DeSoto State Park RV & Campground Guide

Alabama

DeSoto State Park

is a public recreation area located on Lookout Mountain, 8 miles northeast of Fort Payne, Alabama. Covering a total size of 3,502 acres, the state park is famous for its rushing waterfalls and fragrant wildflowers, as well as its scenic forest, rivers, and mountain terrain. It’s also home to the state's highest waterfall, DeSoto Falls, which is found in a separate part of the park. The area provides a habitat for a wide range of wildlife, including White-tailed deer, squirrels, foxes, raccoon, possums, bobcat, birds of prey, wild turkey, and songbirds.

The weather at DeSoto State Park can vary considerably, so it’s recommended that visitors bring additional clothing to layer-up. In summer, daytime highs can reach 90°F, while winter lows can fall to just 30°F. The state park is open all-year-round, however, and still has a wide range of activities for you to enjoy – rain, hail, or shine!

If you’re planning a trip to DeSoto State Park, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with everything there is to know about this region, including activities, nearby attractions, how to get here, and more.

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Weather
Spring 40-80 F
Summer 61-90 F
Fall 39-85 F
Winter 30-54 F
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Nearby Cities
Fort Payne, AL
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RV Resorts & Campsites in DeSoto State Park

If you’re planning on visiting DeSoto State Park, why not do so in style? If you choose to visit the state park in an RV, you’ll be less exposed to the elements, have a more secure place to sleep, and can enjoy your own fully-equipped kitchen and bathroom! If you don’t own an RV, you can easily rent an RV from RVshare.com to suit your budget and individual needs. All rentals come with nationwide insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance, and a world-class team dedicated to helping you succeed.

The good news is DeSoto State Park has its own campground, featuring 94 full hook-up sites, restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities. Rates start at $37 per night, excluding fees. Sites can fill-up quickly, however, so we’ve provided some additional campgrounds and RV parks within the area below:

Little River RV Park & Campground

Just 12 minutes’ drive away is the Little River RV Park & Campground, located on beautiful Lookout Mountain in DeKalb County. There are 42 sites available, 26 of which have full hookups for RVs. As well as being 8 miles from DeSoto State Park, the campground is just 2 miles from Little River Canyon National Preserve.

 

  • Water hookup: yes
  • Electrical hookup: yes
  • Sewer hookup: yes
  • Wifi: yes
  • Pet-friendly: yes
  • Other amenities: cable TV, showers, picnic tables, fire rings, laundry room, fishing pond, playhouse, on-site hiking trails.

DeKalb County Public Fishing Lake

What could be nicer than camping at this 120-acre lake? The on-site campground facilities provide electricity and water hookups, as well as some standard amenities to help you have a comfortable stay. This place is a fishing lover’s paradise, with the lake brimming with species such as largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, channel catfish, and crappie.

 

  • Water hookup: yes
  • Electrical hookup: yes
  • Sewer hookup: no
  • Wifi: N/A
  • Pet-friendly: yes
  • Other amenities: fishing pond, boat ramp, restrooms, boats for rent, fishing piers, pavilions.

Tranquility RV & Campground

When you stay at Tranquility RV & Campground, you’re less than a 10-minute drive from the state park. This quiet, heavily wooded setting features plenty of separation between the sites, so it’s the ideal place to “stop, rest, slow down, and reflect”, as is their motto! Nightly rates range from $30 to $35.

 

  • Water hookup: yes
  • Electrical hookup: yes
  • Sewer hookup: no
  • Wifi: N/A
  • Pet-friendly: yes
  • Other amenities: dump station, welcome center, bath house, private lake for fishing (no license required).  

RV Rentals Near DeSoto State Park

Nearby RV Rentals

Restaurants

What to Do at
DeSoto State Park

Inside DeSoto State Park

From the area’s 30+ miles of hiking and mountain biking trails to its events, workshops, and expeditions – there’s something to suit every single family member when staying at DeSoto State Park.

Hiking: There are over 30 miles of trails which will allow you to explore the ridges, waterfalls and river in beautiful DeSoto State Park, as well as 11 + miles of mountain bike trails for those who don’t want to wander on foot. The terrain on the trails can vary from easy to strenuous. The Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail can also be found within the park and is suitable for travelers of all abilities.

Kayaking: There’s no better way to enjoy a scenic trip up the West Fork of Little River than on a kayak. Miller’s Bend Paddle Shack in DeSoto Falls Picnic Area is open on Fridays and the weekend, offering single sit-on-top kayaks for $15 per hour and tandem sit-on-top kayaks for $25 per hour.

Events and Programs: The state park teams up with local organizations to bring visitors a wide range of events and programs each year, including campfire talks, classes, demonstrations, guided interpretive or fitness hikes, tours, outdoor adventures, workshops, and more. Most programs are free or charge a small supply fee.

Ziplining: DeSoto State Park has partnered with Screaming Eagle Ziplines and Aerial Adventures to offer a sky trail in the trees. There are six ziplines that range from 100 to 350 ft in length and seven sky bridges that range from 50 to 150 in length. Price costs $49, excluding taxes.

Swimming: If you fancy cooling down with a swim, the state park has an Olympic-size pool complete with a diving board and ADA-lift. The pool is located close to DeSoto State Park's picnic area. Entry costs $4 per swimmer.

Outside DeSoto State Park

Since DeSoto State Park is located just over 100 miles from Birmingham and 50 miles from the Tennessee city of Chattanooga, it’s conveniently located near many popular sights, activities, and experiences. If you thought there was plenty to do inside of the park, you’re sure to also get excited about what lies beyond its boundaries.

Restaurants

Santa Fe Cattle Company

If you’re craving Southwestern favorites (such as steak, ribs, fajitas, and more), then theSanta Fe Cattle Company is the place to go. Located just under 20 minutes’ drive from the state park, you can enjoy a great feed, as well as a long list of beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) to satisfy your thirst.

Type: Southwestern

Location: Fort Payne, AL

Waffle House

You and your family will be pleased to know that there’s a Waffle House located just 20 minutes’ drive away from the state park. If you’re looking for a big breakfast to give you enough fuel for all of those outdoor activities, then you can’t go past the hash brown bowl, fiesta omelet, or peanut butter waffle (of course!).

Type: Breakfast/diner

Location: Fort Payne, AL

Captain D's

If you can’t seem to catch your own seafood dinner in the state park’s river, fear not. A good seafood dinner can be easily achieved by driving to Captain D’s seafood restaurant in Fort Payne. You won’t be able to pass-up the extra crispy shrimp!

Type: Seafood

Location: Fort Payne, AL

Shopping

Collinsville Trade Day Flea Market

If you happen to be at the state park on a Saturday, then we highly recommend visiting the Collinsville Trade Day Flea Market, just 30 minutes away. Locals rave about the corn dogs here, as well as the fantastic array of new and used goods.

Location: Collinsville, AL

Sightseeing

Little River Canyon National Preserve

While you’re in the region, it’s certainly worth taking a trip to Little River Canyon National Preserve; a forested area around Little River, which runs along the top of Lookout Mountain. Here, waterfalls, canyon rims and bluffs, pools, boulders, and sandstone cliffs offer settings for a variety of recreational activities.

Alabama Fan Club And Museum

If you were a fan of the band Alabama, then this place is a must-visit! This newly-remodeled, state of the art museum features over 50 years of music memorabilia, including personal items, videos, pictures, awards and gifts from other artists, never before seen in public until now. Admission is $10 per person.

Location: Fort Payne, AL

Cloudmont Ski & Golf Resort

If it’s too cold for state park activities, then you can always take a short trip to the Cloudmont Ski & Golf Resort! This mountaintop resort is spread over 800 acres and offers an incredible skiing experience to all skill levels. Skis, boots, poles, and snowboards are available for rent in the Ski Lodge.

Location: Valley Head, AL

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How to Get to
DeSoto State Park

The state park is located 8 miles east of Fort Payne. Follow Alabama Highway 35 from Interstate 59. On top of Lookout Mountain, turn left on County Road 89.

Entering DeSoto State Park

The park is open during daylight hours every day of the year. Admission to most of the park is free.

Picnic Area : $3

We’re stoked for you to get out there and visit DeSoto State Park. You’re guaranteed to have a wonderful time here – including both inside and outside of the park. Don’t forget to tag us in your social media posts or send us a photo and some details to [email protected]. We may just feature your story on our blog or social media channels!