Situated atop northeast Alabama’s Lookout Mountain, Desoto State Park is a 3,500-acre nature preserve and recreation destination that features vibrant forests, gushing waterfalls, and rugged mountain scenery. The park is located 8 miles northeast of Fort Payne, and approximately 75 miles east of Huntsville making it a great place camping near Atlanta. Dedicated in 1939, the park was named after Hernando de Soto, the renowned 16th century explorer. Prior to its dedication, most of the park’s roads, trails and facilities were constructed through the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a Depression-era works program that improved many of the country’s parks and forests, while providing jobs and skills to millions of struggling Americans. The park boasts many local legends, including one that suggests that the area may have been settled by Welsh explorers, centuries before Columbus’s arrival in the New World. Visitors are invited to learn more about DeSoto State Park by camping in the park.
The campground at DeSoto State Park features 94 full-hookup sites for tent and RV campers. Sites have either back-in or pull-through parking pads, and can accommodate large vehicles/trailers. Each site is equipped with picnic tables and cooking grills, and there are two comfort stations available with restrooms, showers and laundry facilities. A dump station is located onsite. The park also has a primitive tent campground that offers 16 sites with fire pits. Picnic tables, cooking grills, potable water, trash receptacles, and vault toilets are located in this campground’s central area. There are also two primitive backpacker camps with sleeping shelters and fire pits, but no water or trash service. In addition to camping, the park also offers a variety of chalets, cabins and motel rooms for those less interested in roughing it. Other amenities include picnic areas, an outdoor pool, tennis courts, and a playground. Campsite rates range from $15–$36/night, plus fees; other accommodation rates vary.
Visitors will find a variety of seasonal activities to enjoy at DeSoto State Park, from hiking and fishing to geocaching and zip-lining. Start your visit by checking out the CCC Museum and Benefield Interpretive Center to learn about the park’s history, flora and fauna. Drop into the country store and purchase a trail map for the park’s 30 miles of hiking and biking paths. Trails range in distance and difficulty, so there’s a path for everyone. There’s even a barrier-free boardwalk trail. Swimming, fishing and kayaking can be enjoyed on the West Fork Little River, which runs right through the park. The park also hosts guided hikes, campfire programs, and community events. Thrill-seekers can get a bird’s eye view over the park on the Aerial Adventure zipline course, which includes six ziplines and seven sky bridges, and golfers can tee off at the DeSoto Golf Course, just a few miles south of the park.
Staying at DeSoto State Park
We recently spent two enjoyable days at the De Soto State Park improved campground. Site 22 was nice and large and butted up against the trees. Lots of downed trees made for a great fire. . The campground was very full, mostly with fifth wheels and motorhomes. Not too many tents or pop-ups. The facilities were very clean and spacious but not very accessible. We had to walk nearly a quarter of a mile just to reach them on the camp roads. You could use a trail cutting through other campsites to get there quicker via a trail in the woods but be careful as my wife slipped and fell on the slick rocks and leaves. It was one of the quietest campgrounds we’ve ever been in. Accessing the campground from the north can be a little bit harrowing as the roads are steep with hairpin curves and somewhat narrow. The route from the south is much easier particularly if you have a large motorhome or a long fifth wheel. We would definitely stay there again.
Tent, rv, cabins, chalets, hotel all in one place. Restaurant on premises along with a camp store. Many hiking trails, water falls, close to Little River Canyon. Beautiful all year long.
Stayed here in mid July with family and had a great time! Sites are spread out and the campground is very large. Bathhouses are conveniently located and clean. Sites are level and most are back in. Dump station and trash drop off at exit of campground. Large store with everything you’d need at entrance which also offers a canopy tree rope course thing wayyyy up in the trees. Other than that, not too much to do at the campground, mainly just a hub for going to the state park and falls. Some trails are on site and were nice to explore, however. Would definitely come back to this campground.
Nice park with great hiking. Scenic waterfalls and nice bike trails.
Desoto State Park is on top of Lookout Mountain about 8 miles northeast of Fort Payne, In Northeast Alabama. DeSoto Falls - also part of DeSoto State Park - is located about 7 miles north of the park near Mentone, Alabama. The Campground has 94 full-hookup tent and RV sites. Most are Back-In Sites, with a few Pull-Thru. All sites have water, & electric, and sewer. They are about 16 feet by 60 feet deep with 50/30 Amp Service, Cable TV. There are picnic tables and Grills on each site. There are two large bathroom/shower buildings with coin-operated laundry. There is a Wi-fi hotspots at each bathhouse (wifi does not reach to every campsite) There are also Primitive Camping sites for tents as well as two back country campsites with shelters. Along with camping, Kayaking, fishing, hiking, biking, cycling, rappelling, bouldering and picnicking are popular.
Desoto State Park campground is located about 15 miles from Fort Payne Alabama. Nice spacious sites some gravel and not very level. But all asphalt sites that are pulled through are pretty much level. Bathrooms wash houses and laundry rooms were very clean. Would stay here again if nothing more than just to hike the trails. Plenty of Falls to see.
Upon pulling into the office area to get my tent spot.The nice woman at the counter was very nice and informative and good with explaining exactly how to get where I needed to go what I can do and any questions I had.She explained that the primitive Campground do have a bathroom/outhouse but you had to use a special code to get into the other part of the campground if you wanted to use the showers which were available to me. There is really so many things to do at this campground! they have a pool. you can swim in the river a gorgeous waterfalls rent kayaks and also a zip line adventure. Need I forget the multiple miles of hiking and mountain bike trails. Our camping spot was pretty quiet for the most part later on things started getting a little more lively but ended at a nice time to get some decent sleep throughout the night. I brought my dogs and everybody around us and that I met were more than happy to have them there I didn’t feel as if they were a nuisance by no means. I’m sure I left some stuff out you should do some research on your own definitely will be going back. PS the video may not be the best my first one I am going to work on it
We camped here for a few nights last month. The campground was perfect. Clean, large sites, well organized. Lots of trails and a lot to do in the area. Desoto falls was great. We hiked Cloudlands Canyon State Park. We drove the Little River Canyon Preserve. Great area to camp!
Quiet, relaxing campground with plenty of space between sites. Lots of trails to get out and enjoy. A short drive to Desoto Falls and to Mentone Farmers Market is a must.
Nice campground and great hiking. Not really close to water, but the trails here are great. The upper circle is very shaded and mostly level spots but its on the hill side. The lower circle is very flat but not as shaded. The place is really nice and lots of space on most sites. Well maintained but the general store had almost nothing except candy and soda. Will definitely be back, but bring what you need.