Pack a picnic lunch and head out for a day exploring the ridges, waterfalls and rivers, & creeks in beautiful DeSoto State Park and surrounding area.

3 large waterfalls found in the area:    


DeSoto Falls
DeSoto Falls is one of the tallest and most visited waterfalls in Alabama; Named for Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto, the 107 foot waterfall is part of DeSoto State Park on Lookout Mountain.
Located just off the Lookout Mountain Parkway, the waterfall is reached via a paved pathway that leads a few hundred yards from the parking lot down to the railed overlook. The historic A. A. Miller Dam & the upper falls can be seen by visitors of all abilities, but the lower or main waterfall requires a walk down concrete stairs to the overlook. 
The DeSoto Falls site is open daily during daylight hours. Visitors will enjoy a beautiful lake, picnic area and other facilities as well as the waterfall. 
The amount of water going over the falls depends on the amount of rainfall. In the winter and early spring the water level is high. During the summer and early fall, the water level is much lower.

Directions to DeSoto Falls (PDF)
History of DeSoto Falls & A.A. Miller Dam

Little River Falls 

Located in the Little River Canyon National Preserve 10 miles South of DeSoto State Park, 45-foot Little River Falls is located off Alabama Highway 35 in Fort Payne, Alabama. The most popular way to see Little River Falls is via the falls parking lot across the Al Highway 35 Bridge. A 100-foot ADA-accessible boardwalk leads from the parking lot to an overlook near the falls. The Little River Falls parking area is open daily during daylight hours

The amount of water going over the falls depends on the amount of rainfall. In the winter and early spring the water level is high. During the summer and early fall, the water level is much lower.
Little River Canyon National Preserve Website 

Grace's High Falls  
Located in the Little River Canyon National Preserve a several miles South of DeSoto State Park, this 133 foot waterfall is one of the tallest in the state. The Graces Falls Overlook can be reached by taking the Canyon Rim Drive (AL Hwy 176) off of AL Highway 35.
The amount of water going over this seasonal waterfall depends on the amount of rainfall. In the winter and early spring the water level is high. During the summer and early fall, the water level is much lower.
Grace’s Falls Overlook Website

       Several seasonal waterfalls can be found on the trails of DeSoto State Park. The best time to see the most water flow is usually in Spring, Late Fall, & Winter.
             Please Note: Most of the falls & streams at DeSoto State Park are dry in summer months, depending on rainfall.


Laurel Falls


This small but beautiful waterfall can be found off of the orange trail and falls about 6 feet. It is about 0.75 miles from DeSoto’s Country Store and the trail is rugged & moderate with some uphill climbs.

 

Indian Falls
This interesting waterfall falls about 20 feet into a small ravine, located just across the road from the Talmadge Butler Trailhead. Indian Falls is about 0.1 miles from the trailhead and is easily reached over a small footpath. A wooden footbridge crosses over the top of this beautiful sight.

 

 

 

 

Lodge Falls
This easy to find waterfall is located just behind DeSoto’s Lodge. Lodge Falls drops about 25 feet and is very rainfall dependant. The best view point of this waterfall is reached by hiking down into a small ravine and then getting on the yellow trail for a short distance and coming back out next to the Lodge.

 

Lost Falls


This waterfall is the hardest to find in DeSoto State Park, mostly because when no water is flowing, it is truly lost! The best time to see this small 5 foot waterfall is in the Spring or Winter seasons. Lost Falls is located about 1.5 miles from DeSoto’s Country Store and terrain can be moderate to mildly strenuous.

Azalea Cascade

This small cascade flows into a pool located at the end of the Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail. Can also be reached by the red trail behind the Country Store

 

 

 

Poison Ivy Falls

This large seasonal waterfall is the hardest to get to. Located  on the strenuous DeSoto Scout Trail-between DST Exit 1 & 2. Can be reached via the Gilliam Loop Trailhead/CCC Road to Exit 1 & 2. Water-level dependent.

 

 

Rivers & Creeks


Laurel Creek
This is a small spring-fed creek that flows downstream and forms Lost Falls, Laurel Fall, Azalea Cascade, and Indian Falls. Laurel Creek then connects with the West Fork of Little River below Indian Falls.

    

Little River


One of the few rivers in America that flows almost its entire length on top of a mountain. This clean waterway forms in NW Georgia & NE Alabama and flows down the middle of Lookout Mountain, leaving the mountain at Little River Canyon Mouth Park and flowing into Weiss Lake in Cherokee County, Alabama. DeSoto Falls, which is upriver from the main part of DeSoto State Park, forms when Little River falls over 90 feet into a gorge. The West Fork of Little River flows downstream through the park, goes through the Wilderness Area of Little River Canyon National Preserve, and then over Little River Falls, dropping down into Little River Canyon. Swimming, wading and fly-fishing are popular activities in Little River as it flows throughout DeSoto State Park. Access Little River in DeSoto State Park via the yellow trail(DeSoto Scout Trail)

Wildflowers and Waterfalls

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