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Little River Canyon National Preserve

small state map showing location

Fort Payne, Alabama


JPG -- Picture of waterfalls. Many unique habitats, gorgeous vistas, and abundant recreational opportunities are found in Little River Canyon National Preserve. Little River flows along the top of Lookout Mountain through an upland forest backcountry until it reaches Little River Falls just south of Ala. 35. The falls are the beginning of the canyon. Little River is noted for being pure and unpolluted. The river has carved the sandstone for millennia creating a habitat for many endangered and threatened species and a playground for people that should be enjoyed for generations to come. Geology, biology and human endeavor come together to shape the stories of this precious preserve. Canyon Rim Drive (Ala. 176) follows the west rim of Little River Canyon. Sightseeing is the most frequent activity with many spectacular overlooks and undeveloped trails. Some of the overlooks have picnic tables. Worldclass whitewater and outstanding rock climbing challenge the adventurous visitors. Be very careful near cliffs and ledges.

JPG -- Picture of Little River. The drive along the canyon is breathtaking any time of year. Wildflowers blooming for most of the year add beauty to the majestic scenery. The roaring of the river and the singing of the birds mix with the soothing wind to inspire the visitors to the canyon. From the smallest mosses to the largest rock faces, the beauty and vastness of the preserve is overwhelming. Canyon Rim Drive is part of Lookout Mountain Parkway, which leaves the canyon south of Bear Creek. Little River flows out of the canyon as it leaves Lookout Mountain at Canyon Mouth Park. This day-use facility features hiking, picnicking or simply relaxing near the water.

JPG -- Picture of Little River Canyon Forest. The hiking trails here thread through the lower canyon overlooing rapids and boulderfields. This is a popular takeout for whitewater enthusiasts. No facilities are in place in the backcountry. The backcountry is a multi-use zone with trails, whitewater, fishing, and even managed hunting. Use trails with caution. Be courteous to those sharing the trails. The quiet solitude found far from developed parts of the park offers visitors a chance to reflect peacefully. The backcountry and adjacent DeSoto State Park have scenic trails with numerous cascades and waterfalls and the best developed hiking areas. DeSoto State Park is one of our partners in the operation of the preserve. It has a lodge, motel, restaurant, cottages, campsites, and camp store. Activities in DeSoto State Park include a nature center, pool, playground, tennis court, trails, and picnic areas.

This resource is based on the following source:
National Park Service.  No date.  Birds of Little River Canyon National 
     Preserve.  National Park Service. Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
National Park Service.  No date.  Birds of Little River Canyon National 
     Preserve.  National Park Service.  Unpaginated.  Jamestown, ND: 
     Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govinfo.htm 
     (Version 22MAY98).

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