Little River Falls
A magnificent year-round
waterfall, Little River Falls are
located just off Alabama
Highway 35 in Little River
Canyon National Preserve.
Little River Canyon
Canyon Rim Drive provides
access to a series of viewing
points that provide visitors
with spectacular vistas.
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Little River Canyon, Alabama
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Little River Canyon, Alabama
Little River Canyon National Preserve - Fort Payne, Alabama
Little River Canyon
Sometimes called the "Grand Canyon of the East,"
Alabama's Little River Canyon is twelve miles long
and up to 600 feet deep.
The "Grand Canyon of the East"
The Little River Canyon National Preserve
protects 14,000 acres of beautiful and
rugged mountain country atop Lookout
Mountain near Fort Payne, Alabama.

Sometimes called the "Grand Canyon of the
East," the spectacular canyon was carved
over thousands of years by Little River. One
of the longest rivers in America that flows
almost entirely on the top of a mountain, Little
River begins at 1,900 feet above sea level
and drops over 1,200 feet before it finally
merges with the waters of Weiss Lake.

Along its course, the river has carved a
canyon that is twelve miles long and reaches
depths of over 600 feet. The result is some of
the most stunning scenery to be found in the
Deep South.

Now one of the nation's newest national park
areas, Little River Canyon is rich in both
natural and cultural history. The Spanish
explorer Hernando de Soto passed through
the region during the 1540s and the canyon
later was frequented by both Cherokee and
Creek hunters.

Early settlers built a mill at
Little River Falls
and the pioneer community of Edna Hill grew
in the vicinity. Although the village once
included the mill, a store, homes and other
structures, only photographs and memories
remain today.

The beautiful waterfall still flows, however,
and can be reached by an accessible path
from a parking lot on Alabama Highway 35.
Visitors of all abilities can visit the overlook
platform and the more adventurous can
follow a short path on down to the waterfall
itself.
Little River Falls can also be seen from
an overlook on
Canyon Rim Drive.

The rim drive is a paved road that leads from
Alabama Highway 35 near Fort Payne south
to the canyon mouth at Weiss Lake. Along
the way it provides visitors with access to a
number of overlooks, picnic spots, trailheads
and stunning natural vistas.

During the winter months, when rains and
fewer leaves give the river its full current,
Little River Canyon is known for some of the
finest whitewater in the South. The river is
dangerous, however, and only experienced
rafters should attempt it when it is flowing at
full force.Trips can be arranged through area
outdoor outlets.

Alabama's popular
DeSoto State Park is
located within the designated limits of the
Little River Canyon National Preserve and
provides a store, accommodations, camping,
a restaurant, picnic areas and more. The
northern entrance to Canyon Rim Drive and
the Little River Falls parking area are just a
few miles from the state park and are also
easily accessible from Interstate 59 at Fort
Payne where accommodations, restaurants
and other businesses are also available.
Although the national preserve is only about
a half-hour's drive from both I-59 and the
Lookout Mountain Parkway, casual visitors
should allow themselves at least several
hours to see
Little River Falls and the
overlooks along
Canyon Rim Drive.

The canyon is located in one of the most
beautiful and historic areas of the South.
Sherman's army reached Little River in 1864
while pursuing Confederates under General
John Bell Hood, but soon turned back to
begin the March to the Sea.

The scenery atop Lookout Mountain, which
stretches from Chattanooga, Tennessee to
Gadsden, Alabama, is spectacular. The
preserve is an easy day trip from either
Chattanooga or Birmingham.
Click here to
access a map of the park.

To reach the park from I-59, simply exit at Fort
Payne onto Alabama Highway 35 South and
follow the roadway to the park entrance.
There is no charge to visit the park, with the
exception of the Canyon Mouth Recreation
Area, for which there is a $3 per person
user's fee.
Please click here to visit the
official National Park Service website for
more information.
View of Little River Falls
An accessible overlook
allows visitors of all abilities
to view Little River Falls. The
more adventurous can play in
the water itself.
Pathway to an Overlook
Short trails from Canyon Rim
Drive take visitors to platforms
and overlooks along the rim
of Little River Canyon for
spectacular views.
Cabin at DeSoto State Park
Accommodations ranging
from primitive campsites to
log cabins and motel rooms
can be found adjacent to Little
River Canyon at DeSoto State
Park.
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Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.