While the west coast – especially the Pacific Northwest – might be known for its waterfalls, the eastern part of the country has plenty to offer as well. Here are 10 beautiful waterfalls you won’t want to miss!
1. Niagara Falls
No list talking about waterfalls on the east coast would be complete without mentioning Niagara Falls! Located in the northern part of New York State, on the Canadian-American border, Niagara Falls is one of the most iconic and well-known waterfalls.
2. Cumberland Falls
If you’re willing to head a little more inland, Cumberland Falls is worth a visit! Located in Kentucky, Cumberland Falls cascades almost 70′ into the Cumberland River. Sometimes called the “Little Niagara”, the falls are one of the few places in the world you can possibly see a naturally occurring “moonbow” as well!
3. Fall Creek Falls
One of the tallest waterfalls in the eastern United States, you won’t want to miss out on seeing this stunning natural wonder! Part of Fall Creek Falls State Park, situated in Tennessee, you can also look forward to checking out several hiking trails in the park as well!
4. Mingo Falls
Head just outside of Great Smoky National Park to see Mingo Falls! At 120’, Mingo Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in the Appalachian Mountains. You can view the falls via a short 0.4-mile hike. Despite the hike’s short distance, it is listed as moderate due to terrain, so you’ll want to make sure to bring some sturdy shoes.
5. Overall Run Falls
If you’re looking for a hidden gem that’s a bit off the beaten path, check out Overall Run Falls. This waterfall requires a bit of a hike to get to, but is well worth it! The falls are located near Bentonville, Virginia, in Shenandoah National Park. You can view the falls via the 6.5-mile roundtrip Overall Run Trail. The route to the falls is almost as scenic as the falls themselves, winding through beautiful forests. The water flow does vary depending on rainfall, and the nonsummer months are often the best to go see the falls to ensure you will get to see them flowing.
6. Burgess Falls
Burgess Falls State Park – as the name implies – is home to the gorgeous Burgess Falls. Cascading almost 140 feet and showcased by sheer limestone walls, these falls are the final of a series of three falls. The falls offer gorgeous scenic views as well as a great opportunity for photos!
7. Buttermilk Falls
While New York may be synonymous with a bustling city, more rural parts of the state are home to several natural wonders as well as memorable scenery. Head over to Ithaca, New York, for example, to check out Buttermilk Falls! In addition to viewing the waterfall, you can also explore the surrounding state park, home to natural swimming pools and hiking trails.
8. Taughannock Falls
These towering falls are actually taller than Niagara Falls! Located in Ulysses, New York, the falls are viewable from both gorge and rim trails. The surrounding area is also home to popular spots for hiking, boating, and camping.
9. Rainbow Falls
Head over to Great Smoky Mountain to see Rainbow Falls! This is another one that does require a hike, so you’ll want to make sure to schedule in enough time and bring proper shoes if you are heading out to see these falls. They are situated at the end of a 5.4-mile round trip hike. The hike is listed as moderate, however, there are steeper sections that may push it more towards the “difficult” territory. The hike is worth it though to see these sparkling falls!
10. Kaaterskill Falls
Another gorgeous waterfall located in New York State, Kaaterskill Falls is nestled in the Catskills Mountains. The falls consist of two tiers, and together cascade over 260’. You can view the Kaaterskill falls for yourself via viewing platform and short – 1.4 mile – hike. Parking at the falls is currently limited, however, as some of the normal lots are closed due to COVID-19. Going on a weekday, or early in the morning, if possible, is a great way to beat the crowds.