DeSoto State Park
A bluff and cave-like rock
shelter overlook the west fork
of the Little River at DeSoto
State Park near Fort Payne,
DeSoto Falls
Rich in legend, history and
scenic beauty, DeSoto Falls
is easily accessible from the
Lookout Mountain Parkway. - DeSoto State Park, Alabama - DeSoto State Park, Alabama
DeSoto State Park and DeSoto Falls - Fort Payne, Alabama
Alabama's DeSoto Falls
Located just north of the main park area of DeSoto
State Park, DeSoto Falls plunge more than 100 feet.
Mountain Beauty in Alabama
Some of the most beautiful and historic
country in Alabama can be found in and
around Fort Payne's DeSoto State Park.

Once a homeland of the Cherokee, the park
takes its name from the Spanish explorer
Hernando de Soto. In 1540, the conquistador
is thought to have led his army down the
Coosa River out of Georgia. If this route is
correct, then the main army did not pass into
the park area, but de Soto did send men into
the mountains looking for gold and these
certainly could have passed up Little River
Canyon and into today's DeSoto State Park.

There are some who believe, however, that
Hernando de Soto was not the first European
explorer to see the rivers, canyons and
waterfalls of the area. The presence of
mysterious caves in the bluffs overlooking
DeSoto Falls that appear to have been
expanded by human hands.

Believers say that these caves (which are not
open to the public) were carved by Prince
Madoc, the legendary Welsh explorer that old
English accounts reached the New World in
1170. Others say that Madoc is just a legend,
concocted by English writers during the
1500s to refute Spanish claims to the North
American continent.

Although documentation is lacking, some
believe that Madoc landed on Mobile Bay in
the year 1170 and then made his way north
into the mountains of Alabama and on into
Tennessee. It should be noted that another
alleged Madoc fortification, at Old Stone Fort
State Park in Tennessee, is now known to
have been of prehistoric Indian construction.
The same may well be true of the mysterious
caves at DeSoto Falls, but either way the
legend adds color and charm to the area.

The DeSoto State Park area is definitely rich
in recorded history. This was Cherokee land
before the Trail of Tears and was a rich
hunting and fishing area for members of that
tribe. Both Union and Confederate troops
passed through the area during the Civil War.
The main Federal army crossed the
mountain near
Mentone on its way to the
Battle of Chickamauga.

The Cherokee lived here before the Trail of
Tears and both Union and Confederate
troops passed through the area during the
Civil War.

For most visitors, however, natural history
attracts the most attention. DeSoto State Park
and the adjacent
Little River Canyon National
Preserve protect some of the most unique
ecosystems in the United States. The Little
River, the west fork of which flows through
the park, is one of the only rivers in the world
that flows almost entirely on a mountain top.
It has carved a remarkable canyon.

DeSoto State Park also offers miles of hiking
trails, beautiful bluffs and rock formations, a
number of small waterfalls, historic sites
related to the Civilian Conservation Corps
(CCC) and spectacular views of
DeSoto Falls.
More than 100 feet high, the waterfall is one
of the most photographed points of interest
in Alabama. Conveniently located off the
Lookout Mountain Parkway, it is easily
accessible via a paved walking path. The
park also features numerous smaller falls.

The park also features camping and picnic
areas, log cabins, rustic cabins, chalets, a
lodge and hotel, restaurant, country store,
swimming pool, playgrounds and more.

Please click here to visit the official state park
service website for more specific information.

DeSoto State Park is located on County Road
89 just outside Fort Payne, Alabama, and is
open to the public year-round. The day use
areas are open from 7 a.m. to sunset, year
Cabin at DeSoto State Park
The park offers a variety of
overnight accommodations
including log cabins, rustic
cabins, chalets, motel and
Indian Falls
In addition to DeSoto Falls,
DeSoto State Park is home to
a number of other waterfalls.
Indian Falls, seen here, flows
beneath one of the main trails.
Little River Falls
DeSoto State Park is located
within the limits of the Little
River Canyon National
Preserve and provides the
nearest accommodations to
the national park.
Custom Search
Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.