10 of the Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Indiana

Thistlethwaite Falls
Kenneth Keifer/Shutterstock.com

Written by Volia Schubiger

Updated: June 25, 2023

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The state of Indiana is known for its vast farmlands and corn production. Naturally, if you were planning your next vacation getaway, Indiana might not be high on your list. However, due to the glaciers that formed Indiana’s geography, the state is blessed with a lot of opportunities to discover Mother Nature’s beauty. From northern to southern Indiana, you will find amazing waterfalls to explore.

The state has more than 22 distinct falls. However, we have selected the top 10 you should see if you’re visiting. Let’s explore the most beautiful waterfalls in Indiana and see why this midwest state should be your next vacation spot!

Infographic of 10 Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Indiana
Indiana has more than 22 waterfalls, including Big Clifty Falls and Thistlethwaite Falls.

1. Cataract Falls

Cataract Falls

Located at the mouth of Mill Creek, Cataract Falls is made up of two waterfalls separated by about a mile.

Cataract Falls
Location:Owen County, IN
Nearby Attractions:Lieber State Recreation Area
Animals to See:Deer, turkeys

Cataract Falls is a waterfall located within the Cataract Falls State Recreation Area and has two parts: Upper and Lower. Although the waterfall is short, it is also quite large and multi-tiered, making it an absolutely impressive sight. The waterfalls flow down into Mill Creek, surrounded by lush foliage that changes color in the autumn months. A small entry fee is required for access to the park, and a short hike across the Mill Creek bridge is required to reach the waterfalls.

2. Big Clifty Falls

Big Clifty Falls

Big Clifty Falls currently has a drop of 60 feet and was once thought to have stood 200 feet tall.

Big Clifty Falls
Location:Madison, IN
Nearby Attractions:Clifty Falls State Park
Animals to See:Woodpeckers, finches

The Big Clifty Falls is one of four waterfalls in Indiana’s Clifty Falls State Park. One of the most impressive waterfalls in the park is Big Clifty Falls, which stands approximately 60 feet tall before crashing down a ledge with one enormous drop at the bottom. The trail to the falls is 3.4 miles round trip on a looping path. There are several falls on this walk, but Big Clifty Falls is the first one you’ll come across.

3. Hoffmann and Tunnel Falls

Hoffmann and Tunnel Falls

Tunnel Falls is just around the corner from a 600-foot-long tunnel, so bring a flashlight if you decide to walk through it!

Hoffman and Tunnel Falls
Location:Madison, IN
Nearby Attractions:Clifty Falls State Park
Animals to See:Songbirds, wild turkey

Hoffman and Tunnel Falls are included in Clifty Falls State Park and the 3.4-mile hike described above. Hikers may complete the loop by using path 5, which travels from Little Clifty Falls to Tunnel and finally to Hoffman Falls. The Tunnel Falls are beautiful and named after a railroad tunnel nearby. Although the cave was left incomplete, it does lead to the park’s biggest waterfall, Tunnel Falls, which is 83 feet high. Over a limestone cliff, Hoffman Falls cascades 78 feet high.

4. Silver Cascade Falls

Silver Cascade Falls

Silver Cascade Falls is located in a deep canyon of Shades State Park in Indiana.

Location:Deer Mill, IN
Nearby Attractions:Shades State Park
Animals to See:Chipmunks, bald eagles

A beautiful wilderness preserve, Shades State Park occupies 3,000 acres in Indiana. Silver Cascades, the preserve’s most stunning feature, offers stunning views and sounds. 

You’ll find Silver Cascades along Sugar Creek, which has another pretty waterfall, Maidenhair Falls, lower down. These are two waterfalls in Indiana that you won’t want to miss. Other noteworthy views include Lover’s Leap, Devil’s Punchbowl, and Canoe Island.

5. McCormick’s Creek Falls

McCormick’s Creek Falls

A spectacular waterfall in Indiana can be found at McCormick’s Creek State Park, Indiana’s oldest state park.

McCormick’s Creek Falls
Location:Spencer, IN
Nearby Attractions:McCormick’s Creek State Park
Animals to See:Opossums, cerulean warblers

The first state park in Indiana, McCormick’s Creek features breathtaking limestone formations and waterfalls. Given its majestic beauty, it is no wonder that McCormick’s Creek Falls is conserved and protected by McCormick’s Creek State Park. Hikers may access the falls via Trail 3 from Saddle Barn. As part of the journey, you can view the famed St. Louis Limestone that surrounds the falls and the river.

6. Thistlethwaite Falls

Thistlethwaite Falls

Thistlethwaite Falls was developed in the 1800s to help power Timothy Thistlethwaite’s sawmill.

Thistlethwaite Falls
Location:Richmond, IN
Nearby Attractions:Springwood Park
Animals to See:Gray Squirrel, Raccoons

Thistlethwaite Falls near Richmond was named one of the greatest waterfalls in Indiana. During the early 1800s, Timothy Thistlethwaite built a new channel on the Whitewater River’s West Fork so that he could provide more waterpower to his neighboring sawmill. Thus, the Thistlewaithe Falls were built! These falls are located near Springwood Park, just south of Waterfall Road. Despite being a manmade waterfall, it is still beautiful and is open to the public.

7. France Park Waterfall

France Park Waterfall

France Park Waterfall is about four miles from Logansport.

France Park Waterfall
Location:Logansport, IN
Nearby Attractions:France Park
Animals to See:Bass, white-tailed deer

A beautiful waterfall can be found in France Park, just west of Logansport along the Wabash River in north-central Indiana. In a beautiful environment that was once used as a quarry, the waterfall cascades over the eroded rock face behind it. Even though swimming isn’t permitted at the waterfall, a neighboring lake has plenty of opportunities to swim.

8. Little Clifty Falls

Little Clifty Falls Indiana

At 60 feet high, Little Clifty Falls isn’t so little.

Little Clifty Falls
Location:Madison, IN
Nearby Attractions:Clifty Falls State Park
Animals to See:Bats, bobcats

In spite of its unusual name, Little Clifty Falls reaches 60 feet in height and can be accessed along the same hiking trail as Big Clifty Falls. Rather than cascading, Little Clifty Falls plunges down the slope. Despite its natural setting of lush forest, it is especially captivating when it freezes solid in the winter, forming columns of ice that are sure to be memorable for anyone that chooses to hike on over.

9. Rock Rest Falls

Rock Rest Falls

Across an expanse of overhanging rock, Rock Rest Falls in Indiana cascades down a cliff into a natural forest amphitheater.

Rock Rest Falls
Location:North Vernon, IN
Nearby Attractions:Cali Nature Preserve
Animals to See:Red-shouldered hawks, hooded warblers

Rock Rest Falls, which falls into a whirling pool beneath a rock ledge in the Cali Nature Preserve north of Vernon, is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Indiana. The falls can be viewed both above and below. It’s also a local favorite, so why not strike up a conversation and ask if they can show you how to get there.

10. Kokiwanee Falls

Kokiwanee Falls

Kokiwanee Falls is fed by the Salamonie River.

Kokiwanee Falls
Location:Wabash County, IN
Nearby Attractions:Salamonie River State Forest
Animals to See:Rabbits, muskrats

A land trust established Kokiwanee Nature Preserve, which includes Kokiwanee Falls. 

The Salamonie River feeds the waterfall and its surrounding falls, and the nature park that surrounds them offers a variety of hiking trails for tourists. Keep in mind that there is an elevation gain of 120 feet and a round-trip distance of roughly one mile and a half to reach the waterfall. So make sure to put on your best walking shoes in order to reach this beautiful waterfall in Indiana. 

Summary of the 10 Most Beautiful Falls in Indiana

Here’s a recap of the 10 wonderful waterfalls located in Indiana that we took a look at.

1Cataract FallsOwen County, IN
2Big Clifty FallsMadison, IN
3Hoffmann and Tunnel FallsMadison, IN
4Silver Cascade FallsDeer Mill, IN
5McCormick’s Creek FallsSpencer, IN
6Thistlethwaite FallsRichmond, IN
7France Park WaterfallLogansport, IN
8Little Clifty FallsMadison, IN
9Rock Rest FallsNorth Vernon, IN
10Kokiwanee FallsWabash County, IN

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About the Author

Volia Schubiger is a freelance copywriter and content editor with a passion and expertise in content creation, branding, and marketing. She has a background in Broadcast Journalism & Political Science from CUNY Brooklyn College. When she's not writing she loves traveling, perusing used book stores, and hanging out with her other half.

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