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Broke Leg Falls

     For sure one old landmark in eastern Menifee County Kentucky is Broke Leg Falls. The Falls has been a tourist stop along US Hwy 460 since the 1940's and before. It was a place for picnics and adventures into the rough rocky terrain the likes of the Red River Gorge. It's location on once a major highway along with the pristine beauty of the box canyon that the stream formed no doubt contributed to the popularity of the Falls.

    The Falls is about 80 feet in height but much of the year has a small water flow. But over eons of time the Falls and stream have carved out a magnificent canyon retreating nearly to the crest of the ridge.

    Located in Menifee County Kentucky, Broke Leg Falls has been a popular tourist spot for travelers of the US Highway which is located only a few yards from the falls. A popular landmark since the 1940's, the Falls was privately owned. Visitors could pay a dime and get to hike the short distance down into the box canyon to view the Falls and enjoy the coolness of the large overhanging ledge. Stair steps were provided for visitors to get down the very steep and dangerous cliff area. By the 1960's the state had acquired the land and made some improvements to parking and steps using concrete with steel handrails to provide a more permanent solution to the stairway access. Later the state sold the land to private owners again. Eventually Menifee County purchased the property to preserve as a park. The site has such a remarkable local recognition and folks remembering the popularity from the early days no doubt led to this undertaking by the county. New parking and access along with picnic shelters and improved trail system was added by the county.
     How did it get the name Broke Leg Falls? No one knows for sure. It has always been called by that name and I can remember even as a child the famous Broke Leg Falls. A visit to the site and anyone can see a hundred different ways that one could  be involved in the mishap providing inspiration for the name. Like the historical information sign on site these days, you will have to use your own imagination on how the Falls got its unusual name.

    This site is also one that is formed of the same rock as the Red River Gorge. Though the waters from the falls do not flow into the Red River and thus the official gorge, the terrain and Falls is formed in the same conglomerate  that the gorge is famous for. It is also probably one of the easiest places for one to hike into a gorge formation.

  In 2012 some of the most destructive tornadoes in Kentucky's history passed through the area. Evidence is still very visible in the canyon of the destructive path of those series of tornadoes.
   If you would like to visit Broke Leg Falls here is a map for directions to the Falls. The neat box canyon is very noticeable on this Google map.


  1. My understanding is the name was derived from an ox that fell over the falls and broke its leg. An ox is a pretty large animal to say the least...I'd be surprised if that was all it broke.

    Nice place here...

    Dean Goss,,

  2. Yes, it seems to me that I had heard the story that it was a horse that fell or at least I imagined that to be the case. I checked out your recommended sites and they are amazing data bases. Thanks for sharing. Happy trails!


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