We had a very active Fourth of July weekend. After deciding to stay in a cabin at DeSoto State Park, a place new to us both, we were able to get in several trails and some kayaking along the way. Only fifteen more trails to go in my 52 hike challenge.
The DeSoto Scout Trail, or at least the small portion that we hiked, starts off the pool parking lot in DeSoto State Park (DSP). The entire trail is around sixteen miles. This portion takes you down to the bluffs overlooking a waterfall and the Little River below. You will also run into a CCC built resting station and overlook. The river and resulting waterfall was very low due to our current dry conditions. In fact, this will be a theme for all our hikes this weekend. These falls are spectacular when the river is full but only a trickle this weekend. We were told most of the small falls were actually dry at the moment.
We decided on the Family Loop Trail instead of the Lost Falls Trail since the falls were dry. The Family Loop Trail was pretty uneventful and without views or a notable feature. I would not put this one on this list again.
After our morning hikes, we spent the afternoon kayaking on the West Fork of the Little River, just above DeSoto Falls. We paddled several miles up the calm river before returning to our starting point. We had a blast at the moment only to have the soreness set in that evening.
Sunday brought two more hikes in an adjacent park, The Little River Canyon. It is list as “one of” the deepest canyons east of the Mississippi. First up was the Beaver Pond Trail. This trail was listed as being perfect for those that can’t do the mountainous hikes. This trail worked into the forest to an observation platform on a beaver pond. Unfortunately, the lack of water was evident here as well. There ended up being no pond to see. We did, on the other hand, run into my third snake of the challenge. This one was more afraid of us than we were of it. We walked around the snake so that it wouldn’t be disturbed.
Our last hike this weekend was by far the most challenging. The Eberhart Trail starts at the top of the canyon and continues to the river. While relatively short, it was difficult both directions. Once again, we found the river lacking water flow. It was beautiful nonetheless.
Some other points of interest for the Ft. Payne area. First, this was the only starting point in Alabama for the Trail of Tears. A small, temporary fort was built as a gathering place for indigenous people before heading West.
Ft. Payne was also the home of the country band “Alabama” and their statues are on the main street of town. Our best meal was at Katy’s Katfish in Rainsville. It was a catfish house built around a log cabin. The fish was outstanding.
I think this trip would be best in the Spring or Fall. Spring would bring higher water levels while fall would have fantastic foliage.