Pack a picnic lunch and head out for a day exploring the ridges, waterfalls and river in beautiful DeSoto State Park.
Located on Lookout Mountain, DeSoto State Park has over 30 miles of hiking trails, including 11 + miles of mountain bike trails. Most interconnect with each other, while others take you into more remote areas. DSP’s trail system boasts interesting rock formations, small seasonal waterfalls, a variety of diverse plant communities, plentiful animal life, and beautiful views of the West Fork of Little River, which flows downstream into interconnecting Little River Canyon.
Terrain on the trails can vary from 'easy' to strenuous.
Alabama State Park printable maps, interactive maps & Google Earth files can be found here
Please be sure to find out what type of terrain a trail might have before setting out; they might be more difficult than you think. Printed trail maps can be found at the Lodge, Country Store, & Nature Center.
Please note: this map is available in the park, sold for $1.00 in the Country Store & Lodge (proceeds go towards the DeSoto State Park Nature Center Donation Fund)
The Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail
This boardwalk Trail was planned and built through a community effort headed by former park superintendent Talmadge Butler. Grants and donations paid for the materials used to build the trail. It was constructed by the Alabama State Parks Maintenance Crew.
The Boardwalk is a 360-yard trail that can be enjoyed and traveled by people of all abilities. No matter what the season, the boardwalk gives the hiker a unique perspective of the surrounding habitat.
A 20-foot octagon deck at the end of the trail places you over the pool created by the Azalea Cascade.
Wildflower Blooming Season usually ranges from March-November.
Fall Color peak is historically sometime from the first of October thru the middle of November.
The Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail(at Azalea Cascade) is also part of the North Alabama Birding Trail!
See www.northalabamabirdingtrail.com for more info.
Several waterfalls can be found on the trails of DeSoto State Park
Dog are allowed on DeSoto State Park's Trails as long as they are on a leash at all times.
Want a more challenging hiking experience? Check out the DeSoto Scout Trail!
This historic trail starts at Comer Scout Reservation, continues through Desoto State Park, and into Little River Canyon National Preserve. It follows the beautiful West Fork of Little River and continues downstream to Highway 35. Currently, the DST can be accessed from DeSoto State Park's north border downstream to the backcountry trailhead on road 5 in the Little River Canyon Wildlife Management Area. This trail is marked with yellow blazes in DSP and changes to brown & white metal signs as pass over the border between DSP & the Little River Canyon Management Area.
Historically the Trail is about 16 miles long, but due to flooding and overgrowth; only certain sections are clear. It had even been detoured onto backcountry roads in some places. Mileage Information(PDF)
A Partnership to revitalize the trail has been formed by the following agencies:
Little River Canyon National Preserve
Desoto State Park
The Boy Scouts of America
Russell Cave National Monument
& Volunteers like you
Want up to date information? Be sure to check out the DeSoto Scout Trail Project on Facebook for trail work days, events, maps & more! DeSoto Scout Trail Trailheads in DeSoto State Park(PDF)