Noccalula Falls is a stunningly beautiful 90-foot waterfall, which is located at the western end of Lookout Mountain, in Gadsden Alabama.
It is surrounded by both a popular park as well as a recreational area, and because of this, it is one of the most visited natural attractions in the state of Alabama.
You can visit it year around but make sure you check first, as some of the other attractions are closed during the winter.
To actually reach Noccalula Falls from US Interstate 59, you would take exit 188 and follow it to Noccalula Road, which is also old Highway 211.
From there you would turn right and travel over top of the mountain until you see the waterfalls.
There is a footbridge that leads you from the parking area to a viewing point, where you can see this gorgeous waterfall.
The parking area address, if you want to use Google maps or your GPS, is 1600 Noccalula Road in Gadsden, and the actual park entrance is located at 1500 Noccalula Road.
Noccalula Falls has a very unusual name and here is the story of this name and how it came about.
There is a statute of a young Cherokee Girl that was named Noccalula that sits on top of the falls, and it will bring to life her tragic story.
The statue of the young women appears to be falling or actually jumping off of the top of the falls for one very good reason; she did.
Or at least she did according to the legend and folklore that has been told for several generations.
She was the daughter of the Cherokee Chief who lived with her and his people, near these beautiful waterfalls, generations ago.
She had fallen in love with a warrior from her own tribe.
He was a good man and a very good warrior, but he did not have a lot of possessions to offer her father, or her, for that matter.
Because of this, her father did not find him to be a good fit, and instead wanted her to marry a very wealthy chief from a rival tribe.
Then to add insult to injury to the beautiful young daughter of the Chief, he expelled the warrior that she loved from their village.
However, the Legend of Noccalula Falls is not over; in fact, it is just beginning.
Not only was this young woman totally heartbroken, but she was also surrounded by events that were happening so fast it was making her head spin.
A date had been set for the wedding and people in the area and the tribe were making preparations very quickly.
The young Noccalula was dressed in her finest wedding clothes by her relatives on her wedding day, but she was in so much pain, she was totally distraught.
During all of the festivities, she was left alone for just a short period of time.
However, that was all the time she needed, as she made her way to the waterfalls and as shocked and horrified onlookers watched; she jumped
Her life was instantly ended as she hit the swirling and rushing water, rocks, and the mist below.
The suicide of his daughter finally woke the Chief up to the reality and what he had driven his daughter to do.
He thus decreed that the waterfall, no matter what happened, would be known for his daughter, and thus the name Noccalula Falls was given.
It was not long after, that that the white settlers took over the land of the Cherokee’s, and the “trail of tears” soon followed.
However, to this day, Noccalula Falls remains a memorial to the heartbroken young daughter of the Chief.
As the folklore and legends have it, she can still be seen in both the rainbows as well as the mist that are located at the bottom of the waterfalls.
Folklore also says that she is still mourning so strongly for her one true love, that her ghost can be seen in the mist and fog on a moonlit night.
Other than the legend and folklore surrounding these gorgeous waterfalls, there is something else very unique about it.
There are hiking trails that lead down into a ravine at the bottom of the falls, and this gives the visitor the rare opportunity to walk behind the falls.
By doing this, you can “feel” the pure power and energy of Noccalula Falls in its’ full glory.
A pioneer village has also been built near the overlooks and the footbridge, at the top of the waterfalls.
Its main feature is an original 19th century covered bridge, as well as a blacksmith shop, a log cabin, historic school buildings, and several other small buildings.
Noccalula Falls is one of the most stunning and well-done places in the state of Alabama historically.
It definitely needs to go on your “must see” list of Alabama backroads day trips, if you can handle the “ghosts”.
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