Northeastern Alabama is very beautiful, and it just so happens to be that DeSoto State Park was put right there in the middle of it all, atop the spectacular Lookout Mountain. Not only that, but there are 3,502 acres of this park for you to explore with hiking, biking, and horseback riding. With so many things to do within this scenic park, it makes for the perfect family vacation or a romantic getaway for any RV camper. When you bring your RV, you’ll have full access to everything you could possibly need and more. There are so many activities to keep you busy, including kayaking, golf, and yoga.
This really is the perfect place for relaxation. Maybe you’ll finally get some peace of mind and find yourself again after taking an RV camping trip to DeSoto State Park. The weather is really warm here as well, and more sunshine means more smiles for everyone. You can expect 90-degree temperatures in the summer, and 50-degree temperatures in the winter, although it can drop down to the 30s at times. Any time of the year is a good time to visit as long as you have an RV, as you’ll get all the hookups and amenities that you could ever need during your stay. So what are you waiting for? Make some RV reservations at DeSoto State Park today.
RV Rentals in Desoto State Park
Transportation in Desoto State Park
There are no road restrictions at DeSoto State Park when it comes to RVs and large vehicles. Keep in mind though that you will need to drive up a hill to get to the campground, but RVs make this trek all the time with no difficulties. Snow is rare here in Alabama, but if there is snow on the ground, roadways will likely be closed. If visiting during the winter, simply check the weather conditions first.
Parking options for RVs are slim here, so if you’re only visiting the park for the day, you might want to find a place to leave your RV outside the park, then bring your smaller personal vehicle with you into the park. When bringing your RV for a camping trip, there is a little pull-off that you can park your RV for a short time while registering for your campsite.
Campgrounds and parking in Desoto State Park
Campsites in Desoto State Park
The improved campground here at DeSoto State Park has everything you could possibly need for a comfortable RV vacation. They have 94 sites, each one with full hookups. That includes electric hookups as well as water and sewer hookups. You’ll be happy to hear that each site is able to accommodate RVs of every size. There are no size restrictions, so even the largest of RVs are welcome here. Expect to find a picnic table and grill at each campsite for your convenience. You’ll also have access to one of the nearby comfort stations. There are two of these at the campground, and this is where you can go to use a flush toilet, take a hot shower, and do your laundry while you’re here. If you plan to stay here on a weekend, you’ll need to make reservations for at least two nights to be guaranteed a camping spot. On major holidays, the requirement is three nights. Reservations for the peak-season and holiday weekends should be made at least three months in advance. You won’t be disappointed with the quality of this campground.
There are no First-Come, First-Served options at this state park.
Maybe the RV camping trip didn’t turn out like you’d hoped it would, so you’re looking for an alternative. You don’t want to have to stay in your RV the whole time, but you don’t want to have to leave the park. If you’d like to get a complete break from the outdoor environment and stay somewhere else, you can rent a room at the motel located here in the park. They have all the typical amenities of a hotel, including a mini refrigerator, a microwave, coffee and coffee pot, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, and much more. Keep in mind though that if you’re coming during a big holiday, they recommend that you make reservations at least three months in advance.
Cabins and Chalets
If you want something that has a little more of a rustic and homey feel to it than a hotel, you can stay at one of the cabins or chalets. There are lots of similarities between these two, but the biggest difference is the cabins have two bedrooms and a sleeper sofa in the living room, while the chalets only have one bedroom. So if you’re bringing the whole family, a cabin is probably more ideal, while chalets are preferred by individuals and couples. Each cabin and chalet has everything you could need for ultimate comfort. This includes cable TV, a full kitchen with all the cookware and utensils you could need, full linens provided, a full bath, and heating and air conditioning.
Primitive and Backpack Camping
Maybe RV camping is still too luxurious for what you’re looking for. Maybe what you need to truly find peace within yourself is to get out there in the wild, sleep on the natural ground that supports you, and breathe all the fresh air into your lungs. If you’ve brought your RV, some of the RV sites allow you to also set up a tent at the same site. If you’ve decided to leave the RV behind completely though, you should head over to the primitive campground. You’ll have a fire pit and picnic tables at each site, as well as vault toilets, drinking water, and trash cans nearby. You can also choose to try one of the two backpacking campsites further out. Be sure to bring everything you could need for the entirety of your trip if you do this though, because you’ll have no access to any amenities.
Seasonal activities in Desoto State Park
Kayaking and Canoeing
At DeSoto State Park, you’ll have the opportunity to go on a scenic adventure doing down the river above DeSoto Falls when you rent a kayak or canoe. The trip totals 4 miles if you paddle the entire way, and you’ll be glad you made the decision to head out.
Close to the picnic area here, you’ll find an Olympic sized swimming pool that’s perfect for summer fun. It even has a diving board for you to jump from. If you want something a little more natural, there is a swimming area in the West Fork of Little River, above the A.A. Miller Dam.
Doing Yoga on the Mountain
Yoga can be a great way to start your day, and there is nothing quite like a relaxing morning spent stretching on the mountain. When you visit this state park on the weekends, you’ll have the opportunity to join in on a yoga class held each Saturday morning. Make the most of your vacation by starting your Saturday out as relaxed as you can be.
If yoga really isn’t your thing, golf might be. You can head out of the RV over to the DeSoto Golf Course for a round of 9 hole or 18 hole golf. The golf course is lush and beautiful too, with bright green rolling hills and a sparkling lake. You’ll really feel tranquil out here, which is exactly how you should feel when you take an RV vacation.
While you can still do traditional fishing here at the park, many people find it easier and prefer to come here to fly fish. Summer serves as the perfect opportunity to catch lots of red eye bass and bluegill as well, and you’ll have no problem finding a spot to fish at here.
There are over 30 miles of trails available to you at this park, many of which are interconnected, making for a more adventurous hike. Hiking difficulty ranges from easy to strenuous, so you’ll be sure to find something for everyone to enjoy. Plus, when you come during the off-season, you won’t need to worry about the crowds, bugs, or humidity.
Located on Lookout Mountain, you’ll find Shady Grove Dude Ranch, where you can come to saddle up for a ride on your horse. This is a great way to see the park, especially if you’re a horse riding enthusiast. There are 800 acres that you can explore on horseback, which will give you spectacular views of the river, woods, and more.
Out of the 30 miles of trails available for hikers, over 11 of those miles are open for mountain biking. Keep in mind that these trails are off road, so you’ll need to watch for rocks, branches, and even wildlife. The difficulty level varies from trail to trail as well.
Geocaching is a modern day version of a treasure hunt, which can be a lot of fun here at DeSoto. Just download the GPS coordinates and get out there in search of them. If you wish to leave a geocache, you’ll need to submit a signed permit to the Park Manager first. This is a great way to get out of the camper and explore lesser known areas of the park.
Eating at the Restaurant
The DeSoto State Park Mountain Inn Restaurant is unlike any other. Not only do they have great food here, but they also have a welcoming historical environment that you’ll get to enjoy. This restaurant is located in the original lodge that was built in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and offers a magnificent view of the West Fork of Little River.