Fort Payne is a mecca for those who which to immerse themselves in the wonder and beauty of the Appalachian foothills. In whichever direction you go, you will find yourself in the midst of the grandeur of nature.
Take Highway 35 up Lookout Mountain and within minutes you can either be driving along the rim of Little River Canyon and stopping at its breathtaking vistas or be hiking in DeSoto State Park on the picturesque Azalea Trail which is handicap accessible in order to bring the outdoor splendor to everyone.
Head in the opposite direction and you will find yourself on Sand Mountain which hosts Buck’s Pocket State Park and High Falls Park. Buck’s Pocket boasts 2000 acres of outdoor opportunities and High Falls Park is home to a stunning waterfall and a quaint pedestrian bridge spanning the gorge of Town Creek.
The mountain canvases change with the seasons and provide endless moments of awe.
Come on out… Nature is waiting.
High Falls Park
Stroll across a bridge that spans a gorge overlooking the beautiful Town Creek. Drift back to a time when men and women rode by horse and buggy across the gorge to the local mercantile beyond the ridge. Marvel at the majestic scenic vistas and waterfall. Plan a picnic for two or for the whole family. Park offers pavilions, restrooms, playground and peace and tranquility.
Buck’s Pocket State Park
This 2,000-acre park in northeast Alabama is secluded in a natural pocket of the Appalachian Mountains chain. The park’s picnic area offers a canyon rim natural vista into the pocket below. The pocket itself, on an upstream tributary of Lake Guntersville, hosts an improved campground, complete with tables, grills, shelters, laundry, comfort station, playground and hiking trails.
Buck’s Pocket features 20 miles of hiking trails varying in length from ¼ mile to 6 miles. Fishing is also available at nearby Morgan’s Cove on Lake Guntersville. In addition, eagle watching is a favorite pastime in this area and if you look carefully you can catch a glimpse of the majestic bald eagles.
Little River Canyon National Preserve
The canyon has been described as the “Grand Canyon of the East.” It is one of the most extensive, picturesque canyon systems in the eastern United States, offering some of the deepest gorges this side of the Mississippi River. Little River is unique because is flows for most of its length atop Lookout Mountain.
The Little River Falls area, which marks the river’s descent into the canyon, provides a wonderful place to view this amazing 45 foot waterfall. Only a short distance from the parking lot, it is easily accessible for most.
One of the most captivating aspects of Little River Canyon is the 23-mile scenic drive along its rim. There is no charge to tour this area and there are several outlooks along the way that allow visitors to marvel at the view into the 700-foot gorge. Tables are available at most outlooks making it convenient for picnics.
For those who are a bit more adventurous, hiking, rappelling, rock climbing, and kayaking are also common activities in the canyon.
Desoto State Park
Take the opportunity to commune with nature in DeSoto State Park, voted as one of America’s top 10 state parks by Camping Life Magazine in their April 2006 issue! Hiking and Biking trails, swimming pool, tennis courts, playground and picnic area are just part of what awaits you in this park.
View majestic scenery, waterfalls and canyons. Walk the 1,000-ft. Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail. Check out our weekend interpretive programs and guided hikes we have planned all throughout the summer and fall seasons. All programs are free to the public and guests of the park.
We offer overnight accommodations such as rustic cabins, modern chalets, campgrounds and motel rooms.
Call 256-845-0051 to inquire about interpretive programs and 800-568-8840 for rooms and cabins.
Little River Canyon Center
This center is a Jacksonville State University facility operated in partnership with the National Park Service. Located on Hwy 35 and adjacent to the Little River Canyon National Preserve, it serves multiple functions as a center for outdoor interpretation, architectural sustainability, cultural demonstration and it serves as an administrative center for its related agencies. Visitors may experience an array of Field School activities including wildlife watching, hikes, and other family oriented programs. The Canyon Center includes public restrooms, walking trails, exhibits, a gift shop, a library, an auditorium and meeting rooms which may be rented by the half or full day.
For more information please call 256-845-3548.