In Our Own Backyard

“How great are your works, O Lord!  Your thoughts are very deep!”
Psalm 92:5

Isn’t it true that we overlook things right in front of our eyes?  We can be surrounded by something our whole lives and never really give it a second thought!  Noccalula Falls is one of the most visited attractions in Alabama…and it is right here in our Appalachian foothills!  The waterfall leaves you awe-struck as the waters roar over a 90 foot drop, and the scenery that surrounds it absolutely takes your breath away!  People travel from all over to spend the day inside the park taking in the sights, riding the train from place to place, or even hiking to the ravine underneath the water.  And one thing you will always find is a photographer, whether professional or amateur, trying to catch that perfect shot of those majestic falls!

But there is so much history behind the place that sits right here in our own backyard.  Lace up your walking shoes and let’s take a stroll around Noccalula Falls!

Every shot is a picturesque moment!  Notice the rainbow!

Noccalula Falls is named after the Cherokee girl, Noccalula, who was the daughter of a Cherokee Chief.  She had fallen in love with a brave man who wasn’t suitable for marriage in her father’s eyes, because he didn’t possess the worldly goods that he wanted for his daughter.  So he took matters in his own hands and arranged her marriage to a wealthy chief of a powerful rival tribe.  Story goes that she was unhappy about the forthcoming marriage and jumped to her death near where this statue stands in honor of her.

This beautiful wedding chapel sits at the entrance of The Black Creek Trail, a 2.9 mile trail that runs along side the water…ideal for hiking, walking and running!  I attended a wedding here and the inside is so very rustic and quaint, as you can imagine!

The World’s Longest Yard Sale starts just before the entrance of Noccalula Falls.  I bet the antique-rs and thrift-ers out there know exactly what I am talking about!

The train offers a chance to rest those feet while still taking in the beautiful scenery!

God’s beauty is everywhere at the park…all 250 acres of it!

“Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
 let the field exult, and everything in it!  Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy”
Psalm 96:11-12

After torrential rains this past February!


 So much power!

The entrance to the gorge trail takes you right up under the falls…

…and there are places to stop along the way!

There is so much to do at Noccalula Falls…miniature golf, a petting zoo, children’s playground, camping facilities, my favorite gourmet popsicles, Frios, and even a lion…yes, a lion!!  There are many events that are open to the public at the park all year long!  Check out their Facebook page here.


Beautiful from every angle!

The azaleas are in full bloom all over the park!

The falls stands in the distance through the wooded areas!


Look at that natural beauty…
God is so kind to give us things like this that are so pleasing to our eye!

There is a feeling of walking back into time as you stroll through The Pioneer Homestead…

…the buildings were moved from Lawrenceburg, Tennessee and assembled by the Gadsden Parks and Recreation…

…they portray the early mountain settlers way of life…

…and the buildings were taken from their original sites, where they had been erected by Tennessee Pioneers around 190 years ago!


Primitive tools and methods were used in rebuilding the structures!

At the heart of the park is this beautiful covered bridge

The snowball bushes pop on the backdrop of all of the greens and browns!

The vibrant colors are hidden all over the park…you just have to stay on the lookout!

So peaceful!

“All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made”
John 1:3

…and to think, this is right in our own back yard!

Alabama Department of Archives and History posted this old photo, taken circa 1900.  Those guys are really “living on the edge!”

What about you?  Are there hidden gems like this in the places where you live?  If you are traveling through Alabama, this is a must-see…and let us know if you make the trip!

Linking with Pieced PastimesSilver Pennies, Life on Lakeshore DriveThoughts From Alice, Coastal Charm, Dwellings-Heart of Your HomeSavvy Southern Style, French Country Cottage, Stone Gable, Confessions of a Plate Addict, Worthing CourtBetween Naps on the Porch, Cedar Hill Farmhouse, A Stroll Thru Life, The Charm of Home, Imparting GracePosed PerfectionKatherines Corner, Rooted In Thyme, Share Your Cup,  21 Rosemary LaneCozy Little House, Rattlebridge FarmRustic & Refined, Poofing The Pillows, What Meegan Makes


  1. Kim says:

    Thanks for sharing this gorgeous park! We do have such treasure in our states…well, our country. There is so much to see right where we are, under our noses. That’s what we love about motorcycle touring. It puts you completely “out there” with God’s beautiful creation in an entirely different way. I hope all things are well with you all on this beautiful Thursday! 🙂

    • Everyday Living says:

      Kim, do you and your husband do a lot of motorcycle traveling? You definitely have to keep your eyes open, therefore more in tune with all of God’s creation!

  2. Oh how beautiful Pam!…Yes, we seem to ignore the areas that are close to us…thinking that we will get around to visiting…and then never seem to do that…only to go when company comes into town!….The structures are amazing….thanks for taking us on the tour!

    • Everyday Living says:

      Shirley, it is a shame not to enjoy attractions that are so near to us! Thanks for taking the walk around our beautiful Noccalula Falls!

  3. Stacey says:

    God’s beauty, indeed. No man could ever make something so beautiful. I hate to say this but we have nothing like that around us. I wish we did.

    Happy Thoughts of Home, Pam. Loved this post…I’m going to show my husband. 🙂

    • Everyday Living says:

      Stacey, thanks for your visit of our lovely Noccalula Falls. We are blessed with God’s beauty all around us! Happy Monday!

  4. dolores says:

    Pam, muchas gracias por mostrar tanta belleza. Muy interesante la historia de Noccalula ¡eso es amor!.
    He guardado todas las fotos en mi PC para poder verlas en cualquier momento y otra cosa que me encanta es ponerlas como fondo de pantalla.
    América es impresionante,exuberante!! Yo no he visitado Norteamérica, mi esposo mucho por su trabajo como ingeniero, pero sí he visitado y residido meses en algunos países de Sudamérica (México, Chile) y también sus tierras son muy hermosas.
    Y viendo todas estas maravillas que Dios nos ha regalado, siempre me hago la misma pregunta ¿por qué no cuidamos más nuestro hábitat, nuestro hogar llamado Tierra?

  5. dolores says:

    se me olvidó la traducción…
    Pam, thank you very much for showing such beauty. Very interesting story that’s Noccalula love !.
    I have kept all the photos on my PC for viewing at any time and another thing I love is put as wallpaper.
    America is impressive, lush !! I have not visited North America, my husband much for his work as an engineer, but I have visited and resided months in some South American countries (Mexico, Chile) and their lands are very beautiful.
    And seeing all these wonders that God has given us, I always ask the same question why do not we care more our habitat, our home called Earth?


    • Everyday Living says:

      Dolores, I certainly hope you can visit the US in the future. Our state of Alabama has beautiful lakes, rivers, waterfalls, mountains, and gorgeous beaches on the Gulf Coast. Our state has much variety to offer! Thanks so much, dear friend!

  6. Nancy says:

    We’ve lived in Florida on the Atlantic side for almost 30 years and I’ve never seen the Gulf Coast in Southwest Florida that is supposed to be so pretty. It’s on my bucket list! Ha! I also wanted to thank not only for the pleasure of reading your blog but you have helped me to find some more ways to search my Cherokee ancestors in Alabama. One day you mentioned Cherokee County and then today’s post. My great grandfather was a second generation Cherokee born in Tuscaloosa. But I’ve never been able to find anything any further back. Maybe in these areas I’ll find something or just enjoy the history of that area. So thank you.

    • Everyday Living says:

      Nancy, thanks for your comments. We live two miles from the Cherokee county line, the county where my Mother grew up and she had Cherokee ancestry! Alabama has a rich history of native Americans! Hopefully you can visit and discover more of your ancestry! Happy Monday!

  7. Nice history of another portion of Appalachia! This place reminds me a bit of WV’s Blackwater Falls and yes, wintertime has that rushing water on the falls – so forceful! Thanks for sharing this place with your great photos and commentary, Pam.

  8. Libby says:

    What a beautiful place and right in your own back yard. I think we so often take these wonderful places for granted and fail to appreciate such natural beauty and history. But, thank you for re-discovering it and sharing it with us.

    • Everyday Living says:

      Thanks so much, Libby for you comments! NE Alabama is truly a hidden gem of beauty! Blessings for a wonderful week!

  9. Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

    We just saw the falls up near Fort Payne this past fall. It’s amazing how we all stick close to home and in our same old routines without a thought of exploring our own areas. I didn’t even go down to Gulf Shores at all this past year! Shame on me. You’ve inspired me to reform and be a better Alabamian.

    • Everyday Living says:

      Leslie Anne, come to Gadsden and see Noccalula Falls and I will take you to lunch! Have a wonderful week’

  10. Rhonda says:

    Thanks for sharing the Park! Your pictures are fantastic… making me feel as though I’m visiting in person! What a sad tale about the Cherokee girl! I love hearing old folktales! ~Rhonda

  11. What a wonderful tour of the falls Pam! I’ve heard of Noccalula Falls of course, but haven’t visited and had no idea there was so much to see and do there! You picked the picture perfect time of year to go with everything in full spring bloom! The pioneer parts do take one back in time, fascinating to see up close I bet. I really enjoyed seeing the photos and learning the history, thank you! And you’re right, we often don’t enjoy what’s right in our own back yard…

    • Everyday Living says:

      Jenna, thanks so much for touring Noccalula Falls with me! If you ever get the chance, you should drive up and we could have lunch! Have a fabulous week!

  12. Ginene Nagel says:

    That is one of the most beautiful falls I’ve ever seen and I love that it chances with the weather. Can you believe those men standing that close to the edge in the old photograph? This is such a beautiful place and wonderful to have near you.
    I enjoyed this tour.

  13. bobbi duncan says:

    Beautiful escape for my Sunday afternoon–thanks ever so much for the tour. Most folks don’t realize there are mountains and waterfalls in AL. I have friends in Chattanooga, TN, and when we’d visit them in the early 1970’s I thought Lookout Mtn. was only located there, never realizing most of that plateau was actually in NE AL. with only thee miles of it in TN. Perhaps we’ll be fortunate to visit that part of AL one day as we have only visited Fairhope and Eufaula (lovely towns!) thus far.

    • Everyday Living says:

      Bobbi, thanks for your wonderful comments. I hope you can visit NE Alabama one day. It really is a beautiful little hidden gem with lots of green, lakes and rivers, and Southern hospitality! Wishing you a lovely week!

  14. What a beautiful place and so many lovely photos. As SOON as I saw the train I thought how children always love to ride trains like that at zoos, parks, etc. Since it’s close by you can take the new grandbaby there in a few years! 🙂

  15. Teddee Grace says:

    Very interesting! In the vintage photo the falls look much higher. Has there been a lot of erosion?

    • Everyday Living says:

      Teddee, that is a good question and I am not sure. I have never heard that discussed. It could be possible, I guess! But those guys in the old photo were standing way too close. Of course, it is now fenced! Thanks for reading

  16. Cindy says:

    Wow! Love all of the log structures and the waterfalls…amazing!
    So happy to have you sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  17. I know I am sometimes guilty of not exploring all of the sites in my own state, or even in my own area. These photos are beautiful, you make me want to take a trip to Alabama right now! I am only in Florida, so it wouldn’t be out of the question. I loved reading all about the history of the falls, and what fun things there are to do right there near the falls. Thanks so much for sharing over at the Celebrate Your Story link party!

    • Everyday Living says:

      Thanks for the opportunity to share, Chloe! When your comment came in, I was looking at your blog and haven’t had a chance to comment yet! It is so nice to meet you and thanks for hosting and inviting me to join! Happy Mother’s Day!

  18. Jann Olson says:

    We love these kind of places! Pinning it to my travel board. Would love to visit in person! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  19. Pam what a beautiful post. You are so right, God has given us all of this beauty to look at and be amazed by his power and glory. What a lovely place to visit and it has so much to offer. If only I lived a bit closer … well, maybe one day. When my sons were young we would toss them in the car and go to nature preserves in Connecticut. It was the best time for all, letting them run around in nature and us adults being able to gaze in wonder at the beauty of it all. I am hosting a new link party, Sweet Inspiration, and would love to have you join us. We run from Friday till Tuesday.

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