Noccalula Falls is one of those attractions that I’ve heard about for years but never found an excuse to visit. I used to have family in Gadsden and have spent many Christmas Eves there, yet somehow we never dropped by. My family isn’t really into the outdoors.
I built Noccalula Falls into something special in my head. All I knew was that it was a gorge that featured impressive waterfalls. I knew that it was popular with trail runners and tourists alike. Maybe it’s the fact that I visited the impressive Tallulah Gorge the Friday before, or maybe it’s the commercialized nature of Noccalula Falls Park, but reality drastically failed to meet my expectations.
Noccalula Falls is basically the downtown Gatlinburg of natural wonders. Every aspect of it has been commercialized with tacky attractions meant to separate tourists from their money. It makes Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga seem like a nature preserve by comparison.
Drop by if you’re in the area, but don’t pay to get in. Park at the Jack’s (a fast food joint) next door and take a picture from the sidewalk.