The 10 Most Gorgeous Waterfalls in Missouri You Don’t Want To Miss

Written by Volia Nikaci
Published: June 10, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/JimVallee
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Would you believe us if we told you that Missouri has some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country? As far as cities go, Missouri has plenty of them, but it also has a lot of forests. In the surrounding areas, there are cliffs, bluffs, and rocky terrain that offer excellent hiking opportunities. Take a look at our list of the top waterfalls in Missouri if you want to experience the thrill of waterfall chasing.

You won’t believe all of the beauty hiding in this state known for its beautiful blend of midwestern and southern culture. 

1. City Garden Falls

Location:St. Louis, MO
Nearby Attractions:Citygarden Sculpture Park
Animals to See:Raccoons, Squirrels

First up on the list is a more urban option; City Garden Falls. City Garden Falls is a man-made waterfall in St. Louis, Missouri. It is part of the sculpture park located downtown. The waterfall was built near the playground and coupled with a 180-foot pool. Despite being small and barely six feet tall, the falls still make for a pleasant and serene tourist destination.

2. Hodgson Mill Waterfall

Hodgson Mill Waterfall Missouri
The Hodgson Watermill waterfall can be found along Highway 181 at Bryant Creek in Ozark County, close to Sycamore.

Vsmith / Creative Commons – License

Location:Dora, MO
Nearby Attractions:Galloway Creek Nature Park
Animals to See:Muskrat, American Beaver

From Missouri Highway 181, you can easily reach Hodgson Mill Waterfall, which provides an excellent photo opportunity. There is an old water mill beside the falls that dates from the mid-19th century. During the sawmill’s operation, the waterfall assisted the milled timber in moving down the creek. The mill is quite beautiful, and this is a beautiful waterfall in Missouri to visit.

3. Grand Falls

Location:Joplin, MO
Nearby Attractions:Cunningham Park
Animals to See:Catfish, Rainbow Trout

This waterfall in Missouri, located just south of Joplin on Shoal Creek, is truly breathtaking! The falls are located along Shoal Creek. The interesting thing about this waterfall is that natural dams slow down the water as it flows across the smooth surface, then returns to the rough ground and falls down a limestone outcrop. These huge expanses of water then create mesmerizing whirlpools. It’s truly beautiful to see!

4. Mina Sauk Falls

Mina Sauk Falls completely frozen in Winter.
Mina Sauk Falls is the tallest waterfall in Missouri.

Yinan Chen / flickr – License

Location:Middle Brook, MO
Nearby Attractions:Taum Sauk Mountain State Park
Animals to See:Coyote, Black Bear

Taum Sauk Mountain State Park‘s three-mile-long Mina Sauk Falls Loop is a popular trail in Missouri. There are a number of breathtaking views to take in on the three-mile trail. As you climb through scenic glades, you can admire the highest waterfall in Missouri. Mina Sauk Falls is 132 feet tall when it is flowing. However, Mina Sauk only runs during or after a heavy downpour, making it a wet season waterfall.

5. Cotton Rocks Fall

Location:Cedar Creek Township, MO
Nearby Attractions:Roark Valley Road
Animals to See:Snapping Turtle, Yellow-throated Warbler

Cotton Rocks Fall is located near Branson, Missouri. It’s a fascinating town where visitors can enjoy the outdoors or get away from it all by hiking the 2.3-mile Roark Valley Road route through it. Westgate Resorts is the starting point of the path. The hike to the falls begins by following Roark Creek up a few bluffs. Cotton Rock Falls uses a rather unique system to supply its water because many waterfalls rely on rain. During the dry season, Cotton Rocks Fall is equipped with a circulating pump to maintain its flow.

6. Waterfall Park

Location:Independence, MO
Nearby Attractions:Bass Pro Shops
Animals to See:Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch

Manmade waterfalls are located at Waterfall Park in Independence, Missouri. Boulders were used to build the river feature, which is almost 10 feet high. The stream flows over a small bridge, allowing most of the water to pass below. For those interested, there is another minor waterfall that can be found near Merriam, Kansas, created by a natural rock dam.

7. Big Piney Falls

Location:Roby, Missouri
Nearby Attractions:Mark Twain National Forest
Animals to See:Bald Eagle, Gray Bat

The cascade at Big Piney Falls is part of the Piney Falls State Natural Area. There are upper and lower falls at Piney Falls, but the cascade is rather short. As you climb up the trail, you will gain an elevation of 383 feet. The water looks inviting as it lowers into the pool, surrounded by other picturesque features. In addition to the waterfall, you can also see a hollow, cave-like structure behind it.

8. Rocky Waterfall

Location:Eminence, MO
Nearby Attractions:Ozark National Scenic Riverway
Animals to See:Cottontail Rabbit, Eastern Mole

Located in the Ozarks, this waterfall is a popular tourist destination and an important state treasure. A number of interesting geological structures can also be found in this area. This reddish-brown rock that overflows is rhyolite porphyry, produced by volcanic activity a long time ago. While the waterfall can be visited all year round, it’s most beautiful after a heavy downpour.

9. Meramec Falls

Meramec Falls are located on the Meramec River at Meramec State Park.

Kbh3rd / Creative Commons – License

Location:Sullivan, MO
Nearby Attractions:Meramec State Park
Animals to See:Striped Skunk, Cougar

The main attraction of Meramec State Park is a stunning waterfall, making it one of the most beautiful places in Missouri. Water cascading into a pool filled with moss-covered rocks, together with foliage surrounding them, creates a breathtaking scene. In addition, the bridge across the falls adds to its beauty and offers a unique perspective. In addition to the pool of water, there’s also a dam and grain mill ruins.

10. Hickory Canyons

Location:Genevieve, MO
Nearby Attractions:Hickory Canyons Natural Area
Animals to See:White-tailed Deer, Gray Fox

Located in Hickory Canyons Natural Area, this waterfall cascades 40 feet from a steep box canyon. You can enjoy its beauty at any time of year. The beauty of the waterfall can be appreciated best during the rainy season when it is in its full flow. The accompanying lush vegetation the area has in the dry season makes it rather beautiful even when there isn’t much water flowing down the falls.

Chittenango Falls New York
Chittenango Falls State Park's major feature is a beautiful 167-foot waterfall
iStock.com/JimVallee
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About the Author

Volia Nikaci 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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