Broke Leg Falls – Wellington, Kentucky - Atlas Obscura

Broke Leg Falls

Wellington, Kentucky

Beautiful waterfalls grace a canyon visibly torn by a violent tornado.  


Broke Leg Falls features several waterfalls running through Daniel Boone National Forest. The main falls drop 60 feet into a scenic canyon that is littered with the debris of several small trees; in 2012, an F-3 tornado hit the area and the debris can still be found to this day. 

In the early 1960s, Broke Falls, located near the small town of Wellington, was a State Park that was immensely popular with visitors. But when the new Mountain Parkway road opened, traffic flow was cut and the park was soon abandoned by the state. The land was given to private owners in the 1980s. It was practically abandoned until 2002, when Menifee County bought it back and began maintaining it. 

One year after a celebration of the park’s restoration, a major tornado barreled through the park and altered the scenery wildly. Even though cleanup has been made for visitors to see the main falls, most trails are still blocked; this leads to creepy sites such as an abandoned walking bridge over the creek, with no access, and a barrage of fallen trees. 

The park has decided not to remove more debris in order to let natural restoration happen, and thus the scars of the natural event remain to this day. Even with this tragic fate, it is a seldom visited and beautiful off-the-beaten path adventure.

Know Before You Go

It is recommended not to visit during a dry spell; the creek is very small and in times of little rain the waterfall will often not run. The falls are only accessible via stairs.

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February 20, 2018

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