DeSoto State Park has over 35 miles of hiking trails, including up to 11+ miles of mountain biking trails. Terrain on all trails varies from easy to strenuous.
Helmets are required for children 16 & under.
Mountain Bike Trails
Trail maps can be found at the Lodge, Country Store, & Nature Center. All mountain bike trails are marked by diamonds on trail map.
The Alabama State Parks provide several parks that feature great trail systems that are managed by mountain biking organizations. Visit the mountain biking section to learn more about these opportunities.
Some popular Mountain Bike Loops in DeSoto State Park:
- ‘Family Bike Loop’-2.5 mile loop. Rated ‘Easy’ to Moderate. Can be accessed by the Lost Falls Trailhead.
- ‘Never-Never Land Loop’-3.8 mile loop. Rated Moderate to Mildly Strenuous. Can be accessed by Lost Falls Trailhead
- ‘CCC Quarry Bike Loop’ roughly 5 miles. Rated Moderate to Strenuous (due to inclines). Can be accessed by DeSoto State Park’s Country Store
- ‘Gillam Bike Loop’-3.5 mile loop. Rated Moderate. Can be accessed by the Gillam Loop Trailhead or the DeSoto State Park Lodge (via the Chalet Trail-.7 miles)
Another popular bike ride is the CCC Road, which starts at the Gillam Loop Trailhead. This unpaved road was historically built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the late 1930s-early 1940s and was originally intended to be a parkway to Little River Canyon. Remnants of the work of the CCC such as culverts, walls, and 'unfinished' bridges can be seen along the road. The largest ‘unfinished’ bridge over Straight Creek that is easy to see is 1.75 miles from the Gillam Loop Trailhead gate. Once you go past Straight Creek, the trail narrows and continues a few miles through mixed hardwoods past several low CCC bridges and comes out close to Road 5 in the Little River Wildlife Management Area. (please note, the trail past Straight Creek is not maintained often)
Bikes are also allowed on the DST Exits, which have bike racks and benches located close to the DeSoto Scout Trail (The DST is not bike friendly). The exits are great places to access Little River.
(All DST Exits are rated strenuous due to elevation change.)
The DeSoto State Park Property surrounding the Gillam Bike Loop, including the CCC Road, is a multi-user area that include the following activities:
Mountain Biking & Hiking - CCC Road & Gilliam Loop – All Year Around
Bow Hunting ONLY - DeSoto Scout Trail Exit #1 South to the CCC unfinished bridge allowed from October 15th through January 31st.
Hikers and Biker are encouraged to wear bright colors or hunter orange during deer season. Be aware of Hunters on the CCC Road from - October 15th through January 31st
Hunters DO NOT have permission to access the Wildlife Management Area through the DeSoto State Park Cabin/Chalet Area.
YIELD TO HIKERS
Enjoy the beauty of nature and the gifts that it offers on the lovely trails of DeSoto State Park. Please remember that Alabama State Parks preserve land for the benefit of present and future generations. You can participate in this preservation effort by remembering that all plants and animals are protected in each Alabama State Park. Please leave all plants and animal life undisturbed for others to enjoy.