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De Soto State Park
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De Soto State Park © Lee Reed
De Soto State Park © Stephen McGee
De Soto State Park © Stephen McGee
De Soto State Park © Ben Prepelka
De Soto State Park Little Brown Jug © Tammie Jett of t jett photography
De Soto State Park © Tammie Jett of t jett photography
De Soto State Park Sweet Shrub © Tammie Jett of t jett photography
De Soto State Park © Tammie Jett of t jett photography
De Soto State Park Pink Lady Slipper © Tammie Jett of t jett photography
De Soto State Park Pink Lady Slipper © Tammie Jett of t jett photography
De Soto State Park © Tammie Jett of t jett photography
De Soto State Park Holly Berry © Tammie Jett of t jett photography
De Soto State Park DeSoto Falls © Lee Reed
Water levels are VERY low but that has not detract by this natural wonder of nature and its spectacular vistas. Well, worth the drive to see the 110 foot drop, and if you do it in the fall when the colors are changing, you are in for one of Gods great treats.
De Soto State Park Pink Lady Slipper © Tammie Jett of t jett photography
De Soto State Park Pink Lady Slipper © Tammie Jett of t jett photography
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7104 Desoto Pkwy NE
Fort Payne, Alabama   35967-7909
(lat:34.4957 lon:-85.6272) map location

Phone: (256) 845-0051
Toll Free: 800-252-7275
Reservations: 256-845-5380
Email: park email button icon
In the rustic tradition of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Desoto State Park is accented by rushing waterfalls and fragrant wildflowers. The atmosphere of the CCC further enhances the restaurant, lodge and cabin facilities. Nestled atop beautiful scenic Lookout Mountain in northeast Alabama, this 3,502-acre park provides Mountain Chalets, Log & Rustic Cabins, Motel Rooms, Meeting Rooms, and also has both Improved & Primitive campgrounds. Also features a picnic area with playground, Olympic-size swimming pool, nature center with interpretive programs and live animals, tennis courts, & 15 miles of hiking & mountain biking trails. DeSoto State Park is located eight miles northeast of Fort Payne, Alabama.
DeSoto's Lodge was built by the Civilian Conservation Corp during the 1930s. At the time it was used as a group lodge and a dance hall. During the late 70s additions were added around the main part of the Lodge and a motel constructed next to it. Inside the main lobby you can still see the front center stone with the word 'Lodge' carved into it. The original part of the structure was turned into the Mountain Inn Restaurant, which is still in operation today.

Motel Rooms

2 double beds, 1-2 guests or 1 king bed, 1-2 guests. Motel guests have complimentary access to the swimming pool during summer months. Corporate rate available. All rooms have telephone and cable TV. No Pets. Handicapped facilities available.
Log CabinsThese beautiful cabins opened to the public in the Spring of 2006 and have been popular ever since. A picnic table and grill are located outside each cabin. Log Cabins feature a full kitchen and living room! The new cabins have Cable TV, kitchen with utensils, and central heating and air conditioning. The living room has a sleeper sofa and fireplace. Log Cabins can sleep up to 6 people. Each of the new cabins have 2 bedrooms with double beds.

Rustic Log Cabins

Enjoy the atmosphere of the Civilian Conservation Corp with all the modern conveniences. These rustic cabins were built in the mid-1930s. Enjoy a night around a cozy fire in DeSoto's Rustic Cabin

Four-Person Rustic CabinOne bedroom with a double bed and either 2 twin beds or 2 studio couches in living room. Rustic cabins have cable TV, linens and basic cookware, tableware and utensils. Rustic cabins have fireplaces.FREE Wireless Internet Access available.


These comfortable A-frame chalets are surrounded by Northeast Alabama's beautiful woodlands and rolling terrain. Enjoy a hike down to the West Fork of Little River right out your back door. Chalets have cable TV, linens and basic cookware, tableware and utensils. All chalets have fireplaces.Chalet guests have complimentary access to the swimming pool during summer months. No Pets. Handicapped facilities available. FREE Wireless Internet Access.
DeSoto State Park offers 78 improved sites located in a beautiful setting.

Campsites are well-spaced with natural flora for privacy.

The campground has 58 water and electric back-in sites, 10 water, electric and sewer back-in sites, and 10 water, electric and sewer pull-thru sites.Two comfort stations with restrooms and hot showers are located on the campground.

Reservations require a deposit of the first night by credit card and should be made well in advance.

Check-out time is 11:00 am.

Primitive Camping:

DeSoto State Park?s Wilderness Area is comprised of 20 individual campsites (8 people and two tents per site) and two group campsites (up to 30 people per site). Each individual campsite has a fire pit and enough room for two tents (tents must be within 20 feet of the fire pit). Two pit toilets and a central water faucet are located in the wilderness area. Campers are allowed access to the Improved Campground to use comfort stations.

RV Storage

DeSoto State Park has limited RV storage area for campers and RVs. Please e-mail or call for more information or availability of space.
Open Seasonally-Pool opens May 23, 2009. Pool Hours: Monday-Sunday, 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Free swimming 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ADA lift available. Lifeguards on duty. No refunds or rainchecks.

Pool Parties are available during the open season. Party hours are 6:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.One lifeguard is provided--25 people limit.Call the park office to reserve your pool party.
Weiss Lake provides almost 36,000 acres of fishing along the Coosa River, with about 426 miles of shoreline. Located 20 miles from DeSoto State Park in Cherokee County.

DeKalb County Lake is 120-acres located on Sand Mountain one mile north of Sylvania, Alabama.

Picnic tables and grills are located throughout the picnic area for your convenience. An ADA accessible picnic table is conveniently located. There are three picnic shelters that may be reserved. A large playground is located in the picnic area. A $1 per person day use is collected at the picnic area gate. DeSoto's pool is located to the left of the picnic area. A tennis court, ball fields, and a volleyball court are also available

Located in the Picnic Area across the road from the Country Store. A ball field, a volleyball court and tennis courts are located next to the playground. The Nature Center next to the Country Store is also great for kids!
DeSoto State Park has approximately 15 miles of hiking trails, with 5 miles of mountain biking trails. Terrain on all trails varies from easy to strenuous. "Easy' biking can be found on the Family Loop, located just off the Lost Falls trailhead;while still rugged terrain, it is mostly flat. Bikes are also allowed on the cabin road. Helmets are required for children 16 & under.

Trail maps and hiking information can be found at the Lodge, Country Store, & Nature Center.

The Azalea Cascade Boardwalk Trail

This trail was planned and built through a community effort. Grants and donations paid for the materials used to build the trail. It was constructed by the Alabama State Parks Maintenance Crew. Azalea Cascade Boardwalk Trail's Gazebo The Boardwalk is a beautiful place to see Mountain Laurel bloom. 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. A mid-April walk encircles you with the fragrant aroma of wild azaleas. Flowering Season usually ranges from March-November.

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 Azalea Cascade 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. Small 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.
Area Attractions
DeSoto Park

DeSoto State Park was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s during the Great Depression. Several structures can be seen throughout the park that are still standing as testimony to their hard work and dedication. The main part of Desoto?s Lodge and other buildings were built using stone taken from the rock Quarry found off of the white trail. Drill marks and dynamite blasts can still be seen if you look closely enough. The quarry can be reached by getting on the White trail at the end of the Country Store parking lot and hiking on a moderate trail with uphill climbs. CCC artifacts can be seen inside Desoto?s Nature Center next to the Country Store.

DeSoto Falls

This beautiful waterfall is formed by Little River dropping about 104 feet into a gorge. In the 1920s North Alabama's first hydro-electric dam was built above DeSoto Falls, which supplied power to nearby Fort Payne, Mentone, Valleyhead, Collinsville , Alabama and Menlo, Georgia. DeSoto Falls is about 6 miles from the main part of DeSoto State Park, near Mentone, Alabama and is accessible by County Road 89 that goes thru the park.

Sallie Howard Memorial Chapel

Built by Colonel Milford Howard in the late 1930s in memory of his first wife, this unique chapel is an interesting place to visit. The altar is made up of a huge mountain boulder and river rocks. When Colonel Howard died in 1937 he was cremated and interred in the huge stone. Over the Altar are the words"God has always been as good to me as I would let him be" immortalized from Sallie Howard's last letter to her husband.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
September 20 Peaceful Place by Sandra
park review stars; one to five We have visited many times over the years and stayed in a lodge room as well as one of the new cabins. We love the peacefulness of this place!
February 6 Beautiful Park by Sellers Family
park review stars; one to five Our 13 year old wanted to go to the DeSoto State Park for her birthday present & are we glad she did!!! We had a cabin over looking the river with Indian Falls beside it. The Log cabin was nice & clean & the views were beautiful!! We traveled about 6 miles through the park to Desoto Falls & we also went to Little River Falls.All the Falls were BEAUTIFUL! We had a Great family time. So glad we made this trip!!! P>S> The food was also good at the Lodge.
September 22 Favorite place to hike and camp by Jake Easler
park review stars; one to five My family and I(4 of us) love to hike the beautiful trails. My kids love to wade in the streams and waterfalls. Camping here is great,the newly renovated camp grounds are very nice. I would highly recommend DeSoto State Park to anyone who loves the outdoors.
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Directions: Eight miles northeast of Fort Payne. Follow Alabama Highway 35 from Interstate 59. On top of Lookout Mountain, turn left on County Road 89.

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