DeSoto's Alabama Trails: Written by Donald E. Sheppard Drawings: Cheryl Lucente INTRODUCTION TO THIS POINT S.E. Hiking | Birmingham: Desoto Scout Trail | This easy 3.4-mile dayhike skirts the swift waters of the Little River, then gently climbs to clifftop views of a deep river canyon in DeSoto State Park. Alabama may not have a national park in its borders, but its state parks are full of opportunities to explore. I also went in with a full battery charge, but used my GPS a lot bc I got turned around. We took Exit 1 down which was a great choice as Exit 2 was a much easier climb back out! Has the trail to ourselves. Once I got to the river I don’t think the reviews I read before properly articulated exactly how rocky the trail actually is. Length 3.1 miElevation gain 341 ftRoute type Loop At that point the trail mostly follows Backcountry Road 5 to the Exit at Edna Hill Church parking area on CR 295, alternatively there is a parking lot at the Backcountry Road 5 entrance that is marked for horse trailers is also available. Park at the Pool, Picnic Area, Talmadge Butler Boardwalk, Lodge, or Gillam Loop Trailheads and hike towards the river. ***For some reason this format won’t let me go back and edit . I started the trail by Indian falls and hiked in to the DeSoto Scout Trail heading south following the river. This trail is bi-directional loop trail. To get to the trailheads, take CR 89 (DeSoto Parkway) from DeSoto State Park. If you don’t hike with some regularity I would suggest going down to the river using Exit 1 and coming back up using Exit 2. The DeSoto Scout Trail (DST) has had a great deal of work done this summer, and the entire trail on public lands is open. At the top of Exit 1 you have to do a little rock climbing, but there is a black rope attached to a tree on top of the bigger rock to help pull yourself up. You pull all the way through the parking lot of the Lodge, and turn right out the back end of the lot. This is a really high waterfall falling off a cliff with a rockhouse behind. This trail starts at the Comer Scout Reservation to the north of the park and ends at the Little River Canyon to the south of the park. This 3.1-mile loop trail has a difficult rating. Not an easy trail but rewarding. This is the only video that I could find with a decent view of Shigley's Hole on the DeSoto Scout Trail in Little River National Preserve. › Alabama › DeSoto State Park › DeSoto Scout Trail › Photos Photos of DeSoto Scout Trail DeSoto Scout Trail. we started at the DeSoto Loge between cabin 21 and 22 on the Gilliam trail amd took exit 2 to the DST that is about 6.5 miles. It’s very short, and you can park right by the trail head. The thick layer of damp leaves also made it slippery. You'll notice the trail crosses a few DeSoto Scout Trail Emergency Exit signs. It traverses a varied terrain and has a great wealth of biodiversity and plant life. Seasonal waterfalls, river fords and swimming stops are along the trail. I was glad I tossed my extra charging block in my day pack. The Little River Canyon National Preserve is located in the foot hills of the Appalachian Mountains near Fort Payne Alabama. At that point the trail follows backcountry road 5 to Edna Hill Church. This It’s a fun trail with an unexpected descent and a beautiful river. It follows the beautiful West Fork of Little River and continues downstream to Highway 35. Climbing out is easier then the descent. Gorgeous river and rocks. The trail network in the park leads you past several waterfalls, while visiting any time between March and November should give you a chance to see spectacular wildflowers in bloom. The 2 mile section that belongs to Comer Scout Reservation is currently closed to the public. Going back to do the how trail from DSP to 35falls can't wait. Hike the designated 22 miles of trails in DeSoto, (whether on your own or in a group, no time limit) and collect your prize, a Trail Trekkers Patch. There are several places to stop for a great view of the river below. I had high expectations for this trail and was disappointed. The descent to the river is steep. Natalie Cone. The trail is known for its stunning views including orchids and wildflowers, as well as wildlife like wild pigs, deer, and foxes. Check out the maps on the DeSoto Scout Trail facebook page. Turn Left on CR 476 (oakhill road) Go about 2 miles... pass oakhill curch, then turn left on Dunn Road. There are many access points at DeSoto State Park along with camping. The footbed is sand river rocks, and some huge sunken boulders as this area is in the floodplain. They are marked as "EX4" "EX5" "EX6" and then the "Backcountry Trailhead". The trail head actually begins in the state park just beyond the lodge and cabins. The trail along the the river has rocky spots that have to be navigated. We then headed back to the car and drove to Gilliam Loop Trailhead to access the DeSoto Scout Trail. By far, my favorite trail at D.S.P. Rocks are slick and covered in leaves (late October). It’s just too rocky not to have one past sunset. Depending on which portion you want to hike/see, you can access from any of these entrances. The access points will be on the Left. Show more photos. From hiking and walking to wildlife watching (watch for lots of woodland birds), the trail offers many opportunities to connect with nature. Birmingham: DeSoto Scout Trail This easy 3.4-mile dayhike skirts the swift waters of the Little River, then gently climbs to clifftop views of a deep river canyon in DeSoto State Park. That trails markings are crap. As you continue along you will intersect the Desoto Scout Trail or DST. I am in moderate shape, and this trail is totally doable and enjoyable. Some areas of the trail have minor washouts and/or brush growth, but nothing unmanageable. Consider the DeSoto Scout Trail for your next unit activity. DeSoto State Park is known for the waterfalls, both big and small. It’s VERY rocky. This is one of the non-technical trails at DeSoto State Park. This is best accessed by Dekalb 89 (DeSoto Parkway) to Dekalb 476 (Oakhill Road) After 1.58 miles, take the second left past Oakhill Church. Water is very clear and several waterfalls on the route. Alabama Exploration and Conquest by Hernando de Soto, 16th century. It can be reached via the Gilliam Loop Trailhead/CCC Road to Exit 1 … You never know when you'll run into some water along the trail. Explore. This hike is kid friendly and dog friendly, however your furry kids must on leash. At the end of the trail you still have 2 miles to go on a gravel/dirt road up hill. Taking a slight left, you will follow the trail along the ridgeline. If you want more of a physical challenge, six miles of the 16-mile DeSoto Scout Trail wind their way through the park, eventually leading south to Little River Canyon National Preserve. Camp DeSoto is a Christian summer camp for girls, ages 8-16, located on Lookout Mountain in Mentone, Alabama. From there you wind down the road just bit until you see Cabins 21 and 22. This trail starts at Comer Scout Reservation, goes through the DeSoto State Park, and finally ends at the Little River Canyon National Preserve. The trail is open from DeSoto State Park(DSP) to the new "Backcountry Trailhead" on Backcountry Road 5, in Little River Canyon National Preserve (LRCNP). Happy New Years. Challenging but pretty views! Just log your hikes in the Trail Trekker log and record the date for each trail listed. The shelter provides a … The DeSoto Scout Trail is a 16-mile trail that begins at the Comer Scout Reservation (north of DeSoto State Park on CR 89). Several rare and beautiful plants find themselves right alongside the DST in this special riverine environment. DeSoto State Park 256-845-0051 There are several exits you can take to make it shorter. I ended up just crossing the little barrier and walking down the rest of the road until I got to the Exit 2 entrance. Approximately 300 more signs are to be added before November, so it will be easier to find your way. Nice trail, however it can be a little rough to get down to the river plus there are many rocks you have to climb over. In the beginning I meant to say that you turn between Cabins 21 & 22 on to a dirt road. I doubled back and stopped into the park store to check the trail location. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. This project is made possible through a partnership between The Alabama Trails Commission, The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. I accessed today at EX4, which is off of Dunn Rd. Hikers on DeSoto Scout Trail follow the cascades of the west fork of the Little River. Very secluded. Hiked the loop clockwise. Poison Ivy Falls is between DST Exit 1 and Exit 2 along DST. The trail itself was beautiful especially by the river but there are A LOT of ticks. The access points will be on the Left. Desoto Falls Bottom and Bluff Overlook Loop. DeSoto Scout Trail is a moderate hike in DeSoto State Park Alabama, near Chattanooga. DeSoto Scout Trail, located in Fort Payne, is a 16 mile scenic trail that follows the West Fork of Little River. On the DST, It’s a lot of bouldering along the river with plenty of slippery rocks but it’s a nice atmosphere with the sounds of the rushing water. Lodge Falls is an easy waterfall to spot just behind the Lodge. The Road will turn to dirt when you enter the National Preserve. The length of the trail is marked with metal “DST” signs, except within DSP, where it is marked with a yellow blaze and an occasional old yellow wooden DST signs. A 4.5-mile segment (one way) runs through Little River Canyon National Preserve as it follows the West Fork of the Little River. These exits can be ridden. (Dunn Road /Backcountry Road 5) The Trailhead is 2.35 miles after the turn on the left. Sign completed form and turn in to DeSoto State Park Country Store or Lodge to receive your patch! Blue Trail in the Black Creek Trail System. As my phone had no service and I used the trail map provided by the park, my experience was not what I was expecting. The Desoto Scout Trail (DST) is actually a 16 mile trail, with several different entrances. Other easy access points are at Desoto Lodge, Comer Scout Reservation, Gilliam Trailhead, and the new Backcountry Parking Lot. I followed the DST until I hit exit 1 and switched over to the Gillam loop trail to head back north to where I parked. It parallels a road that takes you down to a CCC bridge, if you want to add some distance. I started at the trailhead in Desoto State Park.