Jacksonsville State University Little River Canyon Center
432 Little River Canyon Parkway, Fort Payne, AL 35967
For infomation on Little River Canyon National Preserve or to view a movie on the area, visit the Little River Canyon Center, which is owned and operated by the Jacksonville State University. The front desk is staffed by National Park Service staff, Volunteers, and Jacksonville State University staff.
Gift Shop is owned and operated by Jacksonville State University Field School
Open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (CST).
Canyon Mouth Park Day-Use Area
(Current hours are in bold print)
Spring Hours - Open Daily from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Central time)
Summer Hours - Open Daily from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM (Central time)
Fall Hours - Open Daily from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Central time)
Winter Hours - Open Daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Central time)
$15 day-use pass fee per vehicle
* Fee machine accepts CASH ONLY (debit/credit coming this year!) - exact change is strongly recommended
This is a wonderful place to bring the family for a day of outdoor fun. Canyon Mouth Park features:
Canyon Mouth Park closes promptly at the posted closing time - vehicles within the gates after hours are subject to being ticketed and/or towed.
A wonderful swimming hole located on AL Highway 35 just 1/4 mile east of Little River Falls. This spot is perfect for families with young children or new swimmers, featuring calm, easy flowing waters and is close to the parking lot. A small parking lot limits crowding at this location. Future improvements will include picnic benches and fixed-in-place charcoal grills for visitor use.
* On late spring and summer weekends, the Blue Hole parking lot often is full by 11:00 AM (CST) and park staff will close the lot until spaces become available. Have a back-up plan in case this area is inaccessible due to a full parking lot.
Scenic Drive - Little River Canyon Rim Parkway
23 miles, 8 overlooks, 4 trails, 1 unique rock formation, and a thousand memories ready to be made! Connecting Little River Falls and Canyon Mouth Park, the Little River Canyon Rim Parkway grants visitors the opportunity to take in the beauty of the canyon from the west rim, and the challenge of hiking down into the canyon to the river below. The Parkway itself is popular with bicyclist in the warmer months, and with those chasing the brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows of changing leaves in the fall. Rock climbers can also be found year-round accessing world-class climbing along the canyon.
Little River Canyon National Preserve is home to three named waterfalls, with multiple unnamed seasonal falls during the winter and spring or after periods of intense rainfall.
The most popular feature of Little River Canyon National Preserve is Little River Falls. At 45 feet (13.7 m) high, Little River Falls demonstrates the power of water, with Little River carving it's way through the sandstone bedrock and creating the beautiful canyon surrounding it. The flow of the falls varies with the season. Summer and fall find the river low, exposing the picturesque sandstone beneath while leaving pools of water perfect for wading in above the falls, and a wonderful swimming hole below the falls. Winter and spring rains bring the waterfall to it's full glory.
Little Falls (formerly known as Martha's Falls)
This mini-waterfall, formed by water cascading over a sandstone ledge the width of the river, is a favorite swimming spot in the summer.
Graces High Falls (seasonal waterfall)
At 133' high, Graces High Falls is the tallest waterfall in Alabama. This waterfall is dependent on rainfall and does not flow year-round. Graces High Falls Overlook features a viewing platform on Little River Canyon Rim Parkway.
Little River Canyon features over 26 miles of trail, from serene river-side hikes to steep, strenuous trails leading down the canyon to the river below. Jacksonville State University also offers the Path To Learning Trail, a gentle stroll through the woods behind the Canyon Center. Stop by the information desk at the Little River Canyon Center for suggestions for your hike, or consult the table below and choose your own adventure!
Wildlife Management Area
The backcountry of Little River Canyon National Preserve is a landscape of rolling hills and dense woodlands, where Little River runs calm and wildlife abounds. The 23 miles of road in the Wildlife Management Area are open to 4 wheel drive vehicles, horseback riders, bicyclist, and hikers, and is popular for kayaks and canoes during the wetter months.
Last updated: June 4, 2021