You may have been to Niagara Falls. Goodness knows, it is a Bucket List item for anyone who loves the sight and sound of crashing water on the rocks below. If you have made the trek to Niagara, good for you! Did you know that there are higher falls and wider waterfall destinations that aren’t Niagara? Come along with Money Examiners as we show you the best in free summer waterfall viewing trips.
Toccoa Falls, Georgia: An easy to walk gravel pathway takes us to the bottom of Toccoa Falls. It’s located on the lovely campus that is Toccoa Falls College. Dramatic greenery frames the tumbling falls. More than a few couples solemnize their marriage here. So, you may get misted by the falls or riced by the wedding guests. Either way, it is worth it. Entry fee: Only $2.00, which is almost free.
Ramsey Cascades: The Great Smokies are full of good waterfalls, but this one is the best. Or, maybe it seems like the best because it isn’t a cinch to get a look. Be prepared for a four-mile hike up steep terrain. Lucky for us the climb is enjoyable all by itself. We’ll pass through an old-growth forest and see tulip trees, silver bells, basswoods, and birches.
Fulmer Falls, Dingman’s Ferry, Pennsylvania: What’s better than one waterfall? Two, of course. What’s better than two waterfalls? C’mon, you’re killin’ me here. Three falls? Right, you are! Wooden bridges lead to Factory Falls. This waterfall is shaped like an “L.” A little further down the trail, Fulmer Falls appears out of nowhere! The trail ends near Deer Leap Falls. This one has viewing areas below and above the falls.
Eternal Flame Falls, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New York: Under normal circumstances, a 30-foot waterfall wouldn’t make a list such as this one. However, the blazing eternal fire inside the base of the falls draws us to this spot. A winter trip to this park offers up dramatic photos of the fire, mingling with falling water and ice.
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, Frankfort, Kentucky: This big showoff is “Niagara of the South,” and for good reason. It’s a 160-foot curtain of falling water and a showpiece for the southern part of the United States. *Money Examiners Tip* Try to visit during a full moon. You will see a phenomenon known as a “moonbow.” The Western Hemisphere has nothing else like it.
Snoqualmie Falls, Snoqualmie, Washington: The Snoqualmie Native American Tribe consider these falls to be the place where humanity began, and who is to say they’re wrong? Today, this 268-foot waterfall is a hydroelectric powerhouse. We mean that literally. The crashing water has provided hydroelectric energy for 120 years. Today, it generates juice for Puget Sound Energy. Snoqualmie Falls became a star in the 1990s when it was prominently featured on David Lynch’s TV series “Twin Peaks”. The beauty of the falls (and the cult-popularity of Twin Peaks) generate (pun intended) a million and a half tourists annually.
Shall we plan a trip to one of these waterfalls? Heck, shall we plan a trip to all of these waterfalls? Now, you’re talking! I’ll bring the two bucks for Toccoa Falls. Money Examiners is generous like that. Why are you waiting around? Go pack.