National Parks / Natural World

Little River Canyon National Preserve Fort Payne

Where is it at?

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Little River Canyon National Preserve
2141 Gault Avenue North
Fort Payne
AL
35967
Tel: 256 845 9605

Where are we going today?

Little River is unique because it flows for most of its length atop Lookout Mountain in northeast Alabama. Forested uplands, waterfalls, canyon rims and bluffs, pools, boulders, and sandstone cliffs offer settings for a variety of recreational activities.
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When can we go?

Check website for various details

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What people are saying?

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    We went in late October to enjoy the Fall colors but the water source for the falls was dried up. The walking trails were still enjoyable because you can hike down to the river. It would be really beautiful if you went when all the falls were running. Some super photo possibilities with all the huge rocks, boulders, and mountains. We stayed overnight in the lodge cabins. Bed was comfortable and the room was quite acceptable, better than any state park I have stayed in.

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    I am a writer and photographer for National Park Planner and I visited the Little River Canyon National Preserve December, 2013. The park is located on Lookout Mountain near Fort Payne, Alabama. While people think of Chattanooga, Tennessee, whenever Lookout Mountain is mentioned, it actually extends all the way into northeastern Alabama. Atop the mountain flows the Little River, the only river in the country that begins and ends on top of a mountain. Millions of years ago at the spot marked by Little River Falls today, the river started to wear...Read More

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    Amazing! So glad this place has been preserved for the enjoyment of all. Gorgeous! Love the hiking trails and scenic views.

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    We love LRC. Great for a family fun day. Lots of photo ops and swimming spots. Hiking, and even camping near by.

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    Welcome to northeast Alabama!!

    We are very proud of DeSoto State Park and strive to maintain its pristine forests, river & streams, trails and facilities.
    It boasts a 4-star lodge, camp grounds, cabins, chalet, restaurant and RV parking.
    There are tennis courts, a double-Olympic pool, a large pavillion & picnic grounds with playground and a unique outpost store.

    The staff is knowledgeable, friendly and welcoming to all visitors no matter their origin.

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by Steve Markos

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I am a writer and photographer for National Park Planner and I visited the Little River Canyon National Preserve December, 2013. The park is located on Lookout Mountain near Fort Payne, Alabama. While people think of Chattanooga, Tennessee, whenever Lookout Mountain is mentioned, it actually extends all the way into northeastern Alabama. Atop the mountain flows the Little River, the only river in the country that begins and ends on top of a mountain. Millions of years ago at the spot marked by Little River Falls today, the river started to wear into the mountain, digging deeper and deeper each year until it wore a 12-mile long, 600 foot deep gash into the rock, forming Little River Canyon. In 1992, the canyon and surrounding areas became the Little River Canyon National Preserve.

For the typical tourist, the park offers nothing more than a few views along a scenic, canyon rim drive and a spot for a family picnic along the river. Little River Canyon is a sportsman’s park, and an extreme one at that. Little River Falls marks the start of the Canyon Area, which runs the length of the canyon, terminating at the Canyon Mouth Picnic Area. World class kayaking can be found below the falls, with water so dangerous that the US Olympic Kayak team has trained here. Rock climbers can have a go at the miles of sheer canyon walls. Even the hiking trails are strenuous, some no more than a rock slide path down to the bottom of the canyon.

The area north of the falls in known as the Backcountry Area. This area offers outdoor activities a little less strenuous, with easier trails and a calmer river open to canoeing and kayaking. Being that the park is a Preserve, hunting is allowed in the Backcountry, as is limited camping in three primitive sites. A high clearance vehicle is highly suggested for visiting the Backcountry.

For complete information and plenty of photos about the park, please visit my web site, National Park Planner (npplan).

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