Carlos the Dog with the pleading eyes
Carlos the dog

Benny McBurnett

Carlos the Dog says:

  • A leash keeps me from getting lost.
  • My keen senses will alert you to trouble or the presence of other wildlife.
  • Unleashed dogs can intimidate my owner or me. This takes away from our visit to the park.
  • Unleashed dogs that damage the park or harass visitors and wildlife could get all dogs banned from the park.
  • Failure to leash your dog may result in a fine.
Be Smart - Be Safe - Be Alive

Visitor safety is one of our highest priorities. The park offers a variety of activities such as bird watching, fishing, hunting, hiking, horseback riding area, canoeing/kayaking, rock climbing/rappelling, and water activities. Some sports require a certain amount of experience. Injuries are most likely to occur when people lack the experience, knowledge or fail to use proper safety equipment.

Be a Park Guardian

You can help by contacting a park official if you see illegal acts happening in the park. Imagine how safe the park would be with a quarter of a million people guarding it!

There are people who either intentionally or unknowingly harm park resources. Please contact park officials immediately if you see any of the following:

- Vandalism such as writing graffiti
- Drinking alcohol or drug use
- Breaking into cars
- Collecting wildlife, plants, rocks
- Camping
- Possession of or flying drones
- Possession of or use of metal detectors
- Feeding wildlife

If you see any suspicious activities contact DeKalb County Park Dispatch at 1-256-845-3801 or dial 911. Provide as much information as possible (description, vehicle license plate number or photo). If a person's life is in danger, immediately call 911.

Driving Safety
There are 8 designated Overlooks to pull over and enjoy the views. Drive slow; there are many blind curves and you may encounter people, wildlife, bicycles or emergency vehicles.
- Follow the speed limit, wear seatbelt and obey the rules of the road and laws.
- Pull off the road completely before getting out to take photos or to look at your map.

Fishing Safety
This sport is allowed anywhere on Little River. Many people enjoy fishing here.
- Follow the fishing rules and regulations of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
- For more information, go to:
- You must have a valid State of Alabama fishing license.

Hiking Safety
People love to hike down into the canyon. We want you to have your adventure and be able to go home and talk about it.
- Know your limits and be prepared. Check the weather beforehand. Reschedule if needed.
- Wear proper hiking gear. Sandals, flip-flops and dress shoes are not suitable for hiking.
- Come prepared; bring food and water. Bring a first aid kit.
- Never hike alone. Plan ahead; let someone know where you plan to hike and return.
- Stay on the trail to avoid poison ivy or other irritants.
- Check for ticks after hiking in the woods.

Horseback Riding Safety
We have roads in the Backcountry Area to ride your horse. Horseback riders share this area with hunters and other wildlife.
- Be aware of the hunting season dates and avoid riding horses during gun hunt dates.
- Be safe, wear orange during hunting season.
- Stay on the roads and avoid tying horses within 100 feet of a water source.
- Watch for bears, snakes and other wildlife.

Hunting Safety
This sport is allowed in the Backcountry Area during specified dates and times. Follow the hunting rules and regulations of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
- For more information, go to:
- Watch out for horseback riders.
- Have the proper permit and licenses.
- Always wear proper safety gear.

Kayaking and Canoeing Safety
Kayaking on Little River is for experts only (Class III to VI). The Backcountry area is the only suitable area for canoeing and beginners.
- Plan your trip, scout out the area before getting in the water. Shuttles are not available.
- Wear safety gear and never canoe or kayak alone.
- Know your skill level and the difficulty of the area you plan to navigate.

Mountain Biking Safety
We have 20+ miles of road to bike in the Wildlife Management Area (Backcountry Area.)
- Always keep bicycles on designated roads. Riding off designated roads may kill plants or injure people. The park is home to many threatened and endangered species.
- We recommend that you wear safety gear due to uneven surfaces and creek crossings.
- If you choose to ride on Alabama Highway 176, you must follow the rules of the road.

Pet Safety
We want you to be able to bring your pet family with you to enjoy the park. We have a few rules to keep you,your pet, and other visitors safe.
- Pets must always be on a leash no longer than 6 feet.
- Always maintain control of your pet.
- Always provide plenty of water and never leave your pet alone in a hot car.
- Collect and dispose of your pet feces in a trash receptacle or take it with you.

Rappelling and Rock Climbing
You can climb and rappel from any of the cliffs. Some are for beginners and some are for advanced users.
- Plan your trip, visit the area before you decide to climb.
- Know your skill level. Know the difficulty of the area you plan to climb.
- Always wear proper safety gear and never climb alone.

River Safety
Hidden dangers lie beneath the water. Thousands of people enjoy the water activities in the park. We understand the thrill of being on the edge and to feel invincible. It is illegal to be closer than 50 feet to the edge of the waterfall. But the truth is that many rescues and deaths have occurred from people seeking that thrill. Cool off and have fun, but please use caution whenever you are in the water.

- The top of Little River Falls is closed 50 feet back from the edge of the cliff/water. You could get a ticket, or worse carried over the falls.
- Wet rocks are deceptively slick and sharp and cause many people to get injured.
- Low but swift water over the falls can cause you to be swept over the falls in seconds.
- Never walk across or into high, swift water.
- Never pose at the edge of the waterfall for that "perfect picture"; it could be your last.
- Never climb up or down the waterfall.
- Never jump off the falls. There is a hidden ledge just under the water.
- Explore the water first; debris and other hazards can lie beneath the surface.
- Always supervise and use floatation devices on children; they are no match for the current.
- Never attempt to drive your vehicle across designated crossing at high water. If your vehicle gets carried into the river, you could be injured or die.

Wildlife Safety
Animals are wild and should be viewed from a distance. Never feed or try to approach a wild animal, no matter how "cute" it may be.

- If you see a bear but are not close, change your direction to move away from the animal.
- If the bear approaches, do not run. Remain calm, face the bear and back away slowly.
- Climbing a tree is not a good idea; bears can climb too.
- Never approach a bear, especially a baby bear. The mother is nearby and can charge.
- If a bear attacks you, fight back with all your have (yelling, fists, sticks, rocks, bear spray).

Never interact with the snake. Most bites occur when people "play" with the snake.
- Stay calm, be still until the snake moves away. Snakes will strike if they feel threatened.
- If bitten, stay calm, and try not to move. Have someone else go for help.
- Copperheads and rattlesnakes are the most common poisonous snakes in our area.

Last updated: April 17, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

4322 Little River Trail NE
Suite 100

Fort Payne, AL 35967


(256) 845-9605 x201

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