We had been planning to visit both the Cathedral Canyon and Dismal Canyon…
in Alabama but we hadn’t done enough research and it turned out that they were closed for the season or closed during the days we had planned to be there. I think where we did end up may have been even better…
We decided to drive to see Indian Falls
which turned out to be inside Desoto State Park, AL ($4/car). We hadn’t done much research on this place either. We found a 1000’ Birding Boardwalk across from the Indian Falls trailhead so we took that to the end where the trail split off just after a pretty little cascade. Along the trail we saw deer and a raccoon. There were some huge boulders that we went to explore before heading back to see Indian Falls across the road. This falls turned out to be better than the pictures we’d seen with a cave at the base. After spending some time there we went to the Needle’s Eye rock formation under the ropes/zip line course (yes, I’d like to do this one, too). We went Visitor’s Center to get a park map where we learned about the park’s namesake DeSoto Falls. So we headed to the DeSoto Falls Overlook. DeSoto Falls is a 104’ waterfall It falls into a huge pool surrounded by tall cliffs. We decided to do the River Trail that takes you to the base of the falls (1.9 mile total out and back, 232’ loop). The River Trail takes you through huge boulders where we passed a rescue team training on a cliff above the trail, down a steep hill and then flattens at the base and becomes very rocky before it turns into a full rock scramble. After spending some time at the base of the falls we took the Bluff Trail back so that we could check out the Ice Box Cave. It was so cool! This was a fun, challenging and rewarding hike and we were the only ones on it.
We drove on to Little River Canyon National Recreation Area, AL
There is an Overlook at the start of the canyon with a 45’ waterfall. The canyon eventually reaches a depth of 700’ at its deepest point. We took the Little River Canyon Rim Parkway, a 22 mile scenic drive that follows the canyon rim with a number of overlooks.