I discovered Noccalula Falls several years ago. It is an impressive waterfall right off the road, one mile from exit 188 on I-59 in northeast Alabama. When you have heavy rains, Noccalula can be a poor man’s Niagara Falls. I was in the area this week and it had been raining so I thought I would stop by to check it out and then hike the nearby Black Creek Trail.
The falls were pretty much deserted, I walked around the top of the waterfall and then crossed the bridge to get to the trail which starts by the campground. The Black Creek Trail is wide, well marked, and easy to follow. The trail starts at Noccalula Falls and ends 2.8 miles later in Gadsden. Everything was going great and I even checked out some of the adjacent bicycle trails. At the 1.6 mile mark though, the bottom dropped out. It was raining cats and dogs, it felt like I was under water there was so much rain. I had trouble even following the trail the rain was coming down so hard. Even more disturbingly, there was a lot of lightning and it was close.
I finally made it back to the waterfall area and I took an additional picture of the falls in the rain. The water hadn’t crested yet and I’m sure if I had been able to come back the following day, the roaring falls would have been even more impressive. My shoes were ruined and my clothes completely soaked, but since I didn’t get hit by lightning I would have to say it was fun and very much worth it.
If you are in the area, I encourage you to check out Noccalula Falls. Just check the weather forecast first! rk