DeSoto State Park - Backpacking/Camping

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For a quick weekend getaway or for an extended stay, DeSoto State Park won't disappoint with endless waterfalls and trails.

Written by

Natalie Cone


0.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

146.0 miles


2 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

2 days

1-3 days


Spring, Summer, and Fall


Dog Friendly


Fees Permits


Topographical Map

DeSoto State Park Map

Land Website

DeSoto State Park



With spectacular views and plenty to explore, DeSoto State Park is a great place to go if you have an appetite for adventure. Nestled on top of Lookout Mountain with glittering waterfalls and lush landscapes, the park has lots to offer for both campers and hikers. Ten trails totaling more than 25 miles to hike and bike provide varying degrees of difficulty.

What Makes It Great

No matter which trail you choose, there will inevitably be a surprise along the way such as hidden falls, picturesque scenes fitting for a fairy tale, moss-covered boulders and unique foliage. Wildlife sightings are common, throwing excitement into your journey. Whether you take a short walk, long hike or intense biking trip, the experience is sure to be thrilling. The terrain is rocky, but after a good rain, becomes rather slushy. Feel free to power through the puddles if you don't mind the mud. The area is not so remote that you should fear getting lost if you choose to take your adventure off the beaten path. The trails are clearly marked, so getting back on track would be relatively easy. If you want to step up your experience, there are many places to go rappelling and bouldering.

DeSoto State Park is located brilliantly located only a few miles away from Little River Canyon Nature Preserve, DeSoto Falls boasting 104-foot waterfalls, and the Walls of Jericho Forever Wild Tract.

The distance of some trails are impressive, with steep uphills and tight switchbacks. Only seven miles of trails are appropriate for biking, but there is more than enough to explore on foot. Don't forget your camera. You'll often find yourself making your way along lovely paths, then suddenly discover a breathtaking scene you'll wish you could burn into your memory forever.

Who is Going to Love It

Novice hikers will enjoy the clearly marked guides and variety (some of which are fit for children who are pint-sized outdoor enthusiasts). Seasoned veterans will appreciate the beauty and relatively easy terrain.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Most hikers park at The Lodge, which houses registration for campers, a camp store/gift shop, restrooms and a rustic restaurant.

There are plenty of places to park for just a day-hike. There is no fee for parking or entry. Some trails are best accessed from the designated camping areas.

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DeSoto State Park

7104 Desoto Parkway Northeast
Fort Payne, AL, 35967
34.500774, -85.618624

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