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Day-Use Area:
7 a.m until sundown


Pack a picnic lunch and head out for a day exploring the ridges, waterfalls and river in beautiful DeSoto State Park.

Located on Lookout Mountain, DeSoto State Park has over 25 miles of hiking trails, including 11 + miles of mountain bike trails. Most interconnect with each other, while others take you into more remote areas. DSP’s trail system boasts interesting rock formations, small seasonal waterfalls, a variety of diverse plant communities, plentiful animal life, and beautiful views of the West Fork of Little River, which flows downstream into interconnecting Little River Canyon.  

Enjoy nature's beauty along DeSoto's trails

Some day-hiking tips

Terrain on the trails can vary from 'easy' to strenuous.

  DeSoto State Park Trail Map(PDF)

Google Earth - KML File

Please be sure to find out what type of terrain a trail might have before setting out; they might be more difficult than you think. Updated trail maps & more trail information can be found at the Lodge, Country Store, & Nature Center.

For more info on any of the trails, call 256.997.5025 or email

DeSoto's Azalea Cascade Boardwalk is about 360 yards long and is ADA-accessible

The Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail

This boardwalk Trail was planned and built through a community effort headed by former park superintendent Talmadge Butler. Grants and donations paid for the materials used to build the trail. It was constructed by the Alabama State Parks Maintenance Crew.

The Boardwalk is a 360-yard trail that can be enjoyed and traveled by people of all abilities.  No matter what the season, the boardwalk gives the hiker a unique perspective of the surrounding habitat.

A 20-foot octagon deck at the end of the trail places you over the pool created by the Azalea Cascade.

Wildflower Blooming Season usually ranges from March-November.

Fall Color peak is historically sometime from the first of October thru the middle of November.


The Boardwalk is a beautiful place to see Mountain Laurel bloom   Azalea Cascade   Azalea Cascade Boardwalk Trail's Gazebo

North Alabama Birding trail

The Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail(at Azalea Cascade) is also part of the North Alabama Birding Trail!
See the www.northalabamabirdingtrail for more info.

~Click on the photos to enlarge. Use Photos by permission only.~

(Even more photos can be seen on our Facebook page)

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 in Winter

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.

Just steps from the Lodge & Motel Rooms!

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.

Laurel Creek
This is a small creek that flows downstream and forms Lost Falls, Laurel Fall, Azalea Cascade, and Indian Falls. Spring-fed Laurel Creek then connects with Little River.

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.

Dogs are allowed on the trails as long as they are on a leash at all times.   Dog are allowed on DeSoto State Park's Trails as long as they are on a leash at all times.


Want a more challenging hiking experience? Check out the The DeSoto Scout Trail!


Want up to date information? Be sure to check out the DeSoto Scout Trail Project on for trail work days, events, maps & more!

Are you or your group interested in volunteering for trail work?

 Contact Info:
Brittney M. Hughes,
Park Naturalist at DeSoto State Park
7104 DeSoto Parkway NE Fort Payne, AL. 35967
Office: 256.997.5025 OR Fax: 256.845.8286


This historic trail starts at Comer Scout Reservation, continues through Desoto State Park, and into Little River Canyon National Preserve. It follows the beautiful West Fork of Little River and continues downstream to highway 35.
Historically the Trail is about 16 miles long, but due to flooding and overgrowth; only certain sections are clear. It had even been detoured onto backcountry road #5 in some places. We have had the opportunity to restore most of the trail to its original beauty and we hope that you can take advantage of this outstanding trail.
A Partnership to revitalize the trail has been formed by the following agencies:
Little River Canyon National Preserve
Desoto State Park
The Boy Scouts of America
Russell Cave National Monument
Volunteers like you

Currently, the DST can be accessed from DeSoto State Park's north border downstream to the backcountry trailhead on road 5 in the Little River Canyon Wildlife Management Area. This trail is marked with yellow blazes in DSP and changes to brown & white metal signs as pass over the border between DSP & the Little River Canyon Management Area.


DeSoto State Park Contact Info

Country Store - Call for Reservations!
Improved & Primitive Campgrounds
256.845.5075 OR 800.252.7275

Lodge - Call for Reservations!
Chalets, Rustic & Log Cabins
1299 Blalock Drive NE
Fort Payne, AL 35967
256.845.5380 OR 800.568.8840

7104 DeSoto Parkway NE
Fort Payne, AL 35967

Access to Alabama State Parks and State Park Programs is available without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex or disabilities.
FREE WiFi Available
* Lodge Lobby
* Motel Rooms
* Restaurant
* Park Office
* Country Store
Pricing Subject to Change without Notice


DeSoto State Park would like to thank all of our supporters.

Without you, we don't prosper!


Alabama State Parks operates and maintains 22 State Parks encompassing approximately 48,000 acres of land and water. These Parks rely on visitor fees and the support of other partners like communities to fund the majority of their operations.

Alabama State Parks have endured adverse situations over the past few years and we are proud to have our visitors and supporters that have helped us meet those challenges head on. Alabama State Parks offer ideal places to stay: resorts, hotels, cabins and cottages, camping; and fun places to play: hiking, biking, golf, fishing, paddling, swimming, birding and wildlife viewing or just relaxing. See for details on our sister parks in Alabama.

Access to Alabama State Parks and State Park Programs is available without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex or disabilities.