The park is located in DeKalb and Cherokee Counties in Alabama. We are in the upper northeast corner of the state. The Visitor Center is located in Fort Payne, Alabama.
Your first stop should be at the Little River Canyon Center at 4322 Little River Trail NE (472 AL Hwy 35 for GPS).Come let us tell you what is available and get a park map before you begin exploring the park. A movie, gift shop, and restrooms are also available at this facility.
Little River Canyon National Preserve is divided into three parts: Backcountry Area, Scenic Drive and Canyon Mouth Picnic Area. There are also two waterfalls along AL Highway 35 that people also like to visit (Little River Falls from Boardwalk and Grace's High Falls).
The Scenic Drive offers an eleven-mile drive down AL Highway 176 with eight overlooks to stop and enjoy the scenery. Very little walking is required to enjoy the views. Picnic tables are available along the scenic drive.
There are trails available if you would like to explore. Eberhart Trail has the easiest access to the bottom of the canyon down to the river. It is 3/4 miles from the top to the bottom; once you are at the bottom of the canyon, you can hike as far as you want. Keep in mind, you have to come back up the 3/4 miles to get back to the top. A restroom is located at the top of this trail on AL Hwy 176.
Beaver Pond Trail is a 1.5 mile loop. This trail offers easy walking and is located on top of the mountain. Birdwatchers or people with kids love this trail for the quick access and easy trails.
The Backcountry Area has about 23 miles of dirt roads that are great for horseback riding. Hunting and fishing are allowed in this area during specified times and dates (users must adhere to Alabama Hunting & Fishing Regulations). There is also a popular swimming area called High Rock found off of Road 05. DeSoto Scout Trails and the YCC Loop to Road 10 trail are found in this area.
Canyon Mouth Picnic Area is a popular place to picnic, and spend the day near the water. There is a $3 fee for parking. The automated fee machine does not accept credit cards. Restrooms are available at this location.
Little River Falls offers a paved 100-car parking lot with a boardwalk leading down to the falls. The parking lot is located next to the AL Hwy 35 bridge. Restrooms and picnic tables are available (no reservations). A hiking trail leads you to Martha's Falls.
Martha's Falls is located near Little River Falls. This site offers a gravel parking lot for up to 50 cars. There are no picnic tables or restrooms at this location. This is a very popular attraction for people that want to be near the water.
Special uses such as weddings, baptisms, professional photography/filming or other special events require a permit.