Noccalula Falls is located in Gadsden, Alabama.
The waterfalls and the legend of the Native American (Creek) princess
Noccalula are the central theme of this quaint little park. Actually,
it's not just one little park, it's several smaller parks that, when
combined, make for one awesome destination. While the legend is tragic
(click the link for more about the legend), and the falls can be
spectacular, the city has made this place much more. I believe the falls
could dry-up, and the park would still draw visitors. It is a historic
and beautiful place that we'd recommend to anyone. Here's a summary of
The campground has many top-notch features such as full hookups
including sewer, 20, 30, and 50 amp electric service, and cable. Many of
the sites are very nice, but some are in need of a little work. We loved
camping there and thoroughly enjoyed the pool. Some sites have grills
and most have a rock fire ring. Firewood and a wheelbarrow is available
at the office Ice can also be purchased there.
Noccalula Falls Public Area (no fee)
The falls themselves are very pretty, but the volume of water can vary
considerably. They appear very similar to Desoto Falls (Desoto State
Park, Fort Payne, AL) and Fall Creek Falls State Park (Pikeville, TN).
There are pavilions, a wedding chapel, walking path with a very pretty
bridge, and a stellar playground, All this is accessible for no charge.
There isn't even a parking fee. As a bonus, there's a Jack's restaurant
on the premises. Great fast food!
Noccalula Falls Park (fee area)
Crossing the old arched bridge that connects the campground and chapel
area to Noccalula Falls park, you will see the small gage train that
circles the various attractions. Proceed on to the main entrance, but
keep that train in mind. The fee to enter the park is very reasonable,
and the "season pass" upgrade deal is just that, a "deal." For just a
few bucks more, you can come back any time. And you will want to come
Once in the park, ride the scale train to the petting zoo. They have a
wide variety of animals, but the coolest is a completely tame deer buck,
antlers and all. He licked the kids hands, which gave them quite the
thrill. There are also alpaca, goats, chickens, bunnies, sheep, and a
lion (no petting).
From there, take a walk through all the historic buildings, a collection
of structures from the 19th and early 20th century. Additionally, there
are some rock formations to explore, and there is a strenuous hike to
the base of the gorge where you can see the waterfalls from a unique
Miniature Golf (fee area)
While visiting Noccalula Falls Park, we highly recommend patronizing the
miniature golf course. It's awesome! We played all 18 holes, and took
full advantage of the "ball retrieval" nets that allowed us to snatch
our stray balls from the numerous water hazards throughout the course.
If you enjoy miniature golf, you will absolutely love this place. On the
negative, this is not included in the park entrance. In fact, it cost us
as much to play golf as it did to experience the rest of the park.
Still, very affordable.
Noccalula Falls is a great place to spend a few days. There is plenty
for the family to do, and the campground is a great place to park your
RV or tent. Next time we visit, we'll check out Gadsden a bit more, but
it looks like a really neat town.
I was recently presenting to a group of Alabama teachers
when I asked for suggestions for family destinations in
their fine state. Numerous educators suggested Noccalula
Falls in Gadsden, so I began researching and making plans
immediately. The legend of Noccalula Falls comes from the
story of a young Creek princess that had been promised to
the prince of a neighboring tribe. But she was in love with
another, so out of desperation and heartbreak, she flung
herself off the falls and to her death 90 feet below. We
enjoy Native American history and legend, but frankly, it
was the rest of the park that got my attention.
Gadsden is a relatively
short drive for us, so it worked out to be a great weekend getaway. We
left mid afternoon on a Friday and arrived at the Noccalula Falls
campground in plenty of time for the kids to enjoy the pool and the walk
to the park's playground and falls. The campsite I selected turned out
to be perfectly level, so setup was a breeze. We got a little rain
through the night, but no storms. Nothing is more relaxing than a light
rain on a camper's roof.
The rain continued until
mid-morning Saturday, so we had a slow lazy start for the day. When the
skies cleared, we headed-out for Noccalula Falls Park. It's a
quarter-mile walk, but easy and extremely scenic. From the campground,
we walked along a pathway that winds through the public access area,
past the wedding chapel, and over a little arched bridge which crosses
the stream feeding the waterfalls. The flow of the water affects the
beauty of the falls, and on this visit there was some water, but nothing
spectacular. If you'd like to see it really roaring,
watch this video.
Past the falls we could see the scale train and some Teepees.
After paying our admission
to the park (which was very reasonable), we boarded the train. It's a
small scale train, and the kids loved it. Our first stop was the
"petting zoo." We love animals, so this was the highlight of the park.
They have a lion that seemed particularly interested in Heath. No, you
can't pet the lion. The actual petting zoo area had alpaca, goats, a big
ram, lambs, a variety of goats, rabbits, and many other cute fuzzies.
Our favorite was a very friendly buck that loved attention and liked to
lick the kids' hands.
We wandered through all the old building and tried to imagine what it
was like to live in one of these old cabins 200 years ago, especially
with no air-conditioning. This part of the park features a very old
covered bridge that crosses a coy pond. The fish were massive, inducing
ooohs and ahhhs from all of us. Just past the impressive collection of
historic buildings is the access to the base of the falls. We decided on
this hot humid day, that the view from the top of the falls would be
just fine. We did explore the cracks and crevices in the limestone
formations. It reminded us of
Rock Town near Lafayette, Georgia.
After lunch at the resident
Jack's restaurant, we walked to the Noccalula Falls miniature golf
course. Most people suggested we drive, but we could see it from where
we were. It was a whopping 1/8 mile. We were disappointed when we
discovered that the cost of miniature golf wasn't included in the park's
admission. Any disappointment quickly vanished when we saw the course.
Very very nice! The course was designed and constructed by a company
that specializes in miniature golf courses. We played all 18 holes, and
had a blast in the meantime.
We concluded our day with a swim, some Frisbee, and a roaring
campfire. I can't recall a better time we've ever had. We decided we
want to come back in the fall, and perhaps at Christmas when the lights
are on. The campground is open year-round, but the park is not. Make
sure to check their website or call for open/close dates and hours. In
the meantime, go somewhere! Do something!
The Richardson Tribe
Amicalola Falls State Park
Beaches of South Walton.
Cataloochee Ski Area
Cedar Creek Park
Charlestown State Park
Chattahoochee Bend State Park
Cherry Hill Park
Chester Frost Park
Choccolocco Mountain Off Road Park
Cloudmont Ski and Golf
Consolidated Gold Mine
Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
Desoto State Park
Doll Mountain Campground
Enota Mountain Retreat
Etowah Indian Mounds
Fall Creek Falls State Park
Florala State Park
Franklin D Roosevelt State Park
Fort Mountain State Park
Georgia Mountain Fairground
Georgia Veterans State Park
Gold n Gem Grubbin'
James H Floyd State park
James Island Park
Jellystone Park- Cave City, KY
John Tanner Park
Lake Sidney Lanier
Little River Canyon Center
Live Oak Landing
Lula Lake Land Trust
Mammoth Cave National Park
Moto Mountain Powersports
New Echota - Cherokee Capitol
Noccalula Falls Park details and pictures
Old Stone Fort Archaeology State Park
Pine Moutain RV
Red Top Mountain State Park
Ridge Ferry Park
Rocky Mountain Recreation Area
Rock Town - Pigeon Mountain
Salt Springs Recreation Area
Stone Mountain Park
Tannehill State Park
Tellus Science Museum
The Southern Museum
Topsail Hill Preserve
Up The Creek RV Camp - Park Details - Pictures
US Space and Rocket Center - Details and Pictures
Vogel State Park
Wild Animal Safari
World of Coke
Zoo Atlanta - Details and Pictures
Special Event - Christmas at the Falls
November 24 through December 23
NEWS! Noccalula Falls is Rated as Alabama's Most Stunning
The website belongs to the city
of Gadsden, and it's attractive enough, but difficult to get
detailed information about the facilities and the
campground. It needs lots more pictures, a map of the entire
park(s), and more information regarding hours and costs.
The campground features over 100 sites, but
not all are in service. They have a handful of pull-through
sites, but most are back-ins. Most sites have full hookups
including water, electric (20/30/50), sewer, and cable
(great reception, many channels). While it's not "state park
quality," the campground is convenient with relatively level
The city of Gadsden recently invested lots of
money building a new walking trail along the rim of the
Noccalula Falls gorge. You can also hike to the base of the
falls from within the park.
Well, I can't seriously endorse kayaking
here. It's a great way to kill yourself.
There is a smallish playground at the
campground, but the one in the public access area of the
park is awesome. The kids wanted to just stay there forever.
|Fishing and Boating
located on the Coosa River where fishing and boating abound.
It is also very near Lake Weiss.
We poked around a little and found some
interesting rocks. There should be an abundance of fossils
and artifacts in this area.
I wish we knew more about the
immediate area, We will learn! In the meantime, within a
reasonable drive you will find
Desoto State Park,
Creek Park, Lake Wyse,
Little River Canyon Center,
and much more...
Note: We rate
only the amenities we have personally reviewed.
No financial consideration or favor has been received for
listing in PB&J Adventures' website. We are in no way
affiliated with this facility or any other facility we
review. Any paid advertising seen on this site was arranged
after the destination was reviewed. You can trust the
reviews to be unbiased.