Little River Canyon National
2141 Gault Avenue North
Fort Payne, AL 35967
Explore the Little River Canyon
Little River is unique because it flows for most
of its length atop Lookout Mountain in northeast Alabama. Forested
uplands, waterfalls, canyon rims and bluffs, pools, boulders, and
sandstone cliffs offer settings for a variety of recreational
activities. Natural resources and cultural heritage come together to
tell the story of the Preserve, a special place in the Southern
There are several overlooks along the 11-mile
scenic drive (AL Highway 176). There is no charge to tour this area.
The road is paved with winding curves and hills. Very little walking
is needed to enjoy the views from the overlooks. Picnic tables are
available at most of the overlooks. Restrooms are located at Little
River Falls, Eberhart Point and the Canyon Mouth Day Use Area.
The Backcountry Area is for horseback riders,
ATV riders, hikers, 4-wheel drive vehicles and primitive camping.
Camping is limited to three sites. Hunting is allotheyd on designated
dates, times and places. A permit is required for ATV drivers. The
permit is free and is available at the Superintendent's office in Fort
Payne (Mon-Fri 8-4:30, Saturday 10-2). Each ATV driver has to obtain
his/her permit in person.
Canyon Mouth Day Use Area
The Canyon Mouth Day Use Area is the perfect
place for a day of picnicking along the water. Picnic tables, grills,
a water fountain, a footwash station, and restrooms are available.
There is a $3 user fee per vehicle for this area. $10 Season passes
are also available.
Little River Falls
Little River Falls is where the water begins its
descent into the canyon. There is no charge to tour this area. There
is a 45-foot waterfall, picnic tables, and a restroom at this site. A
short walk down a paved walkway leads you to an overlook to enjoy the
Things to Do
Little River Canyon National Preserve is still a
relatively new park. They do not have a visitor center at this time.
They recommend a visit to the Superintendent's office for general
information and maps (Monday - Friday 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM CST,
Saturday's 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM). If you prefer, you can request
that they mail you this information in advance.
Alcohol - Alcohol
is not allowed in the Preserve.
ATV Riding - A
permit is required to operate an ATV on designated roads in the
Bicycling - The
scenic drive (Highway 176) is a narrow two-lane road with no shoulder
or bike lanes. They do not recommend bikes on Highway 176. Mountain
biking is allowed in the Backcountry Area. There are 23 miles of dirt/chert
Family Reunions -
They welcome you, but they do not reserve any picnic tables or
No weapons/firearms are allowed within the Preserve boundaries except
during hunting season and only in designated areas.
Fire Works - Fire
works are not allowed in the Preserve.
Hiking - Hike
anywhere in the Preserve during daylight hours.
- Canyon Mouth Day Use Area has a 2 mile hike
(there and back).
- Beaver Pond Trail provides a 1.8 mile loop
- Eberhart trail (3/4 mile) leads you to the
bottom of the canyon. You can hike as far as you want but remember
you have to hike back up the 3/4 miles to the top. The Eberhart
trail is the most strenuous. There are no overnight backpack
hiking trails in the Preserve. Camping is not allowed in the
- YCC Trail located in the Backcountry Area.
First left on Road 05 (coming in from County Road 295).
Kayaking - Come
prepared with all of your equipment and your own transportation.
(Expert level, Class III+ to a VI). Pets - Pets must be on a
leash at all times.
Photography - The
overlooks offer beautiful views of the canyon for photography. Each
season provides it's own color and drama.
- Little River Falls (vault toilet)
- Eberhart Point Overlook (vault toilet)
- Canyon Mouth Day Use Area (with water)
- Billy's Ford Primitive Campsite (outhouse)
- Hartline Ford Primitive Campsite (outhouse)
- Slant Rock Primitive Campsite (outhouse)
Rock Climbing -
Come prepared with all of your equipment and your own transportation.
You can rock climb from any of the cliffs. You cannot add or remove
any bolts or have any equipment on your person that would allow you to
Scenic Drive -
Drive your car along Highway 176 for the eleven mile tour. Stop at the
overlooks and enjoy the scenery. Bring a picnic lunch and eat at one
of the picnic tables.
Special Uses -
Special uses such as weddings and baptisms, commercial filming,
require a permit. All permits are subject to a fee. Applications for
the permits are available at the superintendent's office. There is a
non-refundable application fee of $50. Permit applications must be
submitted 4 days prior to the event to Little River Canyon National
Preserve, 2141 Gault Avenue North, Fort Payne, AL 35967. All permits
are subject to approval.