Fairmount Falls: Louisville, Kentucky


We have visited many waterfalls with the family over the past few years, but our visit to Fairmount Falls was the first time we ever had to call ahead and get a code before we could get access to the trailhead. It was probably one of the more unusual hikes we have been on, but a beautiful trail to explore. If you are in the Louisville area looking for a great waterfall hike, check out Fairmount Falls!

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Fairmount Falls: Louisville, Kentucky

The most important thing to remember when planning a visit to Fairmount Falls in Louisville, Kentucky is that you must call ahead! We called the Jefferson Memorial Forest/Natural Areas Division at 368-5404 and immediately talked to a very helpful gentleman who was able to give us the code for the parking lot padlock. We didn’t have to reserve a specific time, but we did have to let him know we planned to hike on that Saturday.

There is a small sign letting you know you are close and then you just see a small, almost hidden driveway to the left with a chain and a padlock. Once you unlock the padlock, you can lower the chain and enter the small parking lot.

You follow the trail off through the woods, cross a small road and then quickly come upon the waterfall overlook. It is a beautiful view but one you should, of course, use much caution on. There are no rails or fences protecting you from the overlook.

Once you get your pictures and finish appreciating the waterfall, you continue around the waterfall and actually cross the top of the falls. I would imagine that if the water is rushing after a rain that this could be potentially quite treacherous. But on our visit, it was fairly easy to walk across the falls. I will admit that this was a bit unnerving. A slip and fall over Fairmount Falls would not be a good thing. So be careful!

You then follow the edge of the cliff down to a loop at the end of the trail. Have the kids watch their step since you are on the edge of some pretty steep drop offs. It is kind of an unusual path since you are literally in the backyard of some pretty homes. There are a couple benches scattered down the path in case you want to take a breather or simply enjoy the views!

We opted to cross through the woods at the bottom of the path and take the road back up the hill to the waterfalls which gave us some really cool views of the creek that flows down below Fairmount Falls. The road is a pretty steep climb back up, so don’t get in a hurry!

Access to the Falls is by permit only. Call Jefferson Memorial Forest/Natural Areas Division at 368-5404. You’ll have to fill out an application and pick a specific day you want to visit. Applications and a trail map are also available at memorialforest.com.

Find Fairmount Falls

9800 Thixton Lane
Louisville, KY
Jefferson Memorial Forest/Natural Areas Division at 502-368-5404

more info

Looking for other things to do in Kentucky? Check out these free things to do in Frankfort!

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  1. I have lived in the Louisville area for more than 40 years and I never heard of the waterfalls. Thanks for posting this.

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