise, there will be no waterfalls.
Hiking Difficulty for Hemlock Falls
The Hemlock Cliffs offer a one to two-hour hiking experience in the US National Forest. You’ll want to dress to get muddy and wear footwear for slippery and muddy paths.
Parking and Restrooms at Hemlock Cliffs Falls
From Governors Trace, turn right on Hatfield Road and continue to the entrance to Hemlock Cliffs on the left. Drive 2.1 miles to the trailhead. There is no restroom or water available.
Map of Waterfalls in Indiana Near Me
This Indiana waterfalls map will help you find waterfalls in Indiana near you.
What to Bring to the Waterfalls
Start preparing for an Indiana Waterfalls Tour of your own! Always print or screenshot directions and trail maps. Signal strength was not reliable in some areas. Pack snacks, water, sunscreen, water shoes, a change of clothes, towels, wipes, trash bags, and money for parking at the state parks. And don’t forget to bring your dog! As long as they stay on a leash, they are welcome on most of the trails.
*Please keep in mind that bathroom and trail availability is not guaranteed.