Desoto State Park

Use the park page to learn about local hiking, nature, trailheads, trail and route maps, and groups that meet here. If you know something about this area. Please feel welcome to write about it here.

General Information

Right now there is an ongoing effort to help build a more extensive trail system in the park. Volunteering events are scheduled throughout the summer on weekends. We will be posting the events to help build the trails on this site.

Check for our upcoming events in the Birmingham and greater Alabama area for more information about when and where the volunteering events will take place. The first is on Saturday, July 9th starting at 8:00am.


Trailhead Name: DeSoto State Park LODGE Trailhead

Trailhead Description: This Trail starts on the south side of the Lodge, by the parking area. This trailhead connects to many trail, but we will focus on the DeSoto Scout Trail. Descend down to the West Fork of Little River and follow the DST. It is marked by yellow blazes and occasional "DST" signs. Follow the rail North for 1 mile or you can follow the trail south for almost 7 miles. This trail is on the river for 90% of its length.

Parking is available at this trailhead

Parking spots: 50

Parking is free at this trailhead

Access to trail is NOT wheelchair accessible

Restrooms available: YES

Trailhead Name: Azalea Cascade Trailhead

Trailhead Description: This trailhead is on DeSoto Parkway(CR89) between the country store and park headquarters. This is the most central location to access trails on both sides of DeSoto Parkway.

Parking availability at this trailhead is unknown

Parking spots: 10

Parking is free at this trailhead

Access to trail is wheelchair accessible

Restrooms available: NO

Trailhead Name: CCC Trailhead North

Trailhead Description: This is where Blalock Road Ends and the old CCC Road begins. This provides access to the CCC Trail and the new mountain bike trails. This also connects to the "Green Trail", which provides access to the amazing DeSoto Scout Trail. Three numbered "emergency exits" also provide access from the CCC Road to the DeSoto Scout Trail.

Parking is available at this trailhead

Parking spots: 20

Parking is free at this trailhead

Access to trail is NOT wheelchair accessible

Restrooms available: NO

Routes and Trails You Can Travel

Route Name: (DeSoto Scout Trail) DST Lodge to DST exit 1, back to DST Lodge via CCC road (loop)

Route Description: Start at DSP Lodge Trailhead on the south end of the Lodge. follow the DST (yellow blaze) to the riverside. It is fairly steep with switchbacks. Once you get to the river, it is a rocky path downstream. The trail meanders by the river for about a mile until you reach exit 1. It is marked with decrepit sign that will soon be replaced. This steep path leads you out of the canyon. This is the most strenuous part of the hike, which ends with a scramble up a 3 foot rock step. Exit 1 flattens out and leads to the old CCC road. Take a right (North) on the CCC road and it leads you back to the lodge.

Distance: 2.51

Total elevation gain: 367

Total elevation loss: 368

Route Name: DeSoto Scout Trail

Route Description: This Route starts at the CCC North Trailhead. Take the Green Trail (Cabin Trail) back towards the last cabins. Take the first good trail to the right. Descend into the West Fork canyon on the steep trail. When You get to the river turn right (downstream) on the DeSoto Scout Trail. Travel on the trail for just over a half of a mile and take a right on Emergency exit 1. This will take you up a steep trail that climbs to the ridge and back to the CCC Road. When you get to the CCC Road take another right and this will lead you back to the CCC Trailhead. The whole trail is VERY scenic and there are several swimming holes along the trail. This is a great little day hike.

Distance: 1.47

Total elevation gain: 282

Total elevation loss: 285



There was a government grant to help build a greater and better network of trails in the park. The work is currently ongoing, and volunteers are needed! Please join the Little River Canyon Club to get updates on upcoming volunteer events to help build the trails.

Climate and Weather

Caught exception: String could not be parsed as XML






Other Plants

Camping Possibilities

Other Information


Driving Directions

The park is north-east of Birmingham, Alabama.

Start Your Own Hiking Group Plan a Hike

Park Map

Photos From This Park

Upload Park Photos

So far there are no photos which have been uploaded from this park. You can be the first!

Hiking or Walking Groups Nearby

Group Name: Hoofing Hikers

Group Description: Hiking in local areas surrounding Lafayette, Ga. on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sunday afternoons. Preferably within 30 mile radius of Lafayette. Any age or skill level as long as health will not prevent hiking. Hiking may be mainly walking or more strenuous, depending on the group\'s choice of sites. If interested in joining such a group, call Linda at 423-304-5441.

Group Name: Little River Hiking Club

Group Description: This is a group to hike and promote the trails of Little River Canyon and surrounding areas. We have a treasure of good trails in the area that need to be traveled, maintained and enjoyed. We will be scheduling hikes and trail maintenance days every week or so. Join us, Invite your friends! Trail list so far: DeSoto Scout Trail Eberhart Trail Deep Canyon Trail Powell's Trail Canyon Mouth Trail Beaver Pond Trail YCC Trail All trails at: Little River Canyon National Preserve DeSoto State Park. Cherokee Rock Village Yellow Creek Cloudland Canyon State Park Lake Guntersville State Park Buck's Pocket State Park The Pocket Recreation Area Chickamauga Keown Falls and Johns Mountain Scenic Area Lula Lake Pigeon Mountain Also: Talladega National Forest Cheaha State Park Dugger Mountain Sipsey Wilderness Bankhead National Forest

Group Name: Birmingham Hiking

Group Description: A social group for people who like to walk and hike and live in the area of Birmingham Alabama.

Upcoming Hikes

There are no upcoming hikes. Be the first to start one!

Past Hikes

eberhart hike | 7.7 km away

Date: Thursday, 6-30-2011

Description: it is eberhart!

Hike around Bear Mountain in Alabama in search for the hidden cave | 75.2 km away

Date: Saturday, 7-30-2011

Description: We will walk around the mountain and make a big loop. If the hikers are up for it, we will go higher or lower in elevation. Part of the hike theme will be to find a prehistoric cave that is rumored to be in the area.

Girlfriend Getaway: Fall on the Appalachian Trail, North Georgia | 83.8 km away

Date: Saturday, 10-29-2011

Description: A week long backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail. Our journey will lead us to warm, breezy vistas and nights will be umbrellaed by skies full of stars. There is also the opportunity to catch the sites of beautiful waterfalls, the changing of the leaves (leaf peeping), black bears, and other wildlife. You will walk away from this experience with a better knowledge of the outdoors, and newfound hiking partners.

Amicalola Falls to Blood Mountain (Appalachian Trail) | 77.7 km away

Date: Saturday, 6-2-2012

Description: http://www.georgiatrails.com/gt/Georgia_Appalachian_Trail_Sections_and_Access