DeSoto State Park

DeSoto State Park, Fort Payne: Hours, Address, DeSoto State Park Reviews: 4.5/5

DeSoto State Park
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
In the rustic tradition of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), mountainous Desoto State Park is accented by many rushing waterfalls and fragrant wildflowers. The park was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the late 1930s and the atmosphere of the CCC enhances many areas, including the Lodge, restaurant, and Cabins. Lodging to choose from: Log Cabins, Rustic CCC cabins, Chalets, Motel Rooms. Camping options: Camping Cabin Improved campground with full hookup campsites (for RVs & tents) Primitive Camping, Backpacking Campsites. Amenities include a restaurant, meeting rooms, pavilions, picnic area,playground, swimming pool (seasonal), Benefield Nature Center, a CCC museum, and much more. A large selection of events are available such as campfire talks, classes, demonstrations, etc. DeSoto State Park is located eight miles northeast of Fort Payne, Alabama. DeSoto Falls, a 104ft waterfall, is one of DeSoto's biggest attractions, located about 7 miles north near Mentone, AL
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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The area
Best nearby
We rank these restaurants and attractions by balancing reviews from our members with how close they are to this location.
5 within 6 miles
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

385 reviews
Very good

Enterprise, AL45 contributions
Jul 2021
My husband and I just returned from DeSoto Sate Park and thoroughly enjoyed it! Yes the lodge rooms are a bit outdated with loud air conditioners but that is easily overshadowed by the excellent staff. Every single person we encountered was friendly and helpful. Each wait staff person was effecient and courteous as was the front desk staff. Our room was very clean and comfortable with nice beds and nice towels. Also the breakfast and lunch buffets are delicious and filling for the hikes or you can order off the menu.
Yes, you do have to get into the car to go to the pool which was very nice with several life guards on duty, to the trails and to Desoto Falls and yes the falls are determined by the rainfall but the park has no control over that.
We found the trails to be well marked and easy to follow but I do agree that some tree clearing and trail maintenace might help those of us who are "a certain age".
We enjoyed meeting people from all over the Southeast...some brought their own Kayaks for paddling on the lake.
If you plan to go, make sure you call about the hours of the restaurant before your trip to make sure they will be opened.
Bottom Line: Put on some good hiking shoes and go get in touch with nature at DeSoto State Park!
Written July 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

79 contributions
Apr 2022
We had never been to Alabama before. DeSoto State Park proved to be an camping excellent experience. The sites were large, fully serviced, well groomed, basically level and spaced out nicely with decent WIFI (2 bars at site, very good at the office). They offered pull-through and back in options. Comfort stations were easily accessible and the showers were hot. We were delighted with the April Spring weather but it also offered some rain storms and lots of pollen. The camp did provide shelter info in case of a big storm in advance. Luckily, it did not materialize. Good hiking trails, decent birding.

The camp staff were all very helpful and friendly.

This park is centrally located that offers great day trips to Chattanooga (check out the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway), Fort Payne and Little River Canyon.

Whether you want to do Day Trips or hang around the campsite, I would recommend this park to families and couples. We will be back.
Written April 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Debbie M
Germantown, TN398 contributions
Oct 2021
If I was a camper, this would be a spot I'd be sure to go to often. There are several small waterfalls throughout the park and all are easy to walk to. DeSoto Falls is a little bit outside the park, but is the biggest and most impressive with 3 drops. They do ask for a small fee of $4 at the picnic area where DeSoto Falls is located. This is certainly reasonable for upkeep. The viewing area has plenty of concrete steps so that most people can get to the lower part to view (somewhat) the final drop. The rangers are a very helpful and friendly, too.
Written November 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ariel W
Dothan, AL13 contributions
Jun 2021 • Friends
Map was poorly marked. No indication of NWSE. Trails were more poorly marked. Occasionally paint on a tree of a color, but no indication of what direction you are actually going. You come to a fork in the trail, both directions are marked “blue.” Spent 4 hours searching for water falls, totally dried up. Prior to embarking on our hike, we asked a couple of park workers about the falls, they assured us the falls were beautiful and worth the hike. Maybe they would be, except they were totally dried up. Late in the night, the power went out due to tropical storm Claudette. I came to the front lobby to see when I might expect it to come back on, with the girl saying “she has no idea” and “go back to your cabin the lobby is closed.” I couldn’t check the weather in my cabin!! There’s absolutely no service and cable TV doesn’t work when the power is out! 🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️ We DID try to cancel our trip early Friday morning due to the tropical storm and they refused to issue a refund. So we made the trip up here, only to wander around looking for nonexistent waterfalls and lay in a cabin with spiders and roaches with no power. If you come up here, be safe on the trails. Don’t go alone. Consider finding a better map than the one they hand out. Take lots of water. Wear long pants. Tons of poison ivy and some parts of the trail are extremely narrow and you will get into the foliage.
Written June 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Atlanta, GA683 contributions
Apr 2022
There was no fee for entering the park however there was a $2 fee box for the picnic area. We did a short hike to Indian Falls which was nice. We also did the boardwalk to the Azalea Cascade. It was a pretty area and a short walk. The park needs some improvements. The restrooms at the country Store were disgusting. Many of the picnic tables were broken. Everything seemed to need some updates and repairs. Be aware that Desoto Falls is not in the state park.
Written April 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rome, GA24 contributions
Aug 2020
First time camping here. We stayed in one of the sites at the back of the campground past the pull thru sites and although some of those sites were not shady, ours was shady and private with woods on three sides. The site was gravel and perfectly level. It was plenty long enough for our 36' fifth wheel, but once we got all three slides out, it was a little narrow. It was fine for just the two of us, but a larger group could be cramped. The campground was peaceful and quiet and seemed to have only small families and older campers there for the weekend. We didn't go on any of the numerous hiking trails, but we walked up the road to the primitive campground area and that was a great walk early in the morning as it was very serene with no traffic and good exercise because it was uphill. Our only complaints would be the number of files at our campsite (made it difficult to cook and eat outside); and as another reviewer mentioned, the sewage hookup was too high for our fifth wheel so we had to "walk it out" the hose. Plus the sewage hookup is right next to the water and electricity hookups and I have never liked having my fresh water hose and electrical cord lying where sewage has probably ran over. Overall, we liked camping here and will be returning to camp again and hike some of the trails.
Written August 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Birmingham22 contributions
Sep 2020 • Family
We decided to take a weekend RV camping trip to DeSoto State Park in Mentone/Ft. Payne, AL. It’s a nice park but the gravel sites overall looked a little unleveled. However, there were full hook ups in many campsites but now all. The park is also pet friendly. WIFI was adequate. There are several walking trails but we did not walk any or use the bathhouses so I can’t comment on that.

We wanted to also paddle board the river upstream from the falls so this was a great location to camp in order to do that and campers get free entry into the day use area at the falls. It’s about a 7-mile scenic drive from the campground to the falls.

The falls area was beautiful and the paddle was quite fun. The park offers kayak, paddle board, and canoe rentals... not sure of costs as we have our own paddle boards. It was a Saturday but it still didn’t feel crowded. Just a lovely place to camp and for a little fun on the water.
Written September 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Madison, AL1,643 contributions
Aug 2020
We had a lovely experience here with our kids 12 & 15. We rented kayaks and the teens that helped us how to kayak since it was our 1st time were real nice and helpful. It's $4 parking fee and we got there just in time. It's a beautiful area to explore. There are lots of trails to hike. There is a store that sells shirts and bottled drinks. There is a public bathroom. Single Kayaks $15/hr

We will return but our next visit we won't hike down to the bottom of the falls. It's kind of a let down due to the rocks let alone the hike down to it has a few difficult areas. The trail was marked well so you don't get lost. If you do trail make sure you have the right shoes like water hiking shoes.
Written August 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Merritt Island, FL269 contributions
Jan 2020 • Family
While camping at Desoto State Park we took the short drive over to see Desoto Falls. What a beautiful waterfall! Worth the time. No cost to see it, there are stairs to climb to get a good view of the falls with railings, plus a nice picnic area by the lake.

They do have restrooms too, however they are currently under construction.
Written January 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Huntsville, AL35 contributions
Nov 2020 • Family
Very good hiking here. We did Boardwalk to Blue trail to Orange trail to Red trail to Boardwalk (2 large-ish waterfalls). Paved & unpaved areas for biking. Many options for lodging. (The waterfall pictured is NOT in the state park. It is a 9 minute drive away & requires $4 entrance fee. A better hike to see Desoto Falls has a trail head located before you enter the entrance fee area. There is a parking lot at its trailhead, but the trailhead is unmarked.)
Written November 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about DeSoto State Park

DeSoto State Park is open:
  • Sun - Sat 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM