DeSoto State Park Is The Perfect Place For Fall Colors

Friday, October 18, 2019 - by Mike Perrin
Soon, the fall colors will explode at DeSoto Falls in DeSoto State Park in northeast Alabama. With some much-needed rain, several waterfalls in the park will come to life - and will be the answer to any nature photographer's dream.
Soon, the fall colors will explode at DeSoto Falls in DeSoto State Park in northeast Alabama. With some much-needed rain, several waterfalls in the park will come to life - and will be the answer to any nature photographer's dream.
- photo by Braed Lackey

DeSoto State Park features more than 30 miles of trails atop Lookout Mountain in the northeastern corner of the state and was recently at the top of a travel website’s list of the 50 “most underrated” state parks in the U.S. Walking one of those trails – or driving to easily accessible spots such as DeSoto Falls – is the perfect way to enjoy this year’s late arrival of colorful fall foliage.

“We were thrilled that CashNetUSA.com recognized DeSoto as Alabama’s ‘most underrated’ state park,” said Park Superintendent Josh Hughes. “We appreciate all the recognition that our park receives, including being named by TripAdvisor.com as a Hall of Fame attraction for receiving a Certificate of Excellence for at least five straight years. We know we’re not exactly a secret, but I’m not sure everyone realizes everything we have to offer.”

The 3,502-acre DeSoto State Park was developed in the late 1930s, thanks to the hard work of the Civilian Conservation Corps created during the Great Depression. CCC workers made many natural enhancements to the park that have withstood the test of time and Alabama State Park Division employees have built on that legacy. DeSoto – one of six resort state parks in the system – has multiple lodging options, including mountain chalets, log and rustic cabins, motel rooms, an improved campground with 94 full hookup tent and recreational vehicle sites. There are also primitive camping sites for tents and two back-country campsites with shelters.

It’s easy to go online to plan a visit (alapark.com/DSP-plan-your-trip) or book a room or campsite (alapark.com/desoto-state-park-reservations) for a single night or several weeks at DeSoto. To make a reservation by phone, call (256) 845-5380 or (800) 760-4089 for camping information. Park staff can also offer suggestions for great ways to spend your time at the park by calling (256) 845-5380.

“Anyone looking for a beautiful, peaceful place to spend a day or a month would be well rewarded by coming to DeSoto State Park,” said Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Chris Blankenship. “The park staff works hard to make a visit to DeSoto a wonderful experience and we’re happy to receive high marks from our visitors. With the Little River Canyon National Preserve and the quaint town of Mentone nearby, there is so much to see and do. I hope people will take an opportunity to enjoy the park and the surrounding area.”

DeSoto State Park is known for its scenery, notably the 104-foot DeSoto Falls and the many other seasonal waterfalls in the park. The prime seasons for viewing the waterfalls are late fall, spring and winter – obviously depending on rainfall in the park.

“We have some autumn color coming in now,” Mr. Hughes said, “and usually the peak time for us has been between the third week of October and the first part of November. We can’t be too specific about the absolute best time to visit during the fall, so we just say come check out the leaves and keep coming for a different experience every time!”

A weekly fall foliage report for DeSoto State Park is available at www.alapark.com/parks/desoto-state-park/fall-color.

DeSoto State Park is at 7104 DeSoto Parkway NE, Fort Payne. The park trails and picnic areas are open from dawn to dusk. The country store is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and the lodge front desk is open 24/7 all year.



Kayaker Dane Jackson Makes The 2nd Tallest Waterfall Descent On Record

Ruby Falls Debuts New Tour And Cinematic Experience

"Turtle Nursery" In Tennessee Aquarium's Upcoming Gallery Exhibits Hatchlings


Tennessee-born Dane Jackson , already one of the greatest whitewater kayakers of all time, has accomplished what could be recognized as the landmark achievement of his stellar career by descending ... (click for more)

As part of the multi-year milestone transformation of historic Ruby Falls, a new cinematic experience debuts Thursday, followed by the launch of a new specialty tour March 1. The additions bring ... (click for more)

From pallets of plushes and roses by the gross to chocolate in every imaginable shape, there are a lot of go-to options for Valentine’s Day gifts. But what to give the animal care specialist ... (click for more)




Travel

Kayaker Dane Jackson Makes The 2nd Tallest Waterfall Descent On Record

Tennessee-born Dane Jackson , already one of the greatest whitewater kayakers of all time, has accomplished what could be recognized as the landmark achievement of his stellar career by descending the 134-foot Salto del Maule waterfall. Mr. Jackson, who routinely launches himself into first descents of waterfalls while racking up first place finishes in competitions around ... (click for more)

Ruby Falls Debuts New Tour And Cinematic Experience

As part of the multi-year milestone transformation of historic Ruby Falls, a new cinematic experience debuts Thursday, followed by the launch of a new specialty tour March 1. The additions bring new opportunities for guests to discover adventure at the home of the tallest underground waterfall open to the public in the United States. “The Story of Ruby Falls” is a short-film ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Jacob Coyne Guilty Of Murder, Robbery; Gets Life In Prison In Slaying Of Jalen Little

A Criminal Court jury on Friday night found Jacob Coyne guilty in the March 2017 slaying of 19-year-old Jalen Little, who was shot down in the driveway of his home on Oak Tree Drive. Coyne was ruled guilty of first-degree murder, felony murder and especially aggravated robbery. He was sentenced by Judge Tom Greenholtz to life in prison on the two murder charges. He will be ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Airport Board Gives Go-Ahead For $25 Million Parking Garage

The Chattanooga Airport Board on Friday unanimously approved the awarding of $25 million to Hoar Construction in order to design and build a new four-level parking garage for the airport. While the current lot can house around 500 vehicles, the proposed parking garage will almost double the amount of spaces available. If all goes well, the project could be finished by next ... (click for more)

Opinion

Good Urban Design

Chattanooga is enjoying a robust movement to plan developments in a number of downtown neighborhoods, and there is good reason to believe that well designed development should be welcomed. The opposite is also true, that bad or poorly designed development should not be welcomed, especially if it seriously degrades the existing neighborhood. In the case of a sought after rezoning ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

At a recent self-help workshop for adult trauma victims, the main group was split into teams of eight for lunch. Each table was assigned a question, “What was your worst moment in your comeback?” At our table, everyone laughed about each other’s life-changing event but a beautiful girl, who had been a surgeon before a rare eye disease quickly took her sight, was dazzling. Currently, ... (click for more)