5 Reasons You Need To Visit Noccalula Falls, Alabama

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We decided to drive 9 hours to get to Central Alabama to see our grandchildren. My son-in-law and daughter made several trips to waterfalls in the area and wanted to show us, Noccalula Falls, while we were in Alabama. They considered it the best falls in the area.

The Noccalula Falls was once known as the Black Creek Falls based on the Legend of Noccalula, the daughter of an Indian Chief. She was known for her beauty and character. Noccalula fell in love with a young brave from her own tribe but her father wanted to marry her off to a wealthy and powerful chief from a neighboring tribe. This way they could exchange for items that the tribe needed.

Book Top Attractions Below

The beautiful princess ended her life quietly on the falls on her wedding day while the tribe was enjoying the great feast. Her father, who was remorseful, named the cascade after her.

What Noccalula Falls Has To Offer Families

We head out to Noccalula Falls, which is a part of the Black Creek Ravine. I was impressed with the park for several reasons! The Falls are about 90 feet high. You can walk for about 1.5 miles down to the gorge and look up at the falls.

There is plenty to see and do in Noccalula Falls. You can spend the whole day. The train makes it easy to get around, and with the playground and petting zoo, the kids will remain occupied. There is plenty of shade for doing the hotter summer months.

They offer camping, fly fishing, cabin rentals, venue rentals, botanical gardens and much more! See our top 5 favorite things to do at Noccalula Falls below!

Train at Noccalula Falls

Our Top 5 Reasons To Visit Noccalula Falls

  1. Take the train! There are trails leading all over the park. But my daughter was almost 8 months pregnant when we took our trip. The train is great if you have little ones or if you want to limit your walking. Take a ride on the authentic Huntington miniature train!
  2. Kids love the petting zoo! They actually have a lion there which if she is out you are pretty close up! We saw all kinds of wildlife in the animal area. Some were native to Alabama but most were not.
  3. Playground, picnic, and camp. The park offers so much and at reasonable prices. The campground runs along the Black Gorge with tent, cabin or RV hookups.
  4. Mini Golf! For a separate fee, you can also play minigolf with the kids.
  5. Pioneer Village is great for kids to pretend they are living in Pioneer times! There are various outbuildings placed around the property in the Pioneer Village for kids to explore along with the tools they used to live.

Getting Around Noccalula Falls

Waiting for the train at Noccalula Falls

Train stations are located throughout the property so you can pick up the train rather than walk to the next display. There are some hilly areas but I would consider this an easy walking experience for both little kids and older adults. The trails were mostly asphalt and nicely maintained grounds made it a pleasant experience.

The playground at Noccalula Falls
Noccalula Falls
Covered bridge @ Noccalula Falls

Pioneer Village at the Falls

Pioneer Land at Noccalula Falls
Wilson Building in Pioneer Village at Noccalula Falls
Pioneer Village in Noccalula Falls

The bonus is every holiday season the park is covered in holiday lights! You can see they were starting to put up the lights in some of my pictures! 

Fall Decorations @Noccalula Falls Alabama
The gardens at Noccalula Falls, Alabama

Petting Zoo at Noccalula Falls

Llamma at the Petting Zoo Noccalula Falls
Raccoon at Noccalula Falls Petting Zoo
Noccalula Falls, Alabama
Gator Noccalula Falls Alabama
Macaws at Noccalula Falls Alabama Petting Zoo
Reptiles at Noccalula Falls Alabama Petting Zoo
Noccalula Falls Alabama Petting Zoo “Sheila”
Noccalula Falls Alabama Petting Zoo
Lion at Noccalula Falls Alabama Petting Zoo
Entrance at Noccalula Falls Alabama Petting Zoo

Location and Hours Information


Park Admission

(Regular season: March – October, Weekends on in November. Closed January and February.)

(Prices may vary for special events.)


$  6.00 per visit

$ 15.00/person Season Pass

Senior Adults / Military

$  4.00 per visit

$ 10.00/person Season Pass

Children (ages 4-12)

$  4.00 per visit

$ 10.00/person Season Pass

Children 3 and under



Book Haunted Night Walking Tours Below

Let us know your favorite falls in Alabama in the comments!

We did not stay near the falls. We opted, instead to stay on Lay Lake so we were more centrally located to other events we had going on in Alabama. This is a great recreational area to stay in when visiting Central Alabama. We were able to score a great home on Lay Lake on VRBO.

Lay Lake Alabama
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90 responses to “5 Reasons You Need To Visit Noccalula Falls, Alabama”

  1. heather Avatar

    What a beautiful part of Alabama. I have only been to Huntsville and was stuck in a hotel for most of it. I love the waterfall and the zoo. The lion reminds me of Bauer when he is sleeping. LOL!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Haha … Bauer must be so handsome!

  2. Cindy Moore Avatar
    Cindy Moore

    Looks like a marvelous place to explore and have fun!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      It really is! I hope you enjoy it if you ever make it there!

  3. Lisa Manderino Avatar
    Lisa Manderino

    This looks like like a great vacation for kids!

  4. kmf Avatar

    Noccalula Falls looks like the perfect destination for families. There’s so much to do – would love to check it out!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Thanks! I hope you get there soon!

  5. Marianne Avatar

    Looks very scenic! We have been through Alabama, but never here!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Be sure to add it to your list next time!

  6. Melissa Avatar

    Looks like a beautiful area, but the story behind it is tragic. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Jane Avatar

    What a beautiful place to visit! I love waterfalls and this one is even better because it has animals as well. The last time I’ve see a llama was when we were in Peru. Brought back memories

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      They are feisty! I love looking at them!

  8. T.M. Brown Avatar

    Oh, I am a HUGE fan of waterfalls! The sound is sooooo refreshing. I love the fact that they have a train, too ~ what a great way to limit walking if you have physical restrictions or….well, are pregnant! Thanks for sharing this family adventure with us!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Thank you! I appreciate you looking!

  9. Amanda Avatar

    What a beautiful place! Looks like fun for the whole family.

  10. Jennifer Avatar

    This looks like an amazing place to visit. I love the idea that the little train takes you to different areas. I know my family would love the pioneer village portion.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      That train makes it fun for the kids and older folks like me. Nothing like getting a ride!

  11. Julie Avatar

    What a fun place to take the kids!!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      I would have loved this when I had littles!

  12. Kim Avatar

    How fun! My family would love to visit. They love animals so that would definitely be a bonus. I would want to take them to the actual falls!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      I wanted to go down there. There is access but we were on a tight schedule and my son in law drives slow.

  13. Amber Neil Avatar

    We are planning a 3 or 4 week road trip next summer and I think you just put Lay Lake. on the list. Looks dreamy!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Great! I can’t wait to hear about it!

  14. Meagan Avatar

    Looks like so much fun! The raccoon! I just love raccoons…

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Me too Meagan! I was hoping they would release him back.

  15. Dawnmarie @ EnjoyingtheDays Avatar

    We like views of the water very much, so your cabin seems like an excellent place to spend a vacation. Pioneer Village looks like a fun place, too. Your adventures with your family, both sports and recreational, seem to have been a great adventure.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Lay Lake was my favorite part. Thanks, Dawnmarie!

  16. Missy Avatar

    I would take the train and visit the waterfall. The dock on the lake looked very relaxing too.

  17. Liza Avatar

    Noccalula Falls looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing this. Looks like a great area to explore 🙂

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      It is beautiful! Thanks, Liza!

  18. Leigh Ann Avatar

    I love that you were so close to the lake. It looks peaceful and beautiful.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      It was! They had great decks overlooking the lake.

  19. Cindy Avatar

    Such a pretty place! I love the falls. And your Airbnb was so nice too. Gorgeous views of the lake. Looks like there’s lots to do in the area.

  20. Michelle Avatar

    That dock looks really inviting right now! I would be there all day fishing, most likely!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      If we did not have so much planned I would have done the same thing!

  21. Lina Avatar

    This place looks beautiful and the waterfall. WOW

  22. Pauline Avatar

    This looks like a great place for children and adults. I think the pioneer village and the meeting zoo would be our kids favorites. I would love the lake and the falls.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      I was surprised how extensive the petting zoo was! My fave was the lake for sure!

  23. Marianne Blackham Avatar

    This sounds like a neat place to visit. I need to come for a visit.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Can’t wait to hear about it!

  24. Charlene Avatar

    I’ve never heard of this place. It looks amazing! I love that parrot!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      They were cool! Thanks, Charlene!

  25. Heather Avatar

    What a fun place! I’ve never spent a lot of time Alabama, just might have to visit.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Me either! Let us know if you do!

  26. judean Avatar

    If I had kids…this would be a perfect stop on the way to Florida – thanks for sharing!

  27. Janine Avatar

    What a beautiful location! I think I would spend all my time sitting in the chair by the dock. Or by the waterfalls. Just lovely!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      I am a water person too. It is what water people do! lol

  28. Kristi @ Way Beyond The Norm Avatar

    Waterfalls, trains, playgrounds, animals….you’re speaking our language! I’ve added it to my list of places to visit in Alabama!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Cool Kristi! I can’t wait to hear about it!

  29. Kyndall Bennett Avatar

    Being born and raised in Alabama, I can’t believe how many places I still need to explore within my home-state!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Wow! Let me know how you like it Kyndall!

  30. Malia Avatar

    At first, I thought it said there is a lion cub at the petting zoo! I was equally excited and confused. Looks like an awesome place to take my family!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      LOL I should have been more specific, just outside the petting zoo, there is a BIG lion!

  31. Jennifer|Me and My Traveling Hat Avatar

    It’s so nice you had some time to spend with your grandchildren. Looks like you had a great time.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      We did! Thank you Jennifer!

  32. Hera Avatar

    Alabama has waterfalls? I’ve never visited this State, but your info makes it interesting to have a visit. Plenty to do and see, good to know info!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      And the mountains too! I had no idea either Hera!

  33. jen Avatar

    Is that Santa driving the train??

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      It must be his second job! LOL

  34. Jill Avatar

    Looks like a beautiful place. And I love that you picked a rental right on the water. That’s doing it the right way!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Always! We love lake homes!

  35. Laura Follett Avatar

    It looks so peaceful and can I say that I just adore that little train! Like, seriously….adore it! My grandsons would have a blast!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      I loved that little girl in the photo!

  36. Laura Avatar

    That tree is amazing! Great photos!! Looks like a gorgeous place to get away.

  37. Heather Avatar

    What a great place. I will be in Huntsville while my son is attending space camp. I wonder how far it is from there. I have some research to go.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      You should! Let me know how it goes!

  38. Hollysbirdnest Avatar

    What a beautiful place to visit! I have not spent as much time I was l would like too in Alabama…I am going to check this out next time I am there!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      We love it up there!

  39. Lisa Manderino Avatar

    I love a good train ride! My kids live for it!

  40. kmf Avatar

    What a fun family getaway for all ages…love waterfalls and the lake life!

  41. Lori Nielsen Avatar

    This sounds like a fun and relaxing place to visit! I bet my grandkids would love the train and the petting Zoo!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      It was! Thank you, Lori!

  42. Pam Avatar

    Looks like a great park and so much to do! I love the train.

  43. jen Avatar

    You guys go on some really great adventures! How do you find your destinations?

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Wow, thanks! I feel like there is so much to do still!

  44. Cynthia Mackintosh Avatar

    What a beautiful place Lay Lake is! I’ve never been to Alabama and this place looks like a great place to lay back and relax with family.

  45. Pam Avatar

    Your pictures are beautiful and definitely make me want to visit! Looks like a fun place.

  46. Laura G Avatar

    What a beautiful and peaceful-looking area! I love the waterfall and all the cute activities for the kiddos!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Thank you Laura! Sometimes I think state parks give the best value for families wanting to get outdoors! They have so much to offer.

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