The Little River Falls is considered to be one the most scenic as well as one of the most accessible waterfalls in the entire south.
Located atop Lookout Mountain, it is near the town of Fort Payne, Alabama.
It is just off of US interstate 59, but to actually get to the to the falls, you would have to take old US Highways 11 and 35.
It is 96 miles east of Birmingham, 68 miles south of Huntsville, and 180 miles northeast of Montgomery.
Because of its proximity to the major cities in Alabama, this makes it one of the “must see” on the Alabama backroads day trips.
One of the major features of the Little River Falls is something that is somewhat unique to waterfalls; it flows year around.
It also marks the head or beginning of one of the best kept secrets in the state of Alabama, The Grand Canyon of the East.
The Little River Canyon, albeit smaller, has often been compared to the Grand Canyon, as it is 12 miles long and, in some places, as deep as 600 feet.
It is formed by rushing water, it is considered to be one of the most beautiful and serene places not only in Alabama, but in the entire southeastern United States.
One of the most photographed and popular places in the canyon; Little River Falls is actually located where Alabama Highway 35 crosses over it.
It is less than a 30-minute drive from Interstate 59 at Fort Payne and can be seen from the well-maintained overlooks from both sides of the river.
This is one of the features that make it so popular, as a lot of waterfalls can only be seen from one side of the river.
However, the best as well as the most popular way to see Little River Falls, is via the access point the is located just East of the Highway 35 bridge.
There is a paved, but very deep path, which leads from the parking lot to an overlook, that is near the falls at this bridge.
If you really have a lot of courage and feel adventurous, you can make your way out to the rocks on the top of the waterfall.
However, if you do try this, make sure you have strong rubber shoes or boots, and DO NOT TRY THIS ALONE, as it can be dangerous.
The local preservationists, including members of the very popular country band “Alabama”, led a recent fight to have the canyon and the falls declared a national park area.
They were successful, as in the year 1992 the Little River canyon and Little River Falls are now one of the newest national parks in the country.
There is also a second overlook on the Canyon Rim Drive, and it provides a spectacular view of the 45-foot-high falls from the top of canyon.
This viewing point is accessible even to the handicapped.
Little River Falls has been a landmark in this area for well over a thousand years, as Native Americans visited it long before the Europeans arrived.
It is also believed that two Spanish explorers passed nearby this falls and canyon, Hernando DeSoto ad Tristian de Luna.
The beautiful falls also attracted the attention of the early settlers.
However, one of its most historical claims to fame is that just slightly north of the Little River Falls, there was a key crossing point for both the Union as well as the Confederate soldiers in the Civil War.
The small southern community of Edna Hill also grew up around Little River Falls, during the latter part of the 1800’s and the very early part of the 1900’s.
There was a small mill that was built just above the falls, where the rushing water provided a supply of power.
This helped to keep the mill wheel turning, and thus allowed for the businesses in the small town to survive.
However, it faded into history in the early 1900’s, and the only thing left of the town is some photographs.
Little River Falls is preserved in its natural state and flows with the same impressive force that it has for several years.
Again, one of the things that separates it from other waterfalls, is the fact that it flows with this same force year around.
Because of its popularity, the park on the east bank of the river has picnic tables, restrooms, and hiking trails available.
While there are no campsites at the waterfalls themselves, there are campsites at the nearby DeSoto State Park.
Here you will find a hotel, a lodge with nearby cabins, as well as traditional campsites.
There are also several motels that are also nearby, if that is your thing.
There are also other waterfalls that on the Falls River and one of them, Grace High Falls, is believed to be the tallest in the state of Alabama.
Because of its uniqueness and pure natural beauty, the Little River Falls is a “must see” on your list of Alabama backroad day trips.
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