Visitor Safety

Visitor safety is one of our highest priorities. You can help by contacting a park official if you see illegal acts happening in the park. Image how safe the park would be with a quarter of a million people guarding it!

Be aware that there are Black Bears in the park. Please do not feed the bears. Never get close to them expecially young bears. The mother is always nearby and can charge at you.

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

  • Writing grafiti
  • Drinking alcohol or drug use
  • Stealing, breaking into cars
  • Collecting wildlife, plants, rocks
  • Camping outside designated areas
  • Possession of metal detectors or using them
  • Feeding Wildlife

If you see activities that could harm people or park resources, write down any descriptions or a vehicle license plate number and contact the park dispatch 1-256-845-3801. If a person's life is in danger, call 911.

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 snake, stay still until it goes away or if it is safe, move away from it. Snakes will strike if they feel threatened in any way.

  • Keep your distance, even if they approach you
  • Always dispose of waste properly in park provided trash cans
  • When camping, store food securely at all times.
  • Failure to obey regulations could result in a fine of up to $5,000.00 and/or impoundment of your property.

Pet Safety

Pets must always be on a leash and never left unattended. Please be responsible and dispose of your pets feces in a trash receptacle or take it with you. Never leave you pet in a hot car, and always provide plenty of water.

Bicycling Safety

Always keep bicycles on designated roads. Riding off designated roads may kill plants, some are endangered in the park. We recommend that you wear safety equipment due to the uneven surfaces of the road and creek crossings. Approved roads for bicycles are Road 01- 10 in the Backcountry Area. There are over twenty miles of road to ride on.

Traffic Safety

Driving down the scenic drive (Alabama Highway 176) is an easy way to relax and enjoy the scenery. There are many blind curves and you may encounter wildlife, so drive slow. Along the drive you will come to eight overlooks to pull off and walk around and enjoy the views.

  • Follow the speed limit
  • Watch for wildlife and other vehicles
  • Wear your seatbelt; motorcyclists must wear helmets
  • Pull off the road completely before getting out to take photos or look at your map.

Water Safety

Always use caution around water. Thousands of people enjoy the water activites at Little River Canyon National Preserve each year. Each year we have near misses, injuries or even death due to carelessness. Be Smart, Be Safe, Be Alive.


  • Watch your children closely, never leave them alone
  • Swim only during low water conditions
  • Avoid areas of "whitewater"
  • If you can't swim, or can't swim well, do not go into water over your head
  • Never swim alone

Canoeing or Kayaking

  • Never canoe or kayak alone. Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return
  • Have the skill to manage and know the difficulty of the rapids your attempting to navigate. The rapids at the Preserve are for experts only.
  • Always wear your safety gear

River Crossings

In the fall, winter, and early spring the water levels are usually dangerous. Powerful currents and river obstructions can trap or kill the unwary.

  • Avoid rock hopping in high or swift water. Rocks are slippery when wet or dry.
  • Stay away from the edge of the water when it is high and swift.
  • Never attempt to drive your vehicle acrossdesignated crossings at high water. If your vehicle gets carried into the river you could be fined and have to pay restoration fees.

Little River Falls

  • Never "peer over" the falls or have your child, spouse or significant other "pose" at the edge of the waterfall for that "perfect picture". It could be the last one you take of them.
  • Use caution when rock hopping on top of the falls even when the water is low. The rocks are slipperly and can cut like a knife.
  • Never sit on the edge over the waterfall. If you fall, it will be on rocks, not water.
  • Do not attempt to climb up or down the face of the waterfall. The rocks are slippery!
  • Low but swift water running over the falls can cause children and adults to be swept off their feet and over the falls even when they were far back from the edge. Keep a close eye on your children while atop the falls area.
  • Never attempt to jump off the Little River Falls. There is a hidden ledge just under the water and if you hit it, you will have broken bones if you survive.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

4322 Little River Trail NE
Suite 100

Fort Payne, AL 35967


(256) 845-9605 x201

Contact Us